Rosario Dawson’s Ahsoka Tano has made her way through the galaxy already. After appearances in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, Snips is now gearing up to lead a series all of her own. While Ahsoka is already different from the rest of modern Star Wars TV in one way thanks to Dave Filoni’s role as lone showrunner and writer, it turns out there’s a second way the series is deviating from the format set by The Mandalorian: runtime
Twitter user Cryptic4KQual, best known to Star Wars fans for accurately leaking the runtimes of every episode of The Mandalorian Season 3, claims the first two episodes of Ahsoka clock in for a combined runtime of 1 hour and 36 minutes.
The Mandalorian Season 3, in particular, took big swings with its runtimes, varying from basically 30 minutes to even a full hour. However, the best-paced episodes were the ones that clocked in around 45 minutes — the runtime of your standard hour-long network drama once you eliminate commercial breaks.
Dave Filoni hinted that this pattern would continue with Ahsoka, telling Collider in April:
“I would say they’re in the same range as the Mandalorian episodes, maybe on average a little longer, but the most recent cuts are in the same range. I like a long episode as much as anyone, as long as it’s moving.”
The streaming era may have allowed shows to run as long (or, occasionally, as short) as the creators wish, but this is often a curse as much as it is a blessing. The Mandalorian Season 3 proved the old rulebook clearly works for a reason, and Ahsoka hopefully signals that this is a lesson Star Wars TV (or, at least, Filoni) will continue to take to heart.
Of course, rules are made to be broken, and the occasional hour-long standalone episode may work if the story demands it, but this leak provides more evidence that Lucasfilm has figured out its audience’s attention span sweet spot is about 45 minutes. Ahsoka now has the freedom to have her own live-action series no matter how long it takes, but some guidelines are there for a reason.