What to watch before Ahsoka: 10 essential Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels episodes

Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano
(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

If you're wondering what to watch before Ahsoka releases on Disney Plus, then you've come to the right place. Ahsoka Tano was introduced to Star Wars in animation and has starred in countless episodes of The Clone Wars and Rebels, which can make working out where to start before the live-action show arrives a daunting task. Plus, with Ahsoka releasing in August, the clock is ticking if you want to get caught up in time. But that's where we come in. 

We've done our Star Wars homework to bring you a list of the 10 essential Clone Wars and Rebels episodes to watch before Ahsoka – and there are a few optional extras if you're looking to go even deeper, too. 

With Ahsoka featuring the key Rebels characters Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi), Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen), Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo), getting up to speed on Rebels seems of the utmost importance – and, since Hayden Christensen is rumored to be returning as Anakin Skywalker, catching up on The Clone Wars also looks to be crucial. 

If you're looking to get started on the animated shows in earnest, though, there's no better place to start than our guide on how to watch The Clone Wars in order. Otherwise, for the essential guide on what to watch before Ahsoka, head to the below. 

Which Clone Wars episodes should you watch before Ahsoka?

The Clone Wars season 5, episode 20: 'The Wrong Jedi'

Ahsoka in The Clone Wars

(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

This episode wraps up a four-part arc that sees Ahsoka wrongly accused of bombing the Jedi Temple. Ahsoka is put on trial by Admiral Tarkin, facing the death penalty for a crime she did not commit, while the Jedi Council turns its back on her. Her faith in the Jedi Order is shaken so intensely by her ordeal that it changes her future forever. 

'The Wrong Jedi' isn't just essential to understanding Ahsoka's Jedi past and how she came to be the woman she is today, but it also showcases her bond with her one-time Master Anakin Skywalker. Snips and Skyguy were never quite the same after this episode. 

The Clone Wars season 7, episodes 9-12: The Siege of Mandalore arc

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

Ahsoka is entirely absent after The Clone Wars season 5 finale – barring a Force vision at the end of season 6 – until season 7, which was released in 2020 as a Disney Plus exclusive. While she's reintroduced in a storyline that involves her adventuring with two sisters, the crucial Ahsoka episodes to watch make up the Siege of Mandalore arc. 

In these episodes, Bo-Katan Kryze enlists Ahsoka's help to confront Darth Maul, who is ruling over Mandalore. Ahsoka ends up crossing blades with the Sith Lord in an epic lightsaber battle, while Maul's repeated warnings that the Republic and the Jedi are on the brink of extinction go unheeded. These episodes run simultaneously with Revenge of the Sith in the Star Wars timeline, so if you've seen that movie, you know what happens next… 

Which Star Wars Rebels episodes should you watch before Ahsoka? 

Rebels season 1, episode 15: 'Fire Across the Galaxy'

Darth Vader in Star Wars Rebels

(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

'Fire Across the Galaxy' closes Rebels season 1, with the Ghost crew clashing directly with the Empire as they go up against the Grand Inquisitor. 

Our favorite former Jedi might not feature much in this episode, but Ahsoka does still have a key part to play in the Rebels season 1 finale. It's in this installment that she makes her debut in the series, and we get a clue as to what Ahsoka has been up to after the fall of the Jedi and the rise of the Empire – as well as discovering more about her work with the Rebellion, which sets the scene for the episodes to come. 

Rebels season 2, episode 18: 'Shroud of Darkness'

Star Wars Rebels

(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

In 'Shroud of Darkness,' Ahsoka opens up about her old Master Anakin Skywalker to Ezra Bridger, sharing her memories of the legendary Jedi. It's made even more emotional by the fact that, at this point, Ahsoka has an inkling that her former teacher has become the sinister Sith Lord Darth Vader. 

Ahsoka also faces a vision of Anakin in a Jedi temple, which unearths some of her guilt over the last time she saw her Master. This episode is absolutely essential to understanding Ahsoka and Anakin's relationship. 

Rebels season 2, episodes 21-22: 'Twilight of the Apprentice'

Ahsoka and Darth Vader in Star Wars Rebels

(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

If you only ever watch two Rebels episodes, make sure they're these. 'Twilight of the Apprentice' is a heartbreaking double bill that sees Ahsoka clash lightsabers with Darth Vader. That's right: Snips and Skyguy go head to head in an epic fight that packs a hefty emotional punch. Cue the sobs.

These episodes also feature the long-awaited return of another Sith Lord, who crosses paths with one Ezra Bridger.

Rebels season 4, episodes 15: 'Family Reunion – and Farewell'

Ahsoka in Star Wars Rebels

(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

Everything comes to a head in the final two episodes of Rebels. What goes down between Ezra Bridger and Grand Admiral Thrawn was Ahsoka's key motivator in her appearance in The Mandalorian season 2, episode 5, and her hunt for Thrawn will be picked up again in the Ahsoka show. 

Plus, the epilogue of the episode, which features a very Gandalf the White-looking Ahsoka in a white robe, seems like a direct set-up for the events of her solo series. 

Optional extras

Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi

(Image credit: Disney)

If you're up to speed on the essentials and still want more, we recommend checking out The Clone Wars movie. This shows Ahsoka's first meeting with Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, so if you'd like to see how it all begins, this is the movie for you. 

You also can't go wrong with Tales of the Jedi episodes 1, 5, and 6. They're not essential to Ahsoka's story, but they do shade in more details on her infancy, her training with Anakin, and what she was up to after Order 66. They're also very, very good. 

As for extra Clone Wars episodes, here are some that will give you a deeper understanding of Ahsoka Tano: 

  • Season 1, episode 2: 'Rising Malevolence'
  • Season 1, episode 19: 'Storm Over Ryloth' 
  • Season 2 episode 11: 'Lightsaber Lost' 
  • Season 3 episode 15: 'Overlords'
  • Season 3 episode 16: 'Altar of Mortis' 
  • Season 3 episode 17: 'Ghosts of Mortis' 
  • Season 3, episode 21: 'Padawan Lost'
  • Season 3, episode 22: 'Wookiee Hunt' 
  • Season 4, episode 14: 'A Friend in Need' 
  • Season 5, episode 17: 'Sabotage' 
  • Season 5, episode 18: 'The Jedi Who Knew Too Much' 
  • Season 5, episode 19: 'To Catch a Jedi' 
  • Season 7, episode 5: 'Gone with a Trace' 
  • Season 7, episode 6: 'Deal No Deal'
  • Season 7, episode 7: 'Dangerous Debt' 
  • Season 7, episode 8: 'Together Again' 

For more Rebels episodes, try: 

  • Season 2, episode 1: 'The Siege of Lothal Part 1'
  • Season 2, episode 2: 'The Siege of Lothal Part 2' 
  • Season 4, episode 12: 'Wolves and a Door' 
  • Season 4, episode 13: 'A World Between Worlds' 

For everything else the galaxy far, far away has in store, check out our guide to all the upcoming Star Wars movies and TV shows

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.