StarWars.com’s writers celebrate the year’s biggest announcements, releases, and favorite moments.
Fifteen years after her debut in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ahsoka Tano became the star of her own acclaimed series this year. But first, we returned to Mandalore for Season 3 of The Mandalorian. And that’s just the live-action offerings. The Star Wars galaxy is always brimming with new stories and exhilarating news, from the heart wrenching second season of The Bad Batch and the series premiere of Young Jedi Adventures continuing to build on our love of Star Wars animation, to the return of Cal Kestis in the eagerly-awaited video game Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, and the launch of the final phase in Star Wars: The High Republic books and comics, there was something for everyone! Plus, when we gathered in London for Star Wars Celebration Europe in April, we learned about plans for new films, got a glimpse at the future of Andor, met a new Wookiee Jedi from The Acolyte, and so much more. As we count down to the end of 2023, here are our favorite Star Wars announcements, releases, and moments from another banner year!
Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 2 made us cry in the best way.
“When have we ever followed orders?” It’s a moment that haunts my dreams and consistently makes me cry with every rewatch. And it’s an example of why The Bad Batch continues to be one of my personal favorite Star Wars stories. After meeting Clone Force 99 in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the Batch was forever changed when Order 66 was declared — as seen in the opening scene of the spinoff series premiere. The introduction of Omega made the crew more of a Dad Batch as they adopted their sister and tried to carve out a new life for themselves. But Season 2 was all about heartbreak. Echo leaving to help Rex. Finding a community on Pabu only to have nature threaten to destroy it all. Tech…well, you know. And that cliffhanger season finale? With Season 3 coming next year, we can’t wait to find out what happens next. - Kristin Baver
The Mandalorian took us back to Mandalore in Season 3 of the Disney+ series.
The beloved found family of Din Djarin and Grogu returned this year, setting off on a new quest to redeem the Mandalorian for the transgression of willingly removing his helmet. The Armorer tasked him with bathing in the Living Waters beneath the Mines of Mandalore in order to end his exile and that undertaking reunited him with Bo-Katan Kryze and took fans along for the journey to the storied planet. With a closer-than-ever look at life in the burgeoning New Republic, the reveal of a pivotal moment in Grogu’s past, and the return of an old enemy in Moff Gideon, plus dazzling guest stars and an unexpected new beginning for the survivors of Mandalore, Season 3 of The Mandalorian told a can’t-miss story for Star Wars fans. – Kelly Knox
For those who have followed Ahsoka Tano, the former Padawan of Anakin Skywalker originally introduced in 2008’s animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, seeing her lead a live-action series was reason to celebrate. Led by series star Rosario Dawson, who once again deftly brings a more experienced version of the character to life, a calm sage who can still get rough and tumble when need be, the story also brought many of our favorite characters from Star Wars Rebels into live action and continued that beloved show’s story, with Sabine Wren played by Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Hera Syndulla played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Ezra Bridger played by Eman Esfandi. But it was Ahsoka’s surprise reunion with Anakin Skywalker that will go down as an all-time great Star Wars moment, a shining example of Ahsoka’s strength in its meditations on friendship and teaching. These are long-running Star Wars themes, and Ahsoka creator Dave Filoni explores them at great length here — not just as plot points, but inviting viewers to examine their role in our lives, an exercise in forgiveness and understanding for ourselves and others. As Filoni himself was mentored by George Lucas, one can read Ahsoka as a deeply personal statement, layered with thrilling lightsaber action and the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn. Either way, Ahsoka delivered a payoff to Rebels fans, cleared a path for future stories, and had something to say. That’s quite a hat trick. – Dan Brooks