Hyperspace Theories: AHSOKA Tackles the Jedi, the Force, and the Future of Star Wars

The Ahsoka series on Disney+ has reached its finale. On this episode of Hyperspace Theories, Tricia Barr and B.J. Priester analyze the storytelling in Part Six “Far, Far Away,” Part Seven “Dreams and Madness,” and Part Eight “The Jedi, the Witch, and the Warlord” and consider what Ahsoka establishes for the future of Star Wars tales.

We begin by examining the conclusions to the character arcs of Ahsoka Tano and Sabine Wren, and their relationship as master and apprentice. With Ezra Bridger reunited with his old friends, the series portrays three different perspectives on what it has meant and can mean to be a Jedi. On the other hand, Shin Hati parts ways with her master and starts the journey of finding her own path. In addition, we discuss the character arcs of other key players, including Baylan Skoll, Hera Syndulla, Morgan Elsbeth, and of course the series’ nemesis, Grand Admiral Thrawn.

The third act of Ahsoka also leans into the mythology of Star Wars, especially the deeper themes about the Force. Sabine may not be a naturally gifted wielder of the Force, but her years of training with Ahsoka and her willingness to open her mind to its possibilities ultimately manifest in her use of telekinetic energy. Despite his years in isolation from other Jedi, Ezra is confident with the Force as his ally, and their cooperation is part of what inspires Sabine to unlock her own potential. Even as a Master, Ahsoka has more to learn, and by the end of the final episode she has found her own serenity by supporting her apprentice and finding serenity in knowing that they are where they supposed to be. Which may have something to do with the conclusion of Baylan’s quest: reaching giant statues of the Mortis overlords and gazing upon a distant light last seen in that mystical realm. While Thrawn’s return to the main galaxy heralds political and military conflict to come, the tale of the Jedi and the Force on Peridea has much more to offer, as well.

The Ahsoka series premiered and aired on Disney+ during the concurrent ongoing strikes against Disney and other major Hollywood studios by unions representing the writers (WGA) and actors (SAG-AFTRA) who are indispensable to their productions. Accordingly, neither Filoni nor any of the actors in Ahsoka could participate in promotional interviews or other marketing for the series (although they appear in material previously recorded, such as interviews at Star Wars Celebration in April, that is shared by Disney or entertainment journalists). Aside from its value in raising the visibility of the series to the prospective audience, such interviews with talent often provide fascinating insight into the storytelling process, characterization and motivations, and the themes and values underlying a series. We are disappointed that the studios have denied the talent the opportunity to participate in the excitement of the series launch, and the fans and audience the ability to share in their enthusiasm and learn from it, through their unwillingness to agree to reasonable terms relating to changing technology, shifts in production and distribution within the industry, and a fair sharing of billions of dollars in global profits with those who make those profits possible in the first place. Despite the ongoing strikes, the unions have not called for a boycott of the studios: they encourage fans and audience to watch newly released films and series (to demonstrate their value and profitability) and have clarified that non-promotional activities such as reviews, criticism, and analysis are not inconsistent with the terms of the strike. At FANgirl Blog and Hyperspace Theories, we intend to discuss Star Wars (and other projects from the struck studios) in solidarity with the unions and in conformity with their approved official guidance.

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Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and the intersection of women within Star Wars fandom. She is co-author of Ultimate Star Wars and Star Wars Visual Encyclopedia from DK Publishing, a featured writer for Star Wars Insider magazine with numerous articles on the Hero's Journey. Her FANgirl opinions can be heard on the podcasts Hyperspace Theories and Fangirls Going Rogue. Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.

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