Tag Archives: Star Wars


Ahsoka… The Star Wars Arrival We’ve Anticipated – Is It Worth the Watch?

Where to Watch: Streaming on Disney+

Release Date: August 22nd

Episodes: 8

Rated: PG

Starring: Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka, Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Sabine Wren, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Hera Syndulla, Diana Lee Inosanto as Morgan Elsbeth, Ivanna Sakhno as Shin Hati, Ray Stevenson as Baylan Skoll, David Tennant as Huyang, Lars Mikkelsen as Grand Admiral Thrawn, with Eman Esfandi appearing as Ezra Bridger.

Synopsis: In the wake of the Galactic Empire’s collapse, Ahsoka follows the journey of former Jedi Knight Ahsoka Tano as she embarks on a mission to address a burgeoning threat that looms over an already vulnerable galaxy. With the Empire’s grip now weakened, Ahsoka takes it upon herself to investigate the emerging danger and safeguard the future. As she navigates the aftermath of the Empire’s reign, Ahsoka’s resolute determination and mastery of the Force drive her quest to uncover the truth behind the newfound menace, all while battling her own demons and forging unexpected alliances.

When the name Star Wars is uttered, a galaxy of iconic characters instantly comes to mind: Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, and the adorable addition of Grogu, also known as Baby Yoda. However, a character who has gradually risen to prominence now takes center stage in her own series – Ahsoka.

Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) in Lucasfilm’s AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.


Ahsoka Tano, the quick-witted, self-assured former Jedi, is set to navigate the remnants of the Empire’s aftermath and confront one of Star Wars’ most formidable antagonists – Grand Admiral Thrawn. This new series follows the hero on her quest to track down Thrawn, enlisting the aid of her former apprentice, Sabine Wren, played by Natasha Liu Bordizzo, and allies within the New Republic. My excitement lies with her chance encounter with her former mentor Anikan Skywalker, who has since been transformed into Darth Vader. 

Viewers will be immersed in the captivating landscapes and diverse environments that Star Wars fans have come to cherish as Ahsoka’s visual storytelling remains a strong point. The environments and visuals are gorgeous. The familiarity of iconic locales intertwines with fresh settings, reminding us of the franchise’s rich world-building. 

The initial two episodes do feature Saben Wren while briefly touching upon her relationship with Ahsoka. There are parallels that emerge between Ahsoka’s connections with Saben and her dynamic with Anakin. To fully get an idea of this, it might be beneficial to look into the animated series before commencing the first couple of Ahsoka episodes. However, it’s reasonable to anticipate that the show will progressively clarify this dynamic in future episodes. An essential aspect to recognize is that Wren’s expertise is not only limited to the Force; she also hails from the Mandalorian lineage and is good at building things.

(L-R): Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) and Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno) in Lucasfilm’s AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

The Villains

Notably, the series’ antagonists are some of its most enticing elements. Baylan Skoll (portrayed by Ray Stevenson, rest in peace) and his enigmatic apprentice Shin Ati (portrayed by Ivanna Sakhno) exude a menacing aura that underlines their malevolent power. Within the series’ initial moments, these villains wield the Force maliciously, setting the tone for their impending conflicts with Ahsoka. The promise of confrontations between these powerful foes and our hero amplifies the show’s allure. 

A standout element of the series unfolds in a seamless transition from the swift dispatch of henchmen by Baylan and Shin to Ahsoka’s elegant dismantling of droids. These captivating sequences were choreographed by martial artist and stunt expert Ming Qiu. The show’s creators aimed to maintain the samurai influence championed by Star Wars visionary George Lucas, and in their pursuit of awe-inspiring action, they enlisted Qiu’s talents to craft these scenes into a marvel.

Another figure who commands intrigue and exudes an undoubtedly badass aura is Marrok. Cloaked in an air of mystery, Marrok dons armor reminiscent of an inquisitor, yet his combat style bears a resemblance to Darth Maul. Adding to his mystique, his lightsaber showcases a unique twist – doubling as a spinning boomerang! It makes me wonder if we will see who is behind the mask? 

