Must-Watch Star Wars Episodes to Understand ‘Ahsoka’
The Mandalorian introduced and mentioned many characters who you may not know but who have been important for a long time. Let’s get to know them better.
The Mandalorian did something special and brought together the Star Wars fandom in a way not often seen by the movies. And not only that, but it shined a light on the quality we should expect from the Star Wars television shows. If you’ve been a long-time fan of the other shows you’ve known for a while now how good the galaxy’s representation on TV can be. But if The Mandalorian was your first time meeting some characters who have been around in animation for years, you may want to brush up before Ahsoka premiers this August.
The Clone Wars
The Clone Wars Movie (2008): Lots of things about the earliest version of The Clone Wars are frankly skippable. In fact, the first entire season of the animated series can be hard to watch and was clearly written for a younger audience and the fans the show ended up finding in the end. That said, this 98-minute-long movie from 2008 will give you your very first introduction to Ahsoka Tano as Anakin Skywalker‘s padawan and sets up their rapport and friendship going forward. She’s written to be a little annoying, but she’s also young. And the way that she shifts into one of the most likable and loved characters in Star Wars is a little like watching your younger sibling grow up in front of you.
Season 4 Episode 14: The first official introduction of Bo Katan, a solid episode for getting to know who Ahsoka is as a person and a feature of Death Watch. This one episode does a lot of legwork introducing you to concepts and people who will come back later in the cartoons as well as in Mandalorian and beyond.
Season 5 Episodes 14-16: Possibly the most important episodes for understanding the Mandalorian story arcs. These three episodes feature some of the strife on Mandalore that is all but legend by the time of The Mandalorian and shows the true danger and power of Death Watch as well as featuring Bo Katan very prominently. And Darth Maul is back.
Season 5 Episodes 17-20: These are perhaps the most important episodes for understanding Ahsoka. These episodes in season five explain the end of her time with the Jedi order and why we no longer see Anikan’s padawan in any of the movies. This is also why she prefers to act as a rogue agent. It feels a little unclear in the Ahsoka trailers if she has decided to take the ‘Jedi’ title back on. But for a long time, she considered herself to be “no Jedi” and these episodes explain all of it.
Season 7 Episodes 8-12: This is the Siege of Mandalore. These episodes feature Ahsoka and Bo Katan strongly and provide an amount of background and history on Mandalore that is almost necessary to understand Bo Katan and the people who raised Din. But perhaps more importantly, these episodes also run parallel on the timeline with Order 66. Ahsoka finds herself forced to face off against clones who were her friends moments prior. All while her former master is falling to the Dark Side on the other side of the galaxy. These episodes can be watched as a movie, and that movie is great. And an absolute gut punch.
Season 1 Episodes 8-9: Lots of Rebels characters are making appearances in Ahsoka, and you’re going to want to get to know all of them. Partially because they’re gearing up to be important, but also because they’re delightful.
Season 1 Episodes 13-15: You may not know this, but Ahsoka being reintroduced as an adult in Rebels was huge. It had come out before the seventh season of The Clone Wars. We hadn’t seen Ahsoka in so long that we weren’t even sure if she was still alive! Turns out she’s doing great and working with the Rebellion. This episode provides that re-introduction.
Season 2 Episode 18: An episode we knew had to happen but gutting nonetheless. This is when Ahsoka comes to terms with what’s happened to Anikan and processes the loss of her old master. It’s key to understanding some of the things she says to Din Djarin regarding the corruption of the dark side. She’s seen it firsthand.
Season 3 Episode 5: This isn’t the first time we meet Thrawn, but it’s a pretty good introduction to him. Hera Syndulla is on her homeworld of Ryloth to retrieve a family heirloom. But Grand Thrawn Admiral is already there in an occupying-Ryloth-for-the-Empire capacity. It introduces him as the smart, ruthless, art-collecting villain we all know as well as the why they’re mortal enemies.
Season 3 Episodes 15-16: We’re back on Mandalore and learning about the Darksaber – Mandalore and the Darksaber. It’s shown up a few times in Rebels at this point, but these episodes are key for learning about its history and importance.
Season 4 Episodes 1-2: If you want to see Bo Katan getting her Darksaber and leading Mandalore, see firsthand why the Mandalorians of The Mandalorian have such a personal hatred for The Empire, these episodes will answer so many questions you didn’t even know you had. You’ll even get something of a happy ending. Until you remember that this all happens before Moff Gideon gets his hands on the Darksaber.
Season 4 Episode 13: This is an Ahsoka-heavy episode that gets into some of the deep Force lore. It’s great and weird, and talks about the Force in a way that’s mystical and huge, while never getting silly.
Season 4 Episodes 15-16: The two-part series finale of Rebels seems to be bringing us right up to where Ahsoka is starting. It explains why Thrawn and Ezra are missing for Ahsoka to be looking for them. The episode also shows us where the characters scatter after the events of the series.
Season 2 Episode 13: You’ve probably seen The Mandalorian. But while we’re waiting for Ahsoka to premiere, it’s worth the review. This episode was her first introduction in live action as well as our first Ahsoka sighting post-Galactic-Civil-War. She gives Din helpful young-Jedi-raising advice and mentions that she’s on the search for Grand Admiral Thrawn. Effectively setting up everything to come.
The Book of Boba Fett
Episode 6: Once again, Ahsoka is only briefly in this show. And that’s probably for the best since she appeared in an episode that I can only describe as a very-long-commercial-for-The-Mandalorian. Once again we see her trying to give Din advice where young Grogu is concerned. But now she is also helping Luke Skywalker with the earliest stages of his future Jedi school. They speak briefly, sort of dancing around the subject of Anakin.
And now you have your homework! Have you seen Clone Wars and Rebels? Which episodes would you recommend as must-sees for fans of The Mandalorian who want to be prepared for Ahsoka in August? Which episodes are your all-time favorites? Let us know in the comments! You can check out our handy guide to what order to watch Star Wars in right here!
May the Force be with you, adventurers!