‘Star Wars’ Finally Replaces the Sequel Trilogy

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Han Solo talking to Rey on Takodana in The Force Awakens

Credit: Lucasfilm

Star Wars has finally replaced the Sequel Trilogy.

Not so long ago, Star Wars was a film-first franchise. The Original Trilogy films, Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope (1977), Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi (1983), are still widely considered the best.

But there’s a vast amount of content bridging the gap between now and then. We’ve had the prequels, Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace (1999), Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones (2002), and Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith (2005).

Dark Side Anakin in 'Revenge of the Sith'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: ‘Star Wars’ May Finally Recast Princess Leia Next Year

And in more recent years, the three Sequel Trilogy installments, Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens (2015), Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi (2017), and Star Wars: Episode IX– The Rise of Skywalker (2019).

But the nine Skywalker Saga installments aren’t the only films in the Star Wars franchise. We’ve also had the animated film Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) and the two anthology films Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) and Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018).

De-aged Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story'
Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm

Related: ‘Ahsoka’ Retcons ‘Star Wars’ History in the Most Unexpected Way

That’s just the cinematic side of the faraway galaxy. Since The Mandalorian (2019) arrived on Disney+ in 2019, the “Mando-Verse”, along with other live-action shows outside the New Republic era, has become the new flagship era for Star Wars.

Since Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu became as iconic as Han Solo and Chewbacca, we’ve had The Book of Boba Fett (2021), Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022), Andor (2022), and now, finally, Ahsoka (2023), which fans have been waiting for for over three years.

Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu in 'The Mandalorian' Season 3
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: All 11 Ahsoka Tano Appearances Ranked From Worst to Best

As a live-action sequel to the animated show Star Wars: Rebels (2014 — 2018) — and in a way, Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008 — 2020) — Ahsoka had a lot to live up to, as fans have expected it to revisit a number of ground-breaking plot devices from Rebels.

Ahsoka has delivered in spades — perhaps not in quality storytelling, but in changing the Star Wars franchise as we know it, whether that’s with the galaxy-crossing space whales known as the purrgil, the World Between Worlds, or both.

Pod of purrgil in Episode 5 of 'Ahsoka'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related:  ‘Ahsoka’ Hides Massive Sequel Trilogy Connection in Plain Sight

For better or worse, in many ways, Ahsoka also seems to have taken the Sequel Trilogy’s place in the Star Wars franchise.

Not only are there many parallels between the two in terms of scenes, but some creative decisions in Ahsoka ultimately negate the purpose of Disney and Lucasfilm’s three sequels.

The Last Jedi poster with Thrawn and Ahsoka Tano
Credit: Inside the Magic

Related: ‘The Mandalorian’ Hides Massive ‘Ahsoka’ Connection in Plain Sight

More importantly, it’s worth pointing out that Ahsoka was never the key to “erasing” the sequels like many fans hoped it would. In fact, by introducing the World Between Worlds, it didn’t even make any changes to past Star Wars events, either.

Instead, it absolutely embraces the Disney era of Star Wars, drawing plenty of inspiration from the widely-hated Sequel Trilogy.

Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) and Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) in 'Ahsoka'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: The Sequel Trilogy Is WAY Better Than ‘The Mandalorian’ and You Know It

The series also sets the stage for Dave Filoni’s untitled Mando-Verse film, which will be released in theaters. The film will undoubtedly be marketed as the “Avengers: Endgame” of the Star Wars franchise, as it will unite many characters from the Disney+ Star Wars shows.

As such, fans may view the crossover installment as being “bigger” than The Rise of Skywalker, which serves as both the Sequel Trilogy-topper and the Skywalker Saga’s concluding chapter.

Rey about to try and rescue Chewie in The Rise of Skywalker
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Why Doesn’t Rosario Dawson Play Ahsoka in This Live-Action ‘Star Wars’ Movie?

From the get-go, Ahsoka has behaved very much like a film in its own right, from its opening text crawl to its era-defining storylines. It has also made a number of “corrections” to the Sequel Trilogy. But now, it looks like it may have replaced those films.

Here’s how.

How Ahsoka Has Replaced the Sequel Trilogy

Sabine’s Training

Sabine Wren wielding a lightsaber in 'Ahsoka'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Ahsoka has continued an annoying trend with the Disney+ shows by focusing on another character besides the titular one. In this case, there’s a surprising amount of emphasis on Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo), who’s now Ahsoka’s padawan/apprentice.

It’s a very similar storyline to Rey’s relationship with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in The Last Jedi. While that relationship is short-lived, watching a well-established Jedi like Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) train someone in the ways of the Force feels all too familiar.

