Maybe Star Wars shows asking you to watch other shows isn’t a bad thing

Ahsoka episode 7. Image courtesy
Ahsoka episode 7. Image courtesy /

Many of the online fan complaints surrounding Ahsoka come from its deep ties to Star Wars Rebels. The two shows are closely connected, featuring key characters making the journey from animation to live-action Star Wars for the very first time.

Many viewers have scoffed that the show “demands” that other Star Wars shows be watched to fully appreciate Ahsoka. I understand where these complaints are coming from. But I’ve also seen this before. These are the same fans who get upset when Star Wars books add interesting lore to the canon even though no one is demanding these books “need” to be read to enjoy other Star Wars stories.

Media rewards consumers who consume franchises in their entirety. This is not going to change. Star Wars Rebels  fans were rewarded with heartfelt mentions of Kanan Jarrus, remembering certain backstories, and having full context for certain relationships. But the show, not once, included a moment where a casual Star Wars fan could not follow the show because they hadn’t seen another show.

There is a difference between “I didn’t understand that because it actually was not explained” and “I might appreciate this moment more if I go watch this other show, even though this moment still made sense in its own context.”

It’s not “homework.” It’s a reward. You’re not entitled to the reward if you choose not to watch the show or read the book or whatever it may be. It doesn’t take away from your understanding of the show, you just don’t get the reward other fans get for watching what you didn’t.

What I’ve seen, instead of masses of fans not understanding Ahsoka, is people excitedly rushing to shows like The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels to view new stories. The show didn’t withhold essential information from them, and they weren’t left confused by material taken from shows they hadn’t watched. The show suggested they go watch other shows for the first time after finishing the current one, and now they are.

Just because all Star Wars is connected doesn’t mean you personally have to watch everything it offers you. A show is not “in the wrong” for doing that.

As a Star Wars fan, don’t you want other Star Wars fans to discover new stories set in the universe they might enjoy — even if that’s not what you want to get out of it?

Star Wars shows are constructed so that they can exist individually from season to season, and if that’s all you watch, you get the point. The experience is enriched by having previously consumed other media, but this is not a requirement in order to enjoy the entertainment provided for you.

I would rather fans be encouraged to go check out Star Wars they haven’t seen yet. The galaxy is ever-growing with stories building off one another — that is what stories in a shared universe do, and what they will always do.

You don’t have to consume the media you personally missed out on — no one is forcing you to do that. Don’t take away another fan’s joy because you’re disappointed. If you don’t like shared universe storytelling, you can stick with the Star Wars you like and not worry about the rest.

All episodes of Star Wars: Ahsoka are available to stream exclusively on Disney+.

dark. Next. Star Wars: Ahsoka will probably make more sense later

Follow Dork Side of the Force for all your Star Wars news, reviews, and more!