This week saw the much-anticipated premiere of Ahsoka as the new Star Wars series brings the former Jedi padawan into live action. It’s already kicked things off in a new direction for the series and some great throwbacks to the Rebels animated series. Like other Star Wars shows, it’s filled with some Easter Eggs and details for Star Wars fans. Here’s a quick rundown of the big and small references some may have missed in the first two episodes of Ahsoka, and make a rewatch even better.
Caution: This article contains SPOILERS for the first two episodes of Ahsoka.
The first episode begins by bringing back Morgan Elsbeth, the aid for Grand Admiral Thrawn that Ahsoka captured in The Mandalorian. She’s rescued by former Jedi Baylan Skoll and Shin Hati while Ahsoka checks out a planet named Arcana. It turns out Elsbeth is one of the Nightsisters of Dathomir, often referred to as “Force witches.” First appearing in a 1993 novel, they’ve popped up in other media, mysterious women with Elsbeth tied into Thrawn.
It’s also a fun homage to how she’s referred to as “Lady Morgan,” a nod to Morgan le Fay from the King Arthur legends. Morgan is shown using the magic to activate the star map, indicating her powers are even greater than they seem.
Fallen Order temple
As she checks out the Nightsister temple on Arcana, Ahsoka passes by unique architecture. It resembles the Zeffo temple shown in the Fallen Order video game, hinting the same race influenced the Nightsisters in building their home.
The Gods of Mortis
The temple has three damaged statues, which Sabine uses as the key to opening a map to Thrawn’s location. They’re the God of Mortis, who appeared in a gripping episode of The Clone Wars animated series. The twisted cosmic siblings showed Anakin a horrifying vision of his future as Darth Vader, and this links them to the Nightsisters.
The first episode has a search for a map leading to Thrawn’s location, which appears to go into an uncharted galaxy. This can be a tie to the Rakata, a pack of ancient aliens who had conquered most of the known galaxy millennia before the Star Wars movies started. It remains to be seen if this is just an Easter egg or a clue.
When Ahsoka meets with the New Republic fleet, she answers to Fulcrum, her code name when a spy in Rebels. It looks like she still uses it as she sees herself maintaining a balance in the Force, especially when Jedi are still scarce.
Also, as she approaches the fleet, Ahsoka identifies her ship by the number T61974. This is a fun reference to June 7, 1974, which is the birthday of show creator and director Dave Filoni.
The Rebels Mural
The most beautiful Easter egg has Sabine looking at a mural of the old Rebels crew on the wall of her quarters. It’s terrific as it looks just like the animated style of the series and a fine tribute to how far Sabine and her friends have come from their humble beginnings to full-fledged heroes.
Finally making a jump into the canon, the E-Wings show up when Sabine is racing her bike on Lothal. First appearing in the 1991 Dark Empire comic book, they have appeared in a few video games but not in any series. So named for their unique shape, the E-Wings are more like speeders than regular fighters, so it was great to finally see them realized in some form.
The Rebels epilogue
The meeting between Ahsoka and Sabine is much like the final scene in the Rebels series, albeit with differences. There, Ahsoka was in white robes like a Jedi master, while here, she’s in her typical gray robes, and Sabine was in regular clothing rather than her Mandoliran armor. The dialogue is also a bit different, so it’s a good way of retconning the Rebels ending but not totally changing it to push the series.
Homages to past films
The opening scene of Baylan and Shin rescuing Morgan is like a twisted flip of A New Hope as they tear up a New Republic ship. It also has a scene of Baylan cutting through a hallway, much like Vader in Rogue One. Also, a later scene of Shin standing in a field as a probe droid reports to her is much like Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace.
The show even opens with a classic title crawl. It’s not just Star Wars either, as the shot of Sabine driving a hoverbike under an E-wing is straight out of the classic anime Akira to show the series loves to draw on sci-fi hits of the past.
While there are a few fun appearances, some cameos are surprising. When Ahsoka arrives at Home One, she meets the classic Star Wars character, Admiral Ackbar. Bigger is Clancy Brown appearing as Lothal governor Ryder Azadi, a role he voiced on Rebels, now a good leader. More surprising is Jai Kell, a former Imperial cadet who broke with them to aid Ryder, is now a New Republic senator, played here by Vinny Thomas. It was great seeing these two back and in live-action to boot.
It’s subtle, but a good bit in Episode 2 is Ahsoka going to an area where Sabine fought Shin and using the Force to “hear” the sounds of the battle and realize what happened. This is similar to the Force Echo ability shown by Cal Kestis in the Fallen Order video games. A difference is Cal had to touch objects to use it, whereas Ahsoka only has to be in the area, but shows how they use the same abilities.
These gigantic space whales played a big role in Star Wars Rebels. In the final episode, they snagged Thrawn’s ship and pulled it into a distant galaxy, explaining why Thrawn wasn’t around in the original trilogy. These creatures are briefly spotted in Episode 2, and the indication they’ll be featured more.
The second episode ends by showing Morgan has crafted a massive ship called the Eye of Sion, which is named after Darth Sion, a Sith Lord from the EU novels. It creates a huge “ring” of hyperdrive engines around the main craft to take the Eye to galaxies far more distant than usual. This is straight out of the novel Outbound Flight by Timothy Zahn (who created Thrawn) and shows how Morgan needs special help to reach Thrawn. On top of that, she’s basing it out of the Denab system, a deep cut from the 1990s books.
Rebel Defense Fleet
A subtle but important throwaway line from Hera says the New Republic has mostly demilitarized but still maintains a Defense Fleet. This builds on the lore as the Republic doesn’t want to look like a new Empire but still maintain some defense. However, this defensive status is what later leaves them vulnerable to the rise of the First Order and the New Republic wiped out in The Force Awakens, showing the weakness of this approach.
When Ahsoka and Hera are checking out the Corellian shipyards, it doesn’t take them long to realize something is up. The key is Hera noting an “SSD” hyperdrive, and the supervisor can’t explain what it’s for. SSD refers to Super Star Destroyer, the most famous being the Executor, which crashed into the Second Death Star. That a New Republic yard is using such powerful Imperial technology is the first sign to the pair the workers are secretly allied with Morgan.
Sabine’s Tribute to Kanan
After barely surviving an attack from Shin, Sabine decides to dedicate herself as Ahsoka’s student. As such, she cuts her hair to be much like the shorter cut she first had in Rebels. Not only is it a return to her roots, but it pays tribute to how Kanan likewise cut his hair when he embraced becoming a Jedi Master. Hopefully, Sabine avoids Kanan’s dark fate.
It’s not Star Wars without droids, and we get several appearing for the first time. CLLs and IW-37s are mentioned as load-lifters from previous movies, along with HV-7, another type of droid from the Legends books.
The biggest are the HK droids that work with Shin. That means “Hunter Killer,” assassin droids who have appeared in various forms of media like books and comics. The most famous is HK-47, the quick-witted droid from the beloved Knights of the Old Republic video game, and good to see them in live action.
Fittingly, the final Easter egg is in the credits, which show the star map to Thrawn’s location in Peridea. Notably, they’re not written in the fictional Star Wars alphabet of Aurebesh but a blend of the Sith language of ur-Kittât and a runic alphabet sketched by legendary Star Wars concept artist Ralph McQuarrie. This indicates Thrawn is in a place steeped in Sith lore and the Dark Side, spelling big trouble for Ahsoka and her friends.
Ahsoka is now streaming on Disney+.