Ahsoka actor Rosario Dawson reveals how her Star Wars character has evolved since The Clone Wars. Ahsoka Tano was first introduced in the animated The Clone Wars film as the 14-year-old Jedi Padawan of Anakin Skywalker. She went on to be a main character in the subsequent Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, growing into a strong, dependable Jedi-in-training. And in the series that followed, Star Wars Rebels - set about 14 years later - Ahsoka is depicted as more mature, having been helping the Rebel Alliance prepare for their eventual war with the Empire. About 30 years after The Clone Wars animated productions in the Star Wars franchise timeline, Ahsoka also made appearances in the live-action The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
While Ashley Eckstein voiced her in the animated installments, Dawson was cast to portray live-action Ahsoka, which the actor attributes to fan support. After appearing in an episode of The Mandalorian, Disney announced a live-action spinoff series focusing on Ahsoka after the fall of the Empire as she hunts Grand Admiral Thrawn throughout the galaxy. Dawson reprises her role and original character co-creator Dave Filoni is set as writer, and with production underway, Ahsoka is set to be released on Disney+ in 2023.
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In an interview with EW, Dawson talks about her excitement for the upcoming series, going into depth about how she loves how Ahsoka will really explore her character more. She praises how nuanced Ahsoka is on the page, and how greatly she’s evolved since her beginnings in The Clone Wars. Read what she says below:
I think a big part of it is because you got to—if you’ve seen her in the animation, you know, you’ve gotten to grow up with her and watch her grow up. And you know, she was a spunky spirited teenager, you know, and who’s really growing into her wisdom and her experiences. And we’ve grown up with her. It’s not like we were suspended in animation during that time. Like, we’ve evolved, and when you go back, and reflect and you watch those things, you see yourself differently. And so I think that’s just what’s really fun is to—it feels very real, whether it’s animation or not, to see a character that you love evolve and mature, like literally mature. I love that that was a decision that was made by Dave [Filoni]. ‘I’m not putting it all out there.’ She has some milestones to achieve. That is something that I found really, really special. And what I keep going back to when we’re filming is to not just—to make sure she’s not flat, that she’s as real as possible, and that she’s struggling with her humanity and her experiences and her desires and goals, and like finding that balance in herself.
Although Dawson doesn't give away any major teases for the upcoming series, her comments show how much care and passion has been put into crafting the character of Ahsoka over the years, as well as now developing her own series. Filoni’s Ahsoka show sets itself apart from the other Star Wars live-action series, since its titular character was introduced and has predominantly appeared in animated form. While fans who've followed Ahsoka's storyline certainly know her well, exploring her more fully in her own series will provide them with a richer understanding of her journey.
Given the complexities of the character and stakes of the franchise, Ahsoka has a high bar to clear, in terms of expectations. And with her already lengthy history in the Star Wars franchise, there's even more pressure. However, based on the positive response to Dawson's The Mandalorian casting coupled with Filoni's history with the character, the odds are surely favorable for this show finding success upon release.