I'd say yes and no. It's hard to compare the very first entry into the series with this. With a new hope you were introduced to Vader right off the bat. And as soon as you saw him it was clear, this is the big bad of the story. They gave you the information you needed for the story being told. With this, a lot is unclear or makes little sense if you arent familiar with the animations. Why should someone care about Thrawn if you haven't seen rebels? A simple 5/10 min intro explaining why we should care would have made a big difference.
It's hard to gauge. I haven't seen most of Rebels but I know of Thrawn from the old novels and a couple of the newer ones. The text at the beginning of Ahsoka was sufficient for me.
It's kind of a weird show being a sequel to a cartoon that I assume had a smaller and different audience than the movies.
Unlike ANH, the content IS out there. Maybe they wanted to avoid a detailed recap because this show might lead people who haven't done so, to watch the cartoons.
Maybe they thought a detailed recap of a recently aired show would have been overkill. I still find it amusing that Obi-Wan felt the need to recap the Star Wars movies.
A recap isn't a fun way to open a show either. Maybe they could have incorporated the backstory into the show a bit more. Have the characters recall the past a bit. Throw in some flashbacks instead of holding Thrawn for some big reveal.
A New Hope let you know the stakes immediately. That opening shot of the small rebel ship being chased by a massive star destroyer instantly told you who the good guys and the bad guys were and the huge power imbalance between them. Then, Darth Vader and Princess Leia's first appearances tell you everything you need to know to establish the story. Even though we knew nothing about the larger Star Wars fictional universe in 1977, the first scene told us all we needed to know to become engaged in and follow the unfolding story.
I'm only a casual Star Wars fan, but the first episode of Ahsoka did none of that for me. I don't know who these characters are, their relationship to each other, or why their motivations are important, and the show did very little get me engaged like the original movie did instantly.
That's a good point. A good show can lay out a premise very quickly. See the first appearance of Jack Sparrow. In just a few minutes we gain a complete picture of his background and personality.
I wonder what the ideal intro would have been here. Something that establishes Ahsoka for new viewers without making us sit through a long "previously on".