Overall, thumbs-up, but not enthusiastically. Feels at least as good as Mando S2, but below Mando S1 and Andor.
My only complaints acting wise are, (ironically) Ahsoka herself, and Hera. I don’t even know if it is the acting so much as the unnatural and stilted dialogue they have. Could even be the heavy make-up and prosthetics affecting either their performance or my perception of it. None of it is bad enough to take me out of the experience though. I also hope we get a little more of a human personality out of Ahsoka- the stoic pondering thing she’s got going on gets old fast. I felt virtually everyone else was on point, especially the villains. Oh, and I was pleasantly surprised with how Sabine turned out, dialogue and performance-wise.
All my other complaints are small potatoes, but there’s more of them than I would’ve preferred. A handful of moments of convenient plot, poor character choices, and dumb in-world logic, but nothing stood out as blatantly egregious- at least not on first watch (except the stab, facepalm iykyk). There are some overly indulgent slow scenes that go on for a little too long, some wonky action and vfx, but none of it is earth shattering. And the overall look and design of the visuals feels much more stylized and thematic (much like Rebels) than anything else from the Mandoverse, which is something I appreciate. Though sometimes it does come across as a little too clean and sterile.
These first 2 episodes had a lot of work to do get audiences up to speed with all of the characters and plot lines (new and old), and it is not very elegantly done, but it suffices. By the end of episode 2, my wife essentially said “I don’t understand how all the background stuff fits together, but I get what the goal is and I’m invested in the characters.” She knows ‘of’ Rebels and Clone Wars, but she’s only interested in & familiar with the live action stuff. I didn’t fill her in on anything so I think she made a good test subject. Lastly, the opening crawl was unnecessary and overly complicated for her. She said it made her feel like she was expected to know the backstory and how everything fits together, but followed that by saying the show itself did a well enough job of establishing that through context and just jumping into the plot.
Looking forward to more, cautiously optimistic for what the potential is here once the plot really starts to get going.