Scene from Lucasfilm’s AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Creatures, Robots, and Beyond 

In every Star Wars endeavor, be it film, TV show, or animated series, there’s invariably a character who captures the hearts of fans with their popularity or adorableness. In the case of this series, my personal favorites amongst the non-human/alien characters are Chopper (whose resemblance to R2-D2 comes with an extra dash of personality) and Huyang (whose voice by David Tennant echoes his previous work with the character). Both Chopper and Huyang contribute a delightful blend of wit and humor, effectively counterbalancing the series’ more serious undertones.

(L-R): Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) and Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) in Lucasfilm’s AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Pacing with Viewers 

Ahsoka skillfully caters to both newcomers to the Star Wars universe and long-time fans alike. The series introduces fundamental concepts without overwhelming newcomers while delighting fans with subtle references to established narratives. However, it’s worth noting that the show’s deliberate pacing, at times, feels like a decision to gradually unveil the plot’s intricacies. I can only assume that this slow-burning approach builds anticipation, setting the stage for a journey viewers won’t want to miss out on.

While the initial two episodes offer tantalizing glimpses of what’s to come, it’s reasonable to remain cautiously optimistic about the show’s trajectory. The potential for riveting confrontations, unexpected alliances, and character development abounds, yet the series’ success hinges on its ability to deliver on these promises in a manner that resonates with its diverse audience.

In the grand scheme of the Star Wars saga, Ahsoka occupies an intriguing niche, shedding light on the experiences of characters who often remain in the shadows of the main narrative. It’s a testament to the franchise’s expansiveness and the rich layers it continues to add to its intricate tapestry.

In conclusion, Ahsoka brings with it both the excitement of a new Star Wars adventure and the burden of high expectations. Its pacing and focus on character dynamics might test the patience of some, but the underlying potential for captivating storytelling and dazzling action sequences is undeniable. For fans of the franchise, the series shows promise to be a worthwhile addition to the Star Wars canon, inviting us to delve into unexplored corners of the galaxy far, far away. As for newcomers, while the journey might require some adjustment, the show’s narrative treasures are well within reach. Whether or not it ultimately becomes the show everyone has been eagerly awaiting depends on how Ahsoka navigates its course in the episodes to come. Tune in to decide for yourself.


Moonhaven Star, Emma McDonald, Says the Series is Brilliant, Experimental, and Timely

Emma McDonald as Bella Sway – Moonhaven _ Season 1, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Szymon Lazewski/AMC

What would happen if we flew people to the moon and established a place where solutions to human issues were developed or have been already invented? The sci-fi drama Moonhaven on AMC Plus gives a glimpse of what that would look like. The star of the series, Emma McDonald, talked with Taji Mag about her lead role in the series plus she gave us details on what the Moonhaven community is like. 

Dapper Dr. Feel (DDF): What was your reaction when you first read the script?

Emma McDonald (EM):  I have to do this, please let me be a part of this. Moonhaven is brilliant and such a rare thing.

DDF: How would you describe your character, Bella?

EM: It’s like an onion. There are a lot of layers there. A reluctant hero, a soldier, a cynic who’s incredibly lovable at the same time. She has the most bangin’ playlist as well. 

DDF: Speaking of the playlist, what song or songs would you use to describe her? 

EM: Oh, she’s into her oldies and she likes classics. Bella likes things with a bit of heart and soul.

DDF: Can you describe what the utopian place looks like in the series and if you could create your own utopia, what would it look like? 

EM:  It’s interesting because going into the series, I don’t think you expect it (the utopian community) to be what Peter (Ocko) has made. It’s so stunning and so sort of focused on nature, the environment, beauty, and love. You kind of picture a typical sci-fi world with metal shiny composites and all of that, but instead you have a botanical garden and woodland. I found it really interesting seeing that development and all the sets being built by the fantastic art department. Peter has such a way of making things so timely and so relevant, but also creating something so beautiful and unexpected. You have a diverse landscape there, as well, from quarries to rich woodlands and beautiful meadows. If you look at it from Bella’s perspective, she’s been on this barron polluted earth (a hundred years in the future), which if we don’t change our ways, at the rate we are going, that situation may be our reality. 

