Ashley Eckstein is a busy woman these days; not only is she lending her voice to the character of Ahsoka Tano on The Clone Wars animated series, she’s also recently launched Her Universe, the first line of Star Wars apparel exclusively for women. We caught up with her to talk about her five favorite films, her clothing line, and what it’s like to be a longtime Star Wars fan that gets to work with Lucasfilm.
I’m going to sound super-cheesy, but I’ve got to go with Notting Hill. That’s probably my all-time favorite romantic comedy. That’s high on my list. I’ve fallen in love with London, and there just something about what I love about London, combined with a romantic comedy. And then of course, Julia Roberts; I mean she’s just romantic comedy gold.
Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, not the new one, the old one. The cartoon Alice in Wonderland is high on my list. Alice is my favorite. I grew up in Orlando, Florida, and my dad worked for Disney. So growing up, I actually had the Alice dress, and I had long blonde hair and blue eyes, and so I looked just like her.
Next, Ashley talks about her clothing line and what it’s like to be part of the Lucasfilm family.
RT: Let’s talk about Her Universe, your women’s Star Wars clothing line. What prompted you to create this?
Ashley Eckstein: Well, I was cast as the voice of Ahsoka about four and a half years ago. I was always a Star Wars fan obviously, so I loved the movies, but I became an even bigger fan once I joined the show. And selfishly, I wanted Star Wars merchandise to wear for me. And I went online, and went to stores, and realized it didn’t really exist. So then I started doing research, and there’s a couple of shirts here and there for female fans, but there wasn’t really anything.
Apart from finding something on sites like Zazzle…
Right! Zazzle, and Junk Food has a couple, the guys at Mad Engine that did the Star Wars t-shirts are awesome, they have a couple, but for the most part, there wasn’t stylish, fitted shirts for women. I did my research, and found that close to half of Star Wars fans are women. When you consider that something like 80% of the consumer market (for clothes) is women, why aren’t you giving us stuff to buy? So I approached Lucasfilm, and started Her Universe, and it’s the first Star Wars line exclusively for women. We don’t even make men’s products. We want to make girls head-to-toe geek chic! We’ve got our hats, shirts and necklaces, and hopefully we’ll get into footwear. We also plan to do cosmetics; I want to do lightsaber lip gloss. Lip gloss in the shape of a lightsaber!
As a longtime fan of Star Wars, what’s it like to be behind the curtain now?
The biggest thing is getting to go up to Skywalker Ranch. The first time we ever went, my husband and I, we got a tour and they walked us up the staircase, and we were waiting right outside of George Lucas’s office. He walked out, and we met him, and we shook his hand, and he was just as normal and as down-to-earth as he could possibly be. To have experiences like that because you’re working on one of his shows is cool. We got to stay there at the ranch; it’s stuff like that that you pinch yourself and say, “Okay, how did I fall into this?” Even this line (Her Universe) is truly because of Lucasfilm; they’ve given me the opportunity with The Clone Wars, and they truly believe in their female fans.
What can we expect in the new season of The Clone Wars
Ahsoka has a big season coming up. All they’re allowing me to say is that there are some connections to the original saga in Season 3.
You can catch the current season of The Clone Wars every Friday night on Cartoon Network, and be sure to check out Ashley’s Star Wars-themed designs for women at Her Universe.