The highly anticipated Ahsoka series is being billed as a continuation of Star Wars Rebels and if you don’t have enough time to binge through all four seasons of the animated show, we’ve got a handy guide on the essential episodes you need to watch before August 23.

*WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Star Wars Rebels* — Co-created by Dave Filoni, who is helming the Ahsoka series, Star Wars Rebels is set in the years before Rogue One and A New Hope and tells the story of a rag-tag group of rebels who carry out covert missions against the Empire in the hopes of aiding the growing Rebel Alliance.

Making up the crew of their ship, the Ghost, are Ezra Bridger – a young street thief who is discovered to be Force-sensitive, Kanan Jarrus – a Jedi who survived Order 66 and takes Ezra under his wing, Hera Syndulla – the pilot of the Ghost and co-leader of the squad alongside Kanan, Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios – a Lasat warrior who serves as the gang’s muscle, Sabine Wren – a Mandalorian with a keen eye for art, and Chopper – a mischievous droid with one of the largest kill counts in all of Star Wars.

Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) standing in front of Ghost mural in Ahsoka
© Lucasfilm | Disney+

Season 1, episodes 1-2: Spark of Rebellion (Parts 1 & 2)

Where better to start with Star Wars Rebels than the very beginning? The two-part premiere introduces viewers to the crew of the Ghost for the very first time and serves as the foundation of the relationships that will form over the next four seasons.

Season 1, episode 15: Fires Across the Galaxy

The season 1 finale brings us Ahsoka’s first on-screen appearance in Rebels after several previous mentions under the codename ‘Fulcrum’, as she had been working as a spy for the burgeoning Rebel Alliance.

Season 2, episodes 1-2: The Siege of Lothal (Parts 1 & 2)

After the exploits of season 1, the Ghost crew attracts the attention of Darth Vader which proves to be Ahsoka’s first encounter with her former master since Anakin turned to the dark side.

L-R: Ahsoka, Kanan, Chopper and Hera aboard the Ghost in Star Wars Rebels
© Lucasfilm | Disney+

Season 2, episode 18: Shroud of Darkness

In their search for guidance, Kanan, Ezra and Ahsoka venture into a secret Jedi Temple on Ezra’s home planet of Lothal where they each experience different visions that are crucial to their respective journeys. Ahsoka’s vision sees her confront the fact that her former master is now a dark lord of the Sith.

Season 2, episodes 21-22: Twilight of the Apprentice (Parts 1 & 2)

The season 2 finale sees Ahsoka, Ezra and Kanan venture to the planet Malachor, an ancient Sith world, in search of knowledge that will help them fight the Imperial Inquisitors and their Sith lord master.

While being pursued by several Inquisitors, the Jedi trio encounters a new sinister presence, leading to the arrival of Vader and an almighty showdown between him and Ahsoka – a scene that likely inspired the damaged mask moment in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series.

Season 3, episodes 1-2: Steps into Shadow (Parts 1 & 2)

Ahsoka does not feature in season 3 of Rebels but it does signal the first appearance of Grand Admiral Thrawn, a legendary figure within the Empire’s ranks who is renowned for his military strategies and instantly introduces himself as a major threat to the Rebellion.

Grand Admiral Thrawn walking with Governor Pryce in Star Wars Rebels
© Lucasfilm | Disney+

Season 3, episode 5: Hera’s Heroes

A key episode for Hera Syndulla as it delves into her backstory after Thrawn sets up his headquarters in Hera’s old family home on the planet Ryloth. The episode also explores Thrawn’s use of art to learn about his foes and their culture, a key aspect in understanding his enemies and devising his strategies.

Season 3, episodes 21-22: Zero Hour (Parts 1 & 2)

The season 3 finale shows Thrawn in all his might as he leads an attack on the rebel base.

Season 4, episodes 1-2: Heroes of Mandalore (Parts 1 & 2)

Sabine Wren is placed at the heart of this two-parter after her father is captured by a clan of Mandalorians working with the Empire. The episodes see the Ghost crew team up with Bo-Katan Kryze – who will be familiar to fans of The Mandalorian – as they attempt to destroy a deadly Imperial weapon that Sabine herself helped to design.

Sabine Wren passing the Darksaber to Bo-Katan Kryze in Star Wars Rebels
© Lucasfilm | Disney+

Season 4, episode 10: Jedi Night

The tenth episode of season 4 serves as a vital step in the journey of Kanan Jarrus as he and the Ghost crew lead a desperate mission to rescue Hera after she is captured by the Empire.

Season 4, episode 13: A World Between Worlds

This episode looks set to be particularly relevant for the Ahsoka series as it introduces the mysterious World Between Worlds, a void that exists beyond the realms of space and time. The trailers for Ahsoka have shown Rosario Dawson’s character preparing for a showdown with Ray Stevenson’s Baylan Skoll within the bizarre dimension.

Season 4, episodes 15: Family Reunion – and Farewell

The finale of Star Wars Rebels season 4 is a must-watch ahead of Ahsoka as it reveals why both Ezra and Thrawn were absent from the events of the original trilogy.

Family Reunion – and Farewell also features an epilogue that explores the fates of each member of the Ghost crew following the Battle of Endor and sees Ahsoka and Sabine teaming up as they prepare to search for Ezra, setting up the Ahsoka series as a direct sequel to Star Wars Rebels.

Ezra Bridger pointing a blaster at Grand Admiral Thrawn in Star Wars Rebels
© Lucasfilm | Disney+

Extra-curricular viewing

If you manage to watch all of that ahead of Ahsoka and still have enough time for a bit more Star Wars in your life, then there are a handful of episodes of The Clone Wars that could make for some extra-curricular viewing to help fill in a few gaps in Ahsoka’s story.

The final four episodes of season 5, 17-20, tell the story of how Ahsoka left the Jedi Order after she was wrongfully accused of an attack on the Jedi Temple. The episodes go a long way to explaining why Ahsoka now has white lightsabers and why she no longer calls herself a Jedi.

On top of that, episodes 9-12 of The Clone Wars season 7 are a must-watch for any fan as they are some of the best bits of Star Wars media ever produced. The episodes, which take place alongside Revenge of the Sith, see Ahsoka take part in the Siege of Mandalore and face off against Darth Maul before she is caught up in the events of Order 66.

Ahsoka (Ashley Eckstein) wielding lightsabers in front of an explosion in Star Wars: The Clone Wars
© Lucasfilm | Disney+

Star Wars Rebels is available to stream now on Disney+ while Ahsoka is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday, August 23, 2023.

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