Star Wars fans are usually a contentious bunch and famously can’t agree on anything – believe me, I’m of them. That era of strife has now ended, though, because everyone watching Episode 5 of Star Wars: Ahsoka can agree on this one thing: Young Ahsoka actress Ariana Greenblatt is amazing in the role.
Episode 5 featured flashback scenes from Ahsoka’s youth, in essence recreating sequences from Dave Filoni’s animated show Star Wars: The Clone Wars, in which the character debuted back in the day. Everyone on the crew did a fantastic job with this: Everyone’s costumes and style was translated into live-action nearly perfectly, Hayden Christensen – unbelievably well de-aged – gave us the best Anakin Skywalker of all time, and Greenblatt nailed her Ahsoka.
This is not an easy feat, because fans have essentially made these scenes up in their minds for over a decade now – the fact that everything matched and even surpassed those expectations says a lot about how well this was executed. Greenblatt, who previously starred in Avengers: Infinity War as the young Gamora and most recently played the role of Sasha in Barbie, had big shoes to fill here. For the generation that was introduced to Star Wars with the animated series, Ahsoka is basically the main character of the saga. Sorry, Luke.
One particularly moving moment in the flashback shows Ahsoka comforting a wounded clone trooper by tenderly holding the blinded man’s hand. Greenblatt’s face shows a small, reminiscing smile – Ahsoka had fought side by side with these clones for three years before being unwillingly betrayed by them through Order 66, so imagine the emotions racing through her mind – before changing into a pained look, close to tears.
For anyone who watched The Clone Wars and may even have grown up alongside Ahsoka as a character, that single expression transported so much history and emotion, it’s really wonderful.
It should also remind us that Greenblatt’s job here wasn’t just to portray a young Ahsoka as she was back in The Clone Wars. She’s still the old Ahsoka Rosario Dawson is playing, haunted by her own guilt and doubts, who finds herself transported to scenes of her past to work through all of that. Marvelous work all around.
For information on the latest episode of Star Wars: Ahsoka, check out where the show takes place on the Star Wars timeline or read our Purgill explained and Jacen Syndulla explained articles – those will catch you up in no time, if you’re not familiar with the animated shows.
Ariana Greenblatt is next set to appear as Tiny Tina in the movie adaptation of the Borderlands video game series. As a famous Star Wars meme goes: We shall be watching her career with great interest.