DDF: There is a scene where Peter (Dominic Monaghan) and Arlo (Kadeem Hardison) perform a dance for your character. Were you able to keep your composure and not laugh? 

EM: So they weren’t allowed to do the dance in its entirety. I think one day we may have them do it. I think it’ll be something beautiful. When they practiced it beforehand, I had a giggle. But when I was on set, I thought “Bella would not think this is funny. She wants to leave and have her mission end right now.” So I channeled [what I envisioned would be] her composure and it showed on the outside. 

DDF: So what was your biggest obstacle filming this series? 

EM: For me, it was letting go of each scene at the end of the cut. I’ve got a rich theater background, which I think has really helped me in this role and set me up well for it. But obviously, when you’re doing a show, you’re doing a tour, you sleep on it, and then the next day you come in and you think “Oh my, I can do this” or “What happens if I play it out in this way?”. So for me, the biggest obstacle was letting go of each scene and each day, and sort of starting fresh the next day with something new. There are so many ways to play a scene and because Peter’s writing is such a gift, you kind of wanna keep going at it. 

DDF: Speaking of theater, I noticed that the conversation between you and Joe Manganiello’s character, Tomm, seemed very poetic and Shakespearian. Was that included in the script or was that something that you or Joe channeled on the spot?

EM: Well, that’s all Peter. All of the writing and the dialogue was him. We had a few moments of improv, not really with me and Joe necessarily, but with Kade and Dominic. For Peter, language is such a big part of the story. You can see it in the Mooners’ (citizens of the moon) mannerisms, their physical language, and the way that they speak to each other.

It’s so beautiful, but coming at it from Bella’s perspective, she’s kinda like “You guys are a bit strange.” Which is also fun to play. As she adapts, she brings some of those things into her own life. It’s very interesting.

Emma McDonald as Bella Sway – Moonhaven _ Season 1, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Szymon Lazewski/AMC

DDF: What four people would you like to bring to your version of a utopian planet?  

EM: I’d have to say my little sister, cause she’s my number one.  Would I be able to use my spaceship to go back to earth? 

DDF: Sure, you have in the show. 

EM: If I have my spaceship, I can take three people to head back. My grandma. She’s no longer with us, but I would love to experience that with her and I think that would be wonderful. I’ve gotta take my mom and my dad now as well.

DDF: Is there a sci-fi character or a sci-fi franchise you would like to take part in? 

EM: I’d like to see Moonhaven keep going, first off. 

DDF: Of course, of course! I can see you in the Alien franchise.

EM: Oh my gosh. I would love to work with Sigourney Weaver. Yes, please. I’d shave my head as well. Yeah, I think together we’d be great with it. I really like Lord of the Rings. God, I would love to be in Star Wars. I mean, I could just keep going. Ex Machina, I thought that was awesome as well. That’s a very different route into it. 

I think we have quite a lot of experimental and character-driven stuff in Moonhaven, and I think their approach is really interesting as well…but yeah, Alien, man. I think you’re absolutely right with that. I would love that. 

I really hope to see Emma in another sci-fi franchise like Alien or Star Wars! I have no doubt she will end up getting some screentime in the future. In the meantime, catch her as Bella on Moonhaven streaming on Thursday, July 7th.


Star Wars: A Universe Where Black People Don’t Die… Except for Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu

The new Star Wars is a piece of sh*t!” my friend yelled into the phone as we exchanged our reviews of the most recent highly anticipated hit film, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker. “Yeah, but did you notice something? Lando didn’t die!” He’s one of the few remaining characters from the first trilogy of Star Wars films… and he’s Black! As I explained, his tone seemed to lighten right along with his mood. I could literally see my point sinking in. Well, he still thinks the film is shit, but at least Lando and Finn survived the events of “Rise of Skywalker”. Not to mention the survival of other Black characters in the film franchise and Disney Plus series, The Mandalorian, alike – an honorable mention to Moff Geidon exquisitely played by Giancarlo Esposito. In stark contrast to your typical sci-fi story, Black characters have and still are eluding death as if there were some direct relation to Marvel’s Deadpool himself. This may sound odd but in a way it is history if you think about it? A major franchise that doesn’t kill off its minorities in the first 5 minutes of their appearance. 

