Despite following Clone Wars hero Ahsoka, the upcoming streaming epic has been teased as "a continuation" of Rebels, acting as a defacto Season 5 to the beloved show.
This will come in the form of a direct follow-up of Rebels' cliffhanger ending and the mission to find the animated series' protagonist Ezra Bridger.
Ahsoka Star's Take on Rebels
Ahsoka star Natasha Liu Bordizzo broke down just how vital it is to watch Star Wars Rebels before the upcoming Ahsoka series.
Speaking with SFX Magazine, the Sabine Wren actress remarked that fans will not have to have seen Rebels before Ahsoka, but "it will add more weight to everything:"
“it will add more weight to everything that’s going on, but it’s fine if you haven’t."
This is in line with former Ahsoka actress Ashley Eckstein's thinking about the upcoming show, who recently said she "highly recommend that you take the time to watch [these series]" before Ahsoka:
"I highly recommend that you take the time to watch [these series]. Because if you don't, you're going to miss out on crucial, crucial backstory that you really need to know to fully enjoy the 'Ahsoka' series, which is so exciting."
Bordizzo added in her SFX interview, when Ahsoka picks up, despite plenty of time passing between Rebels and the upcoming series, "the same things are at the top of her [character's] mind" that were when Rebels came to a close:
“At the end of 'Rebels' we found Sabine at this specific point where they’d liberated Lothal and she’d just lost her friend. Even though a lot of time has passed at the start of our show, the same things are at the top of her mind.”
Speaking on her what will push her character forward in Ahsoka, Bordizzo revealed "[finding Ezra] is definitely one of her biggest driving forces" in the series:
“I don’t know if [what happened with the Darksaber] really weighs on her - if anything weighed on her, it was accidentally creating that weapon that was used against Mandalorians in the war - but [finding Ezra] is definitely one of her biggest driving forces. That crew was the only family she had left and obviously she and Ezra had shared a special bond since the start of it all. It’s something that’s both a strength and a weakness for her.”
She also mentioned the "deep level of respect that Sabine has for Ahsoka," noting that the two have "been through a lot in the time that has passed" and the series will explore some of that:
“I think there’s a deep level of respect that Sabine has for Ahsoka, as someone to learn from. In the show they’ve been through a lot in the time that has passed, some of which we know about, some of which we don’t. Their quests kind of end up overlapping, bringing them back together, and there’s tension and there’s things they’ve been through that they need to work out. Their reunion’s interesting!”
Should Fans Watch Rebels Before Ahsoka?
As Natasha Liu Bordizzo said, fans do not need to feel obligated to watch all four seasons of Rebels before Ahsoka debuts, but they will be rewarded if they do.
Bordizzo herself previously revealed she "watched everything" including Rebels before she got on set as Sabine just so she knew who her character was and the context of the galaxy as a whole when Ahsoka picks up.
For one, nearly every main character from Rebels will come back, with each of them having dealt with the time that has passed since their animated series ended in different ways.
This includes Lars Mikkelsen's villainous Grand Admiral Thrawn, who played a key role in Rebels and is now seemingly being set up to be the big bad of the MandoVerse.
For fans that are wanting that added context, knowing where these characters came from and the dynamics that have ebbed and bowed between them, then a Rebels watch is a must (with a possible run through The Clone Wars for extra credit).
But for those that are okay jumping in blind and being introduced to these characters here, then there is - at least according to Bordizzo - no need to binge through the series in anticipation of Ahoksa.
Ahoksa is set to begin its streaming run on Wednesday, August 23.