Related: Despite ‘Ahsoka’ Hype, ‘Star Wars’ Will Replace Beloved Jedi Next Year

Dark Jedi

Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) aboard the hyperspace ring in 'Ahsoka'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Fans are still undecided on the nature of Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) and his apprentice Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno), however, it’s fair to say that they’re neither full Jedi nor full Sith, instead operating somewhere between the two, in a “gray” area, if you will.

Either way, they will ultimately pave the way for a very similar Force user in Kylo Ren/Ben Solo (Adam Driver), the main villain of the Sequel Trilogy, who also doesn’t fit into either category. Could this be the new way forward for Star Wars with its Force-wielding villains?

Related: Despite Epic Return, ‘Star Wars’ Officially Replaces Darth Vader

The “Holdo Maneuver “

Morgan Elsbeth, Baylan Skoll, and Shin Hati on the hyperspace ring in 'Ahsoka' Episode 6
Credit: Lucasfilm

By “Part Four: Fallen Jedi”, Ahsoka had already featured a number of references to the Sequel Trilogy. But just before the fourth episode ends, the show makes one of the biggest parallels to those films by repeating the “Holdo maneuver” from The Last Jedi.

In the film, Vice-Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) uses the hyperdrive aboard the Resistance ship to slice a First Order ship in half. In Ahsoka, Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto) performs the same maneuver with the hyperspace ring, killing many New Republic rangers as it jumps into hyperspace.

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Finally Says Goodbye to the Faraway Galaxy as We Know It

“Ahsoka Poppins” Belongs in the Sequel Trilogy

Ahsoka Tano in her space suit in 'Ahsoka' episode 3
Credit: Lucasfilm

The scene in the third episode of Ahsoka “Part Three: Time to Fly” in which Ahsoka fends off enemy ships during a space-walk has been dubbed “Ahsoka Poppins”, mirroring The Last Jedi‘s “Leia Poppins” scene (a reference, of course, to the flying nanny Mary Poppins).

There was no way Ahsoka would get away with pitting its titular character against the vacuum of space while she’s flying around deflecting enemy fire with her lightsabers. And fans wasted no time taking to X/Twitter to compare the two scenes.

While the sequence in Ahsoka is nowhere near as confusing as Leia’s sudden-power-of-slight scene (coupled with her resurrection), it still feels very deliberate.

Related: Say Goodbye to Disney’s ‘Star Wars’ Sequel Trilogy as ‘Ahsoka’ Changes Canon Forever

Ahsoka Speaking With Dead Jedi

Ahsoka in the World Between Worlds in 'Ahsoka' "Part Four: Fallen Jedi"
Credit: Lucasfilm

It turns out Rey (Daisy Ridley) wasn’t the first Jedi to speak with dead Jedi, as seen in The Rise of Skywalker. In Ahsoka‘s “Part Five: Shadow Warrior”, Ahsoka hears more than a few echoes of wisdom when she’s reunited with Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen).

Still, this is a very interesting parallel, and it makes us wonder whether Rey is hearing the Jedi speak to her from within the World Between Worlds, where Ahsoka completes her training with her old Jedi master.

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Seemingly Confirms Retconning Ahsoka, Embraces Sequel Trilogy

Ahsoka Gets a Power-up Like Rey in the Sequel Trilogy

Ahsoka the White speaking to the purrgil in 'Ahsoka' Episode 5
Credit: Lucasfilm

After completing her training with Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka becomes “Ahsoka the White”. Many fans are comparing this transformation with Gandalf the White from The Lord of the Rings, something even Dave Filoni has previously alluded to.

But what’s Disney and Lucasfilm’s obsession with giving characters a power-up without them having to truly earn it? They did the same thing with Rey throughout the Sequel Trilogy — she goes from zero to superhero without any real obstacle standing in her way.

Either way, Ahsoka Tano has already replaced Rey Skywalker as the most powerful Jedi in Star Wars canon.

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Could Introduce a Second Order 66 to Fix a Major Sequel Trilogy Mistake

Non-Lethal Lightsabers

Sabine Wren fighting Shin Hati with Ezra's lightsaber
Credit: Lucasfilm

One of the main bones of contention fans have with Ahsoka, and with Star Wars in general, is the fact that the lightsaber has become entirely ineffective against its opponent, which all started with Maul (Sam Witwer) in The Clone Wars.

Now, it has carried through to Sabine Wren, who survives a blade through the gut in Ahsoka‘s first episode, “Part One: Master and Apprentice”. It’s very similar to how Kylo Ren is defeated in The Rise of Skywalker, but at least he was Force-healed by someone.

