The newest Disney+ Star Wars series, Ahsoka, will be the first series in Star Wars history to star a character introduced in animation (anyone thinking, “Um, actually, Boba Fett was introduced in an animated short during the Star Wars Holiday Special,” no, technically Boba Fett was introduced in a parade that predates both the Holiday Special and The Empire Strikes Back,). As such, fans, new and old, are scrambling to watch “essential” episodes of The Clone Wars and Rebels to better understand the character before the Ahsoka premiere on August 23. And while you absolutely should watch The Clone Wars and Rebels because they’re great shows in their own right, the only episode you really need to watch before Ahsoka is the Rebels finale, “Family Reunion – and Farewell.”
The Rebels finale puts all of the pieces in place for Ahsoka by showing what happened to Ezra Bridger and Grand Admiral Thrawn—the two people Ahsoka is looking for at the beginning of her series.
Okay, so technically, the finale is two episodes, but we’re cheating a little bit because it’s really just one long story that wraps up four seasons of Star Wars Rebels and sets up the events leading into Ahsoka.
The Rebels finale puts all of the pieces in place for Ahsoka by showing what happened to Ezra Bridger and Grand Admiral Thrawn—the two people Ahsoka is looking for at the beginning of her series and gives a good idea of where Sabine Wren and Hera Syndulla are—mentally, emotionally, and physically, at the beginning of Ahsoka.
Watching “Family Reunion – and Farewell” is plenty of preparation for Ahsoka. It’s enough to answer questions like “Where were Ezra and Thrawn during the original Star Wars trilogy?”
Watching the Star Wars Rebels finale is also a good introduction to Sabine and Hera, as well as Chopper and Ezra, all Rebels characters confirmed to be making the jump to live-action Ahsoka along with Ahsoka. While a finale might seem like a weird jumping on point, let’s not forget that the end of Rogue One is the beginning of A New Hope.
Star Wars whole MO is starting stories in media res—a film term meaning in the middle of things. The very first shot of the very first movie is a ship chasing another ship with no explanation of who’s chasing who or why.
It’s only through context clues that you start to figure out what’s going on, and it happens almost immediately with the way the Star Destroyer is framed to look like a predator and the rebel blockade runner prey. With just the rudimentary knowledge that the ragtag bunch surrounding Ahsoka are the good guys and the blue guy with the red eyes is the bad guy, the Star Wars Rebels finale quickly begins to make sense as a precursor to the live-action Ahsoka series.
Watching the Rebels finale is also a good introduction to Sabine and Hera, as well as Chopper and Ezra, all Rebels characters confirmed to be making the jump to live action along with Ahsoka.
Using that logic, you could even skip the animated series altogether and watch Ahsoka with no preparation whatsoever. Ahsoka creator Dave Filoni has already gone on record as saying that fans don’t need to do any special preparation prior to watching the pilot in order to enjoy Ahsoka.
Of course, coming in with a little bit of foreknowledge doesn’t hurt, and Filoni himself, when pressed, suggested that fans watch the entirety of Star Wars Rebels season 4 if they really want to know what’s going on in Ahsoka.
We don’t think you need to go that far. Watching “Family Reunion – and Farewell” is plenty of preparation for Ahsoka. It’s enough to answer questions like “Where were Ezra and Thrawn during the original Star Wars trilogy?” so fans can instead focus on the more important things when watching Ahsoka like, “Where was this Baylen the Inquisitor guy during the original trilogy?”