Ahsoka: The Shin Hati Scene That Pays Homage To A Famous Sith

If there was any doubt that "Ahsoka" is a mainline "Star Wars" show, it's vanquished by the first two episodes' dedication to homage. The music, scored by "The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars Rebels" composer Kevin Kiner, has all of the soaring strings and mysterious flutes that you'd expect of a Jedi adventure story. There are ancient Force temples, strange relics, enigmatic villains, and tons of direct visual callbacks to the core "Star Wars" movies.

One of those homage scenes happens later in "Ahsoka" Episode 1 after the dark padawan Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno) journeys to Lothal in search of Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo). Even though Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) tells Sabine to keep the map to Grand Admiral Thrawn and Ezra Bridger on her ship, she rejects those orders and takes it back to her tower hideout. Of course, Shin Hati has a tiny recon droid watching the highway, which reports back to her as soon as it sees where Sabine is headed.

The shot of the probe droid returning to Shin Hati, looking out over the sprawling expanse of Lothal from under her robes, is a clear allusion to a similar scene in "The Phantom Menace." During his visit to Tatooine in pursuit of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn, Darth Maul sends similar (but larger) droids out to find his prey. The composition of the shots, right down to the characters' ships being right behind them and the way they walk away, is nearly identical.

Ahsoka references a lot of classic Star Wars shots

The Shin Hati Darth Maul homage is just one of many visual references in the two-part "Ahsoka" premiere. The opening sequence of Episode 1 sees Shin Hati and her master Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) invade a New Republic ship to free Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto). This sequence combines elements from two distinct "Star Wars" scenes — the beginning of the original film, in which Darth Vader and his stormtroopers cut through rebel soldiers on the Tantive IV, and the beginning of "The Phantom Menace," in which a Jedi envoy of a master and apprentice (Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon) boards an enemy ship under premises of peace.

Respectively, those are the first scenes of the first two "Star Wars" trilogies. It can't be accidental that both are incorporated into the opening sequence of "Ahsoka." A more direct parallel is the scene where Sabine cuts her hair in Episode 2, mirroring Kanan Jarrus in "Star Wars Rebels." Kanan was a mentor to Sabine, but he was also Ezra's Jedi master, so reenacting him has a double significance. Add in all of the wipe transitions and you've got a show that's clearly trying in every moment to evoke that classic "Star Wars" feeling. It remains to be seen if "Ahsoka" will fully make good on that promise, but it's certainly off to a good start.