- The New Republic in Ahsoka seemed to ignore other Star Wars projects.
- These inconsistencies highlight the issue with constantly changing shared universes.
- The entire “Mandoverse” part of Star Wars needs to find unity.
The following contains spoilers for Ahsoka, Season 1, Episode 7, “Dreams and Madness,” now streaming on Disney+.
Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau have worked hard on creating a series of shows that explore the post-Return of the Jedi era on Disney+, starting with The Mandalorian. This project is colloquially known as the Mandoverse or Filoniverse. It’s evolved over time, including stories following Boba Fett and Ahsoka. And mostly, this has worked well, with The Mandalorian in particular drawing on its roots from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels. These shows have connected to each other in live-action too, exploring the still nascent New Republic and their fight against the Imperial Remnant and the criminal underworld.
It doesn’t mean there aren’t flaws or missed opportunities. Grogu returning to Din in The Book of Boba Fett instead of The Mandalorian Season 3 is often cited as a criticism for example. Ahsoka’s seventh episode, “Dreams and Madness” misses a huge opportunity to connect back to The Mandalorian Season 3, and glosses over a crucial moment that could have shown how alienated the New Republic was, and how the bureaucracy has taken hold. But these details aren’t something fans should get too hung up over.
The New Republic Could Have Had a Grudge Against Mandalore
Throughout The Mandalorian Season 3, the mystery of how Moff Gideon escaped New Republic custody hung over the show. It had characters wonder if the Moff managed to escape his confinement, or if this was just a rumor put out to sow disorder and confusion. At the end of episode 5 “The Pirate” Captain Teva confirmed that he had indeed escaped, and a piece of Beskar alloy embedded in the wall of the Moff’s ship suggested to Teva and a New Republic lieutenant that Mandalorians had captured Gideon. This set the stage for a rift to form between the Mandalorians and the New Republic.
From the New Republic’s perspective, the Mandalorians had not only taken a highly valuable prisoner from the galactic government, but they had killed the flight crew too. It likely would cause the New Republic to distrust the Mandalorians, showing disunity in the galaxy that the Imperial Remnant could have capitalized on. But episode 7 of Ahsoka reveals that this is unlikely to happen because they are aware that Moff Gideon fled to Mandalore and found himself fighting the Mandalorians. This would have confirmed to the New Republic that Gideon wasn’t freed by the Mandalorians, removing any chance for there to be tension between the galactic government and the galaxy’s most renowned fighters. This could have shown a New Republic turning inward from the wider galaxy, like how they refused to help Nevarro in The Mandalorian Season 3 because they weren’t a member planet of the New Republic. But the time for that plot point has likely now passed.
The New Republic Changes Mirrors Some Issues of the MCU
This retroactive change overlooking the fact that the New Republic should have been more distrusting of the Mandalorians is a problem that other interconnected universes have faced as well. The MCU for example will change their story between films and shows occasionally. While it’s something that can make the promised tease in the original project frustrating, the changes are often made because the underlying creative direction has altered, or fan sentiment has suggested that a creator focus on a particular aspect.
It’s possible that as the “Mandoverse” part of Star Wars grows there will be more missed story threads like this. And while it’s a mild annoyance for fans to pick apart and obsess over, ultimately it’s not something likely to cause people to dislike the show as a whole. Inconsistencies in TV and movies have long been a part of the medium, not just in shared universes. Details are important to keep in check where possible, but not something that should be stressed about.
Ahsoka Shows The Peril of Interconnected Storytelling
The missed opportunity to expand on the conflict between the New Republic and the Mandalorians highlights some issues with the shared universe model. It shows that unless a rigid outline is developed and stuck to well before all the shows are placed into production, there are likely to be inconsistencies between some plot points within shows, either ones that have been set up and never paid off, or ones that have altered and paid off differently to audiences expect. The MCU again serves as a great example of this, as when they set up The Leader at the end of The Incredible Hulk in 2008, Marvel Studios left his fate unanswered until they confirmed that he would appear in Captain America: Brave New World in 2024. This was unlikely to have been the original plan back in 2008, but it’s how the story evolved.
Star Wars might be pulling off a similar swerve. Due to Grand Admiral Thrawn entering into the fold, Filoni might want to focus his attention on him and keep the conflict between him and the New Republic. The Mandalorians and the New Republic being at odds likely would have complicated the situation even more, and it would be something with a relatively quick and simple explanation. So for now that story thread has been parked. But this doesn’t mean that it won’t ever be revisited. It might be referenced later on down the line differently from what audiences can imagine. Perhaps if Captain Teva reunites with the Mandalorians he can thank them for killing Gideon, and then apologize for thinking that they freed him.
The Mandoverse has made some missteps in the past regarding some of its details, and story beats. And as the universe grows further and further in size, and more of the period is fleshed out, fans will likely be able to spot more details that don’t always line up perfectly with established canon. But it’s not something that fans should stress about too much. It’s something that exists in film and TV more generally, outside the confines of the shared universe. Other examples of shared universes like the MCU have also had some of the details of their worlds become slightly out of sync over time as decisions to go in different directions add up or payoffs to different teases come in ways that audiences don’t expect. As there are a lot of moving parts to these vast projects, it’s unsurprising that some details might fall through the gaps and get forgotten about.
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