TAGGED AS: television, TV
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UPDATE (4/11/22): Although it is unclear how many episodes he will director, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse co-director Peter Ramsey will direct at least one episode, THR reports.
Ahsoka Tano’s rise to prominence is one of the great Star Wars feel-good stories. Voiced by Ashley Eckstein, the Torgruta was introduced as Anakin Skywalker’s precocious Padawan learner in the ill-received Star Wars: The Clone Wars theatrical film. But across the first five seasons of the subsequent animated series, the character grew from that initial depiction into a strong and dependable Jedi-in-training. Along the way, she also developed a devoted following among viewers who were all dismayed when The Clone Wars was cut short, leaving Ahsoka on a cliffhanger as she chose exile from the Jedi Order.
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Thankfully, Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni, who is also credited as her co-creator alongside Star Wars originator George Lucas, immediately went from Clone Wars to a new animated series: Star Wars Rebels. There, he introduced an older and somewhat wiser Ahsoka (still voiced by Eckstein) who spent the 15 or so years between the two programs helping the nascent Rebel Alliance (among other things, of course) prepare for their eventual war with the Empire. Her return and consistent presence on Rebels (for a few seasons, anyway) cemented the character as an important aspect of the overall Star Wars story; in fact, the fans even had a rallying cry for whenever she vanished: “Ahsoka Lives.” It got them through Clone Wars’s cancellation, her seemingly climactic confrontation with Darth Vader on Rebels, and her return in that program’s final episode.
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Then in 2020, Ahsoka fans received a couple of gifts: a final season of The Clone Wars to wrap up her story during that conflict, and word that she would be coming to the live action TV series, The Mandalorian. The latter become a reality later that year (with Rosario Dawson taking over from Eckstein) followed by a surprise announcement at the Disney Investor Day revealing Ahsoka Tano would be getting her own series. And just to sweeten the deal, the series would eventually join The Mandalorian and other Star Wars series for a crossover event.
Following the announcement, though, word about Ahsoka went pretty quiet until October 2021, when word broke indicating Star Wars prequel star Hayden Christensen would return as Anakin Skywalker, marking the first time the former Jedi Master and his former Padawan will share the live-action screen.
Of course, that moment is still in the future, but just the whisper of it means it is a good time to compile everything we know about Ahsoka so far.
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The series, carrying on from Ahsoka’s appearance on The Mandalorian, will see her continuing to chase down Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn (voiced by Lars Mikkelsen on Rebels). Thrawn went missing during the final liberation of Lothal, just prior to the events of the original Star Wars. But more important than his fugitive status is the person who went missing alongside him: would-be Jedi Ezra Bridger (voiced by Taylor Gray). As mentioned in Rebels’ final moments, Ahsoka made good on her promise to find him and her friends; although it would take her the entire Galactic Civil War to really dedicate herself to the quest.
Except, as Filoni told Vanity Fair, the final scene of Rebels, which saw the Jedi exile in all-white robes and brandishing a staff, may occur after events of her Mandalorian appearance, indicating Ahsoka may also take place before that moment. If that’s the case, then Ahsoka’s search for Thrawn may somehow be unrelated to the search for Ezra. Or, perhaps, she’s chosen not to include the members of Ezra’s Rebel cell. Based on her reticence to train Grogu, we imagine a huge element of the show will be Ahsoka’s unwillingness to be part of a family. It is a nice source of drama as she continues her quest.
And, while we’re speculating, it is always possible we might see Luke Skywalker at some point. Although she’s not a Jedi, we know — thanks to The Book of Boba Fett — that the two have crossed paths, but how could Filoni not show us the moment Anakin’s Padawan and son first met?
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Ahsoka’s search will be set in the New Republic era five or so years after The Return of the Jedi. As we’ve seen in The Mandalorian, the Republic seems to be taking the restoration of law and order seriously even if it allows Imperial remnants to fester. But with the Outer Rim of the galaxy the stomping ground of The Mandalorian, we expect Ahsoka’s journeys will take her far and wide – from former imperial capital Coruscant, to Lothal, Onderon, and even some new worlds.
We also expect her dealings with Republic officials to be different from Din Djarin’s (Pedro Pascal) more perilous entanglements on The Mandalorian. Or, perhaps, we’ll discover the rank-and-file are as susceptible to the Jedi Mind Trick as their Stormtrooper predecessors. Also, there are higher ranking individuals in the Republic who must remember Ahsoka as “Fulcrum.” One has to wonder if she’ll call on them as part of her quest.
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After her debut as the live-action Ahsoka in the second season Mandalorian episode “The Jedi,” Dawson will return as the character. Natasha Liu Bordizzo will be joining her in the series as Sabine Wren, the Mandalorian artist and demolitions expert from Rebels originally voiced by Tiya Sircar. At the moment, it is unclear if any other Clone Wars or Rebels characters will also jump to live action, but it is easy to imagine Thrawn will appear at some point. It’s also easy to imagine Mikkelsen continuing on in the role.
Other potential characters from the animated show who could make their live action debuts in Ahsoka include Ezra and Ghost pilot Hera Syndulla (and her son, Jacen). And considering Temeura Morrison’s renewed relationship with Lucasfilm over on The Book of Boba Fett, he could appear as the beloved Clone Captain Rex, who would still be alive at this point in Star Wars history.
But speaking of renewed relationships between Lucasfilm and Star Wars actors, Christensen — also set to return as Darth Vader on the Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series — will appear in the series as Anakin Skywalker. It is unclear how he will appear as Anakin died five or so years prior to the presumed setting of Ahsoka, but a galaxy of flashbacks, Force Ghosts, and a certain timey-wimey Jedi Temple makes his involvement relatively easy to explain. Instead, Christensen’s part in the show further cements Ahsoka’s importance to the overall Star Wars story despite debuting after Lucas completed the Prequel Trilogy.
(Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
In January 2022, THR reported that Birds of Prey and 10 Cloverfield Lane star Mary Elizabeth Winstead has joined the cast. In February, the site revealed Ray Stevenson will also be part of the ensemble. Their roles are still shrouded in mystery, but Stevenson previously voiced Gar Saxon, a Rebels character who possessed the Darksaber (now an important artifact on The Mandalorian) shortly before the Rebellion went to open war. It is possible he may return to the part via flashback, but it is equally likely he will play all new character. Ivanna Sakhno is also numbered among the cast, but like Winstead and Stevenson, it is unclear who she will play.
The Mandalorian brain trust of Filoni and Jon Favreau continue on with Ahsoka, although Filoni takes the primary writing role while Favreau serves as executive producer. The arrangement totally makes sense considering how central Ahsoka has been to Filoni’s work in the galaxy far, far away.
For the moment, we’ll also assume other members of The Mandalorian crew, like writer Christopher Yost, writer/director Rick Famuyiwa, and fellow directors Bryce Dallas Howard and Boba Fett’s Robert Rodriguez, may also join up, presuming they are free of The Mandalorian’s third season and their own feature film projects, of course. In April, THR confirmed one director: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse co-director Peter Ramsey. It is unclear how many episodes he will direct.
Production is expected to begin sometime in April.
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It is unclear when the series will debut, but the Star Wars television production pipeline gives us some clues: The Book of Boba Fett premieres this December with the first season of Andor and the Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series seemingly set to debut in 2022. The Mandalorian will also, presumably, return in fall or winter next year which likely puts Ahsoka in a 2023 slot. No matter its release window, the program is expected to begin production in April.
Read also: Every Upcoming Star Wars Movie And Series — With Key Details and Dates