Related: 13 Characters From the Original ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy Ranked

Zombie Sith

Marrok preparing to fight Ahsoka on Correlia
Credit: Lucasfilm

Fans tore their hair out trying to work out the identity of the Sith Inquisitor Marrok in Ahsoka. Many believed it was Ezra Bridger, while some thought it was Sam Witwer reprising his role as Galen Marek/Starkiller from the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed games.

But after being defeated by Ahsoka in “Fallen Jedi”, Marrok is revealed to be a faceless reanimated Force user, as we see a plume of green smoke billow from his body. But Zombie Sith are nothing new — there are plenty on Exegol in The Rise of Skywalker, including Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious (Ian McDiarmid).

Related: Han Solo May Have Survived, ‘Star Wars’ Suggests

Searching for a Lost Jedi

Ezra (Eman Esfandi) and Sabine (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) hug in 'Ahsoka' episode 7
Credit: Lucasfilm

Ahsoka has so far has revolved around the search for the lost Jedi Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi), who disappeared in the Rebels Season 4 finale, “Family Reunion — and Farewell” after jumping into hyperspace with the purrgil.

Naturally, this involves a special map, a lot like the one we see in The Force Awakens, as Rey sets about tracking down Luke Skywalker, who’s living with the Lanai, just as Ezra is found with the Noti in the sixth episode of Ahsoka, “Part Six: Far, Far Away”.

Related: ‘Star Wars’ May Have Just Introduced Grogu’s Replacement

Ezra Refusing the Lightsaber

Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi) in the Noti camp in 'Ahsoka'
Credit: Lucasfilm

There’s another parallel between Ezra Bridger and Luke Skywalker. In the seventh episode of Ahsoka, “Part Seven: Dreams and Madness”, Sabine offers Ezra his lightsaber so that he can join her in battle against a group of bandits and Thrawn’s night troopers, but he politely refuses it.

Instead, Ezra chooses to rely solely on the Force, which he proceeds to use swiftly against his opponents. While his motivations aren’t the same, the scene is very reminiscent of the one in The Last Jedi where Luke controversially tosses his lightsaber away after Rey hands it to him.

Related: ‘Ahsoka’ Goes Too Far, Might Ruin Huge Part of the Sequel Trilogy

Ahsoka Being Skywalker’s Padawan and Successor

Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) fighting in 'Ahsoka'
Credit: Lucasfilm

The fact that Ahsoka Tano was the padawan of a Skywalker — Anakin, no less — seems to send a shiver down Grand Admiral Thrawn’s spine. And as we already know, Ahsoka is one of the most powerful Jedi alive at the time the series takes place.

We’ve even seen her get an “upgrade” to Ahsoka the White after her second experience in the World Between Worlds. And as far as we know, she’s also the only other Jedi, along with Ezra Bridger, to have visited the mystical dimension.

But Ahsoka isn’t the only Skywalker padawan. Decades after Ahsoka takes place, Luke Skywalker will train Rey, who also becomes an all-powerful Jedi. But has Ahsoka now replaced Rey? It wouldn’t surprise us, as she’s slowly replacing Luke as the figurehead of the franchise.

Related: All Upcoming ‘Star Wars’ TV Shows and Movies

Ignoring Legacy Characters is a Sequel Trilogy Trait

Ahsoka Tano with Luke Skywalker in 'The Book of Boba Fett'
Credit: Lucasfilm

It might sound silly to say that Ahsoka is ignoring legacy Star Wars characters, considering C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) makes a surprise appearance in “Dreams and Madness”, but the show is taking a leaf out of the Sequel Trilogy book where such characters are concerned.

One of the most unforgivable sins the sequels commit is not reuniting characters like Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Luke Skywalker, and Leia (Carrie Fisher) in the same scene. And so far, the Mando-Verse has had just as many “scattered” cameos from OG characters, such as Luke, R2-D2, and now C-3PO.

As per Disney and Lucasfilm, here’s the official trailer for Ahsoka:

Related: ‘Star Wars’ May Recast Luke Skywalker Next Year, Amid Character’s Uncertain Future

Ahsoka stars Rosario Dawson (Ahsoka Tano), Natasha Liu Bordizzo (Sabine Wren), Eman Esfandi (Ezra Bridger), Lars Mikkelsen (Grand Admiral Thrawn), Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Hera Syndulla), Genevieve O’Reilly (Mon Mothma), Ivanna Sakhno (Shin Hati), Diana Lee Inosanto (Morgan Elsbeth), and the late Ray Stevenson (Baylan Skoll).

Ahsoka is now streaming on Disney+. The eighth and final episode will stream on October 3.

Do you think Ahsoka has replaced the Sequel Trilogy? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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