Finn portrayed by John Bpyega and Jannah portrayed by Naomi Ackie in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Don’t get me wrong. I, and surely many others, were pissed about the wasted potential of the Finn character, but at least he and Jannah (another Black female character) survived the war just as their chances were beginning to look bleak. I must be honest, as I watched Finn’s sacrifice, it prompted a deeply dramatic “Nooooooo!” after seeing him destroy the satellite that would doom the Resistance. All that changed once he and Jannah were saved. I was really happy to see Finn make it to the end because, let’s face it, not too many Star Wars characters make it through myriad close calls but he did, and to that, I say “Celebration!” (in my Dave Chappelle voice). 

We’ve for years witnessed Black people suffer early untimely deaths in horror movies and in action films while sparing their counterparts. It’s refreshing to see one of the most-loved sci-fi franchises of all time manage to keep minorities alive, especially the Black characters. 

A Shout Out to Disney Plus and The Mandalorian Writing Team!

I was already excited about the Disney Plus series, The Mandalorian, because Bubba Fett is another favorite of mine. Yes, I love the fact that the series has some awesome creatives like Jon Favreau and I admit I’ve fallen in love with The Child aka Baby Yoda, but what I love most is that the Black people in this series haven’t been killed off! 

While watching the series of events leading up to Greef Karga’s betrayal (in true Lando fashion), I was forced to relive deep feelings of disappointment but was also kind of relieved to see him survive what could’ve been a deadly gunshot wound. I recall at that moment yelling “Don’t die, Apollo!” (a reference to Carl Weathers’ portrayal of Apollo Creed in the beloved Rocky series). I was most definitely having a flashback to Rocky IV. There was another moment in which he escaped death after being ambushed by flying carnivorous creatures only to be saved by the cute little Baby Yoda and The Force… of course. 

Next up, the villainous Moff Gideon: Leading a large group of StormTroopers, he tries to convince the Mandalorian and crew (Greef and Cara) to surround baby Yoda. 1st things 1st, hats off to Giancarlo Esposito as a great actor, especially as a villain (check out his notable performance in Breaking Bad as Gustav Fring). He definitely evokes a feeling of disdain. As an avid watcher of film and television, I should know to detach from characters because, after all, they’re not real. Giancarlo’s Breaking Bad character, Gustav, *spoiler alert* had already suffered a gruesome death and was also a dope villain, so to see it happen again would be downright wrong. Yet I knew a character like Moff would need to die. While watching the latest episode of the Mandalorian, something inside of me thought he wasn’t dead or at least didn’t want him to be dead after his Fighter ship crashed, and of course, I was right! Once again, I felt good that the Black person didn’t die and that they could make good use of a good character. 

What About Windu? 

For all you die-hard Star Wars fans, I haven’t forgotten Mace Windu, one of THE dopest saber-wielding Jedi the Star Wars universe has ever seen. His death was terrible but not surprising since Sam dies in pretty much all of his sci-fi films. To witness the Mace Windu die in Star Wars Episode III hurt my heart. I just knew Samuel L. Jackson was going to say “Yes, you deserve to die and I hope you burn in hell too!” whilst destroying Emperor Palpatine. And why does Palpatine’s face look like a Walking Dead zombie using an aging filter?  But I digress. Instead, he had his hand chopped off by the annoying Anakin Skywalker and fell to his death by the hand of evil Palpatine. All I could think was “at least we still have Lando Calrissian”. 

Jar Jar Binks Who? 

What about Jar Jar Binks you may ask? What about him and who cares?

As a true fan who’s privy to the ultimate turnout, I know the trend of POC (people of color) surviving in the Star Wars universe will likely come to an end in future seasons of the Mandalorian, but as we enter into 2020 I can say with pride that I really love Star Wars, a Universe where Black people don’t die.