Star Wars had a very busy 2023. As fans, the amount of content received was extensive. New seasons of fan favorites, like The Bad Batch and The Mandalorian, and new series premieres with Ahsoka spoiled us on TV. At the same time, the release of the Jedi: Survivor videogame saw the continuation of Cal Kestis's story, and we had a Star Wars Celebration in London between it all. There were many exciting things throughout the year.
Here are the 5 most memorable Star Wars moments from 2023.
1. Bo-Katan is Mand'alor
While season 3 of The Mandalorian had its share of ups and downs, one of the most memorable points was Bo-Katan's reascension to the role of Mand'alor. While originally 'granted' that title during the Star Wars Rebels animated series, her role as the leader of Mandalore was never fully recognized. After losing the Darksaber to Moff Gideon, faith in her leadership diminished. Season 3 of The Mandalorian saw her rise again into that unifying role. After earning the Darksaber from Din Djarin, she led the assault on the Imperial installation on her home planet, ending Moff Gideon's rule (or did he?). Ironically, the Darksaber was destroyed in the process, but freedom from its restrictive dogma came with its destruction. No longer was an object the true definition of a leader, and with the Great Forge lit once more, Bo-Katan would turn to lead her people in rebuilding Mandalore.
2. The Loss of a Brother
Premiering in January, Season 2 of Star Wars: The Bad Batch kickstarted the year to come. Season 2 provided many enticing stories, from the continuation of the cloning narratives to the struggles experienced by Crosshair and the other clones and the Empire's eventual plans for phasing out traditional clone troopers. By focusing more on the relationships and emotional toil between the characters, there was depth provided that we didn't get in Season 1. We grew more attached to these characters, culminating in the most memorable moment from Season 2: the death of Tech. Season 2 spends a significant amount of time, especially compared to Season 1, building out Tech's character from the riot racing on Safa Toma to a bit of Star Wars history during a moment shared by him and Omega while mining Ipsium and the relationship between him and Phee Genoa. Ultimately, as Tech would say, his sacrifice shouldn't have come as a surprise as it was logical, but that didn't make it any less difficult to watch.
3. A Trio of New Movies
Taking place from April 7th to April 10th, Star Wars Celebration was finally back in Europe at the ExCel in London. Having gone to Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim in 2022, there is nothing like it on the planet. Celebration offers numerous opportunities for memorable moments, with countless panels, interviews, and reveals, but the most memorable (impactful) moment to come out of this Celebration was the movie roadmap. While there were other noteworthy moments, such as the trailer (and Thrawn reveal) for Ahsoka or the sneak peek from The Acolyte, these were projects we already knew were coming. The announcement of three new movie projects was something less expected, but one many Star Wars fans were excited to hear. Star Wars shared that The Lucasfilm Studio Showcase revealed that James Mangold will direct a story set during the dawn of the Jedi. Dave Filoni's (recently promoted to Chief Creative Officer) project will take place during the New Republic. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy's story will occur after The Rise of Skywalker. The most significant and exciting announcement was when we learned that Daisy Ridley would be back to reprise her role as Rey and that she would lead the formation of a new Jedi Order. Project timelines aren't yet known, but it's safe to say the movie lineup is incredibly exciting!
4. Jedi: Survivor
Star Wars: Jedi Survivor was released in April and was the long-awaited sequel to Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order (2019). Continuing the journey of Cal Kestis, this visually beautiful video game has an equally phenomenal story. After spending over 70 hours in the game, completing every last task, there are so many incredible sequences that it makes defining a single, memorable moment challenging. I could spend a whole article gushing about this game, but three distinct moments come to mind: a battle, a betrayal, and a brush with darkness. Of the three, the most memorable and surprising was the betrayal of Cal Kestis by Bode Akuna. Throughout the first two acts, there is little to suggest the impending backstab, with this moment being the lynchpin for the entire third act and changing the story's trajectory entirely. Bode's betrayal directly leads to the loss of two characters close to Cal and sends him down a path toward darkness, which he wrestles with for the remainder of the game. If you still haven't played it, and you enjoyed Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, then do yourself a favor! It was a top gaming experience for 2023, and I can't wait to see where they take the story from here.
5. Once More Unto The Clone Wars
Ahsoka was undoubtedly the most anticipated Star Wars project to release in 2023. Even more so than the continuation of The Mandalorian, this new series would explore Ahsoka Tano's hunt for Grand Admiral Thrawn and bring even more beloved animated characters to live-action. Thrawn's eventual reveal was memorable, though his extensive usage in the marketing trailers softened it. No, the series' most memorable moment was in "Part Five: Shadow Warrior." After revealing Anakin Skywalker to Ahsoka in The World Between Worlds in "Part Four: Fallen Jedi," we are gifted a pair of incredible Star Wars: The Clone Wars flashbacks in Part Five. In The World Between Worlds, we see Jedi Knight Anakin leading and mentoring a young Ahsoka Tano amid an ongoing battle. Ahsoka is reminded that her training must adapt and that to survive, she must fight. After an incredible exit shot where Anakin flashes to Vader and then back, we transition to a fight during The Seige of Mandalore, as seen in The Clone Wars Season 7. We see Ahsoka slicing and dicing her way through 'Mauldalorians,' and Anakin remarks that he doesn't recall the battle. That's because he was on Coruscant (and later became Vader) when this occurred. Anakin and Ahsoka discuss their legacies that she is all of him, but she has not forgiven herself for his turn. Lastly, a duel between the pair gives us 'Fallen Anakin', providing one more lesson as Ahsoka is thrown back into The World Between Worlds, forced to confront (and deal with) her past one final time.