Fans of shows like Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels know and love Ahsoka Tano. And like many (if not all) of the Star Wars characters, fans’ love extends to the actor as well. And no one knows that more than Ahsoka voice actress Ashley Eckstein, who’s been along with the Clone Wars journey since day one.
That’s why it was so exciting to speak with Eckstein herself this week, who we chatted with via Zoom to discuss all things Ahsoka, The Clone Wars and more. Most importantly, Eckstein revealed the details about the Her Universe Fashion Show, which is making a comeback on this very day, Friday, July 23. (You can read about all the details in our feature on the fashion show here.)
But from our conversation, I thought it’d also be useful to share what was going on with Eckstein now that The Clone Wars is behind us and Star Wars TV is taking on a new shape.
The Bad Batch, the spinoff to The Clone Wars, is in full swing. Ahsoka’s moved from the animated world to the live-action one and getting her own spinoff series. And, well, a lot is happening in the world of Star Wars that’s worth discussing. So who better to do that with than someone who’s been a part of Star Wars history themselves?
Below, you can read our Q&A with Ashley Eckstein to hear her thoughts on The Bad Batch, The Clone Wars’ final season, and what’s next in her journey as Ahsoka.
Ashley Eckstein on Ahsoka, The Clone Wars and The Bad Batch
Dork Side of the Force (Mia Johnson): So, I’ve been watching The Bad Batch! I want to ask really quick, have you been keeping up with that?
Ashley Eckstein: I’m a little behind. I’ve watched it. I love it! And it’s because, you know, we’re a Star Wars family. The same crew that worked on the final season of Clone Wars, several of them work on Bad Batch. You know, of course, Dee Bradley Baker is like a brother to me. So I am just so, so proud of everyone that’s working on Bad Batch. It’s such a beautiful show. So yes, I am a little behind. So I can’t speak on the current updates. And definitely no spoilers! But I have seen quite a bit, and it’s just such an amazing show.
Cool! Do you have a favorite character so far?
Well, you know… it’s not so much a character. It’s Dee Bradley Baker. I am so proud of him because that’s what I hear when I hear all the clones. I’m just in awe of the fact that he is voicing all of these characters. But I will say, I do love the character of Omega because it throws me back to Ahsoka in the beginning of Clone Wars. So I was really pleased to see Omega and really intrigued to see where she goes and how much she grows.
Yeah! It’s been really, really fun. It’s my first time getting to watch a Star Wars show kind of in real-time and interacting with the audience and fans. I’ve really been loving it.
[After this, we go into a discussion about the Her Universe Fashion Show returning. And after that, we wrap up the conversation talking about the following.]
And speaking of Ahsoka — because the last time we talked, The Clone Wars was in the middle of airing. So now that that’s over — and now that I’ve actually watched The Clone Wars as well — I just want to know, what was it like getting to voice those final moments for season 7? I was like, “Oh my gosh!” By the final episode, where Anakin is standing over the shipwreck, I was just like, “I can’t contain myself.” It was an emotional season. So what was it like just getting to be a part of those final moments?
Oh my gosh, I mean, the final season of Clone Wars was truly such a gift. I don’t even know how else to say it other than to say that it was a gift. Because, you know, I never thought we would get to go back and make the final season. And so when we did get this surprise announcement, that Disney+ was going to allow us to go back and make that final season, it was such a surprise and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I knew I was not going to take for granted.
And so every recording session, every moment that I got to get back together with the cast and the crew, I savored every moment. And then to have that final season air during the pandemic. I think it was truly a time when everyone needed it most. We were all looking for a sign of hope. And here Ahsoka was, surviving Order 66, surviving and finding hope during what was truly the darkest time. [It] provided us all with a little bit of light and hope during what I think many of us felt was our darkest time as well. And so it was the perfect time for that final season to be available to fans, and I’m so grateful to have been a part of it.
That’s awesome! And so, I’m cautious to ask… On the topic of Ahsoka, do you feel like your journey is complete as Ahsoka? Or do you see anything else in the future? Or is that just a big, “I maybe shouldn’t talk about this.”?
Yeah, and I don’t mind you asking. You know, here’s the way I look at it. I don’t look ahead from the standpoint of, “Well, what am I going to do next? What’s ahead?”
I instead look at it for just how grateful I am to have had what I’ve had. You know, when I started Clone Wars… I originated the character in 2006. And never did I think that I’d be sitting here in 2021 talking about Ahsoka. And I’m just so grateful for the 15 years that I’ve had with this character. And so instead of looking at, “Well, what’s next?” You know, “What am I going to get to do?” and “What if?” I don’t focus on that. I really don’t. I focus on what I’ve had and how grateful I am for that.
However, I will say, I also don’t view it as that my time is over. I view my everyday life — and this is my own personal kind of not wish; I don’t know if “wish” is the right word. My own personal journey, I guess I should say — I strive to be a real-life version of Ahsoka Tano because I do see that after 15 years, I’m so closely associated with Ahsoka. And the fact of the matter is, I was cast as Ahsoka to bring myself to it. I got the part because they wanted me to bring my own voice and my own personality to this character. And so I did. I brought my own heart and soul to this character. So she’s literally a part of me.
And so for that, I kind of view it as — whether it’s on screen or whether it’s an animation form or whether it’s just my everyday life — Ahsoka lives in my heart and soul just like she lives in all of us now. And so I strive to be a real-life version of Ahsoka Tano every single day. So when I go to a convention, I kind of view it as though I’m stepping into Ahsoka’s shoes. And so, yeah, that’s just how I view it. And I’m just grateful that Ahsoka’s story and legacy continues.
Be sure to check out Ashley Eckstein during the Her Universe Fashion show on Friday, July 23 at 8 p.m. ET. And for more, keep up with Dork Side of the Force!
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.