If you don’t have a Disney+ subscription, then your last experience with the Star Wars franchise was likely when The Rise of Skywalker opened in theaters in late 2019 and concluded the Skywalker Saga. Those subscribed to the Mouse House’s streaming service, on the other hand, have been kept well fed with Star Wars content in recent years thanks to various TV shows, with The Mandalorian kicking off the platform’s original offerings set in a galaxy far, far away shortly before Episode IX’s arrival. Ahsoka is the latest of these shows to arrive, and while there are already been some complaints directed against the Rosario Dawson-led series, I think it’s great so far. In fact, all the Disney+ Star Wars shows have been pretty epic so far.
To be clear, I’m not saying they’re perfect. Many of them could benefit from more practical shoots rather than hanging out at The Volume, the CGI de-aging and AI voice replication both need refining, and I know not the only one who was dismayed when The Book of Boba Fett started feeling more like The Mandalorian Season 2.5. But overall, there have been more positives than negatives, and here are the reasons why the Star Wars franchise has a good thing going with these TV shows.
These Shows Are Keeping Star Wars In The Public Consciousness
Star Wars has been a multimedia franchise for essentially all of its existence, but obviously the movies were the main way it grabbed the public’s attention at first. Sure, various novels, comic books and video games were released in the hiatuses between Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace, and Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens. The latter era also benefitted from Star Wars: The Clone Wars airing six of its seven seasons, as well as launching Star Was Rebels the year prior to Episode VII opening.
While there are some upcoming Star Wars movies officially slated (more on that later), none of them are dated. Maybe one will be ready to go up 2025 or 2026 at the earliest, or maybe we’ll have to wait until the 2030s until this franchise’s next theatrical tale. Either way, the Star Wars shows are nicely filling in to generate talk among hardcore fans and the general public. And let’s be honest, the majority of these shows feel cinematic anyway, besides not being able to watch them on the big screen. It’ll be great when Star Wars movies eventually return, but until then, Disney+’s Star Wars content is keeping interest high.
It’s Been Welcome Having Longer, More Fleshed-Out Stories
The Star Wars movies are by no means short, which each one clocking in between two-two and a half hours. When you add up the total runtime of each trilogy, and then tally up how long the Skywalker Saga is overall, the length of spinoff movies like Rogue One and Solo, that’s enough to keep one busy hours. Still, there’s only so much that can be accomplished within one movie runtime, especially when it comes to character work. That’s one advantage Disney+’s Star Wars shows have over the movies.
Granted, runtimes on episodes of these series can range anywhere from only half an hour to well over an hour, but altogether, the episodes provide a much better platform for fleshing out characters and telling more intricately detailed stories. Over the course of The Mandalorian’s three seasons, plus some Book of Boba Fett episodes, we’ve seen Din Dijarin grow from a bounty hunter just concerned with surviving and making money to a heroic father figure to Grogu. That kind of story couldn’t have been effectively told within a movie. Even Obi-Wan Kenobi, which had originally been developed for the silver screen, arguably benefitted from the TV show treatment.
There’s A Variety Of Star Wars Shows To Choose From
If all of Disney+’s Star Wars shows were all connected and tonally similar to The Mandalorian, then I would understand disappointment surrounding the franchise’s small screen offerings. Fortunately, that’s not what Lucasfilm is doing. Yes, The Book of Boba Fett and Ahsoka are narratively tied together (more on that in the next section), but there’s still enough to make these shows stand out in unique ways, between Boba Fett’s exploration of Tatooine’s criminal underworld and Tusken Raider culture, to Ahsoka following up on plot threads left behind in Star Wars Rebels and spotlighting one of the few powerful Force users in the post-Return of the Jedi era.
But even if none of these shows are appealing to you, there are plenty of others to choose from. If you’re looking to recapture the Prequel Trilogy vibe and reunite with an old, Force-wielding friend, watch Obi-Wan Kenobi. If you’re looking for a more grounded Star Wars show that heavily explores the moral complexities of the Galactic Civil War, watch Andor. If you want a direct follow-up to The Clone Wars, The Bad Batch, which has one more season left, is a must watch. If you’re looking to watch beautifully-designed ‘what if’-style stories that don’t affect the main continuity, then tune into Visions. I could go on, but the point being that Star Wars TV isn’t an all or none thing. There’s a variety of content at your disposal.
Some Of These Shows Are Paving The Way For An Epic Star Wars Movie
As mentioned earlier, Lucasfilm has several Star Wars movies on the way, including one reuniting with Daisy Ridley’s Rey 15 years after the events of The Rise of Skywalker, and another exploring the discovery of the Force and dawn of the Jedi tens of thousands of years ago (Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy says the two projects are linked in a key way). And then there’s Dave Filoni’s Star Wars movie, which will, as officially stated, “close out the interconnected stories told in” The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Ahsoka and more. As if these shows didn’t already feel cinematic, now fans will have the pleasure of watching this Star Wars saga close out in a story intended for the big screen.
Once again, if this corner of the Star Wars franchise doesn’t interest you, that’s fine. Those two other Star Wars movies are on the way, plus filmmakers like Taika Waititi and Shawn Levy have their own movies in development. But for those invested in these particular TV shows, there’s some major payoff lined up that will end this chapter of the franchise with a bang. Given how many fans are invested in characters like Din Djarin and Ahsoka Tano, it’s only appropriate that their stories get some coverage in a blockbuster setting.
We’re over the halfway mark with Ahsoka, and not only have I been immensely enjoying it, it’s another reminder of how good with have it with Star Wars TV these days. If you’ve been sleeping on this corner of the franchise, head over to Disney+ to give it another try. That platform is also where one can easily stream the Star Wars movies in order and check out classic programming like the Clone Wars microseries.