I liked ‘Ahsoka.’ But I’m not sure you will too.
The barrier for entry on the latest ‘Star Wars’ show is high. PLUS: ‘Frozen’ launches a podcast, ‘Rick and Morty’ gets a release date, and Zack Snyder’s latest mega project has a trailer.
Welcome to last edition of Popculturology until next month.
As summer winds down, I’m getting ready to take the next week or two off from writing the newsletter, but there’s still a lot going on.
The studios embarrassed themselves by trying to corner the WGA on a deal and then going public with that deal. (There’s a good chance that the WGA strike continues even longer now thanks to the studios botching their attempt to impose a deal on the writers.)
The long-awaited Ahsoka series hit Disney+ this week. (More on that below.)
And recent political events got people trying to guess which celebrity should play Dark Brandon on Saturday Night Live. (One, who knows when we’ll see SNL again. And two, if you’re hoping to see a celebrity play a major role on SNL, you’re not a fan of SNL.)
I wrapped up the newly released Whalefall this week. The book is from writer Daniel Kraus, and I can best describe it as The Martian … but inside a sperm whale. I highly recommend this one.
I’ll talk to you all again on Sept. 8.
Feature Presentation: Ahsoka premieres
The News: A Frozen podcast, Rick and Morty return date, Fraiser’s back!
Trailer Watch: Rebel Moon
Odds and Ends: Melissa Joan Hart and Maxim
Ahsoka is good. But the buy-in is high.
I was a few days late to watching Ahsoka. The first two episodes hit Disney+ this week, making its debut basically a movie-length project. (You know, back from when movies were under two hours.)
I was hoping that Ahsoka would be right in my wheelhouse. I love Star Wars. I love Ahsoka Tano. I love The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, the two animated shows that feed into Ahsoka.
I wasn’t disappointed by Ahsoka.
I was worried that I would be, though, based on some of the reactions I had seen online since the show debuted on Tuesday night. I saw complaints about how the show looked like yet another series filmed on the flatness of The Volume or how the characters seemed unnatural.
I didn’t pick up on those issues, if they even exist.
I will say, though, that the buy-in for Ahsoka is very high if you haven’t watched Clone Wars and Rebels. Especially Rebels. I’m not quite sure what the hook is here if you aren’t up to speed on Ahsoka, Sabine Wren, Hera Syndulla and Ezra Bridger.
There’s even a gulf between what fans of Rebels knew and where Ahsoka begins. Ezra was still sending Sabine messages after he took his purrgil trip? Ahsoka at some point took on Sabine — a person with zero Force abilities — as her Jedi padawan?
There’s a buy-in — and then there’s a bigger buy-in.
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