Dave Filoni used the Ahsoka Disney Plus show to expand Star Wars beyond the one galaxy we know and love. In Rebels, Thrawn and Ezra jumped to another galaxy, which our heroes in Ahsoka had to find before the baddies did. As with many things in the franchise, Filoni was actually following the influence of George Lucas.
Star Wars always stayed within the one network of planets under George Lucas. Places like Tattooine, Naboo, and Endor make regular appearances in his Star Wars movies to create the feeling of a living universe. Filoni’s Star Wars series has challenged that, but only using information from Lucas.
See, the prequels provided the engine for Ahsoka without us even realizing it. “I think it’s in Attack of the Clones,” Filoni explains to Vanity Fair. “If you look, there’s an image of the galaxy, and then there are actually these smaller galaxies near it. So I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s interesting’.”
It’s certainly fascinating and ripe for exploitation if a storyline requires a remote location beyond even that of Luke Skywalker‘s hermitage in the sequels. Introducing a far-off galaxy not only gave Grand Admiral Thrawn and Ezra Bridger somewhere to be stuck for several years, but it also provided a solid MacGuffin for Ahsoka, Sabine Wren, and Star Wars villain Baylan Skoll to race toward.
In Ahsoka, Thrawn winds up on Peridea, a distant planet the Purrgil (space whales) travel to that has statues of the Mortis Gods. It’s a mysterious place crawling with force energy, and at the end of the season, Ahsoka, Sabine, Baylan, and Shin Hati are still stuck there while Thrawn and Ezra are back at Mustafar.
Ahsoka also brought in the Nightsisters, so force magic has suddenly become way more important to the franchise. We even got zombie stormtroopers! Filoni brought some high ambitions to the Disney Plus show, and some of them are controversial. I’m quite happy for the Star Wars galaxy to become a full universe, but that original framing was “in a galaxy far, far away…” so I understand if people think there’s some mission drift.
But you can’t deny where Filoni is drawing from. Lucas had a lot of ideas for Star Wars that remain untapped, and Filoni is gradually working through them. I expect the canon to be rocked further when the Skeleton Crew release date and the The Acolyte release date arrive.
A good thing, too. As one of the best Star Wars characters once put it, “Let the past die, kill it if you have to.” And if the thing that kills the past is drawn from the past itself? All the better. Be sure to give out new Star Wars movie guide a look for the films coming up, and our guide to the Star Wars movies in order if that has you feeling retrospective about Lucas’s work.