The Ahsoka premiere episodes on Disney Plus gave fans a whole new world of Star Wars. But while it was a brand new story, continuing from the Star Wars: Rebels animated series, there were a lot of familiar moments. In many ways, Ahsoka homages Star Wars in the most brilliant of ways, but also adds some nostalgic touches to a new show.
Please note that the following will contain spoilers for the Ahsoka premiere episodes 1 and 2.
Ahsoka Premiere Episodes Feel Familiar
The first episode of Ahsoka begins with two mysterious characters in Jedi robes, claiming to be Jedi, boarding a civilian transport ship. The two characters appear noble and sombre, similar to Jedi, but their motivations are unknown. This feels like the opening sequence of The Phantom Menace when Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and a young Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) board a Trade Federation ship to engage in diplomatic relations.
However, in Ahsoka, things take a turn when these two supposed Jedi lay waste to a ship full of innocents. The very clearly non-Jedis, Baylon Skoll (Ray Stevenson) and Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno), slash their way through innocent Republic members as their introduction to the show. It feels very much like Darth Vader’s introduction in the first-ever Star Wars film, A New Hope when she captures Princess Leia’s (Carrie Fisher) ship. Also like the ending of Rogue One where Vader lays siege to another military ship of innocents, which chronologically is moments right before he caught up with Leia in A New Hope.
Shin Hati Spying On Ahsoka Homages Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
Later on in the Ahsoka premiere episode, We see the Padawan to the mysterious Baylon, Shin Hati, sent on a mission to Lothal. When wondering why, Baylon informs her that Ahsoka’s (Rosario Dawson) former Padawan Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) lives on Lothal. After a while, we see a probe droid find Sabine, and hover back to a ridge where Shin is, confirming Sabine’s whereabouts.
The moment is very similar, visually with how they frame the shot to a moment from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. When the Emperor dispatched his apprentice, Darth Maul, to find the Princess of Naboo, he arrives on Tatooine and with the confirmation of a probe droid, goes after our heroes.
A Sabine Moment In Ahsoka Homages Star Wars: Rebels
One of the more direct, and intentional Ashoka Star Wars homages is with Sabine Wren herself. At the end of episode 2, after her defeat by Shin and losing the map needed to find Thrawn and Ezra, Sabine is kind of at rock bottom. She decides to fully commit to this new adventure and rejoin Ahsoka in her search for Thrawn. And Ezra. She does this after quietly reflecting on her situation. With a blade in front, she is on her knees before she decides to cut her long locks and go back to her usual short hairstyle as sported in Rebels.
This is a direct Ahsoka homage to a scene in Rebels. Before embarking on one of their most important missions, Kanan Jarrus, the Jedi master of the Rebels crew, cuts off his long ponytailed hair, choosing a more close-cut hairdo. This moment took on bigger significance seeing how that mission is where Kanan gave his life for his friends and the rebellion at large. Sabine doing the same before embarking on an important mission of her own is a direct tribute to the first master who taught her to wield a lightsaber.
Ahsoka Homages Star Wars With Another Fraught Master-Padawan Relationship
And while this isn’t an exact homage or connection it’s an often-used Star Wars concept that Ahsoka revisits. In the original Trilogy, we see Luke (Mark Hamill) cut his Jedi training with Yoda short to go save his friends. Anakin’s (Hayden Christensen) training and relationship with Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) was fraught and ended terribly in the prequel trilogy. And Rey (Daisy Ridley) mirrors Luke’s actions by cutting her training with him short and leaving to save her friends in the sequel trilogy.
Even in Rebels, Kanan Jarrus himself had his master fall to Order 66 before his training could be completed. Then the same situation was mirrored as Kanan sacrificed himself before he could complete Ezra’s training. So when Ashoka begins, audiences are again introduced to a young Padawan, who has not completed their training but will embark on an an adventure despite it.
Ahsoka is now in Disney+.
Are there any other Ahsoka homages to other Star Wars works that you noticed during the Ahsoka premiere episodes? Let us know in the comments below. Or reach out to me on Twitter (X) at @theshahshahid to discuss Ahsoka and everything Star Wars-related.