The first trailer for the upcoming Disney+ Star Wars show Ahsoka is here. And it’s awesome.
There’s a lot to take in. We got our first glimpses of a ton of fan favorite characters, some we’ve previously only seen in animation: Hera Syndulla, Sabine Wren, Chopper, not mention Mon Mothma. We glimpsed a tiny holographic Ezra Bridger and a brief over-the-shoulder Admiral Thrawn. And we are left scratching our heads in wonder at the array of enemies the trailer presented, not a few of which were wielding red-bladed lightsabers.
It was easy to miss the other character who made an animation-to-live-action debut. We were all likely still catching our collective breath when he came on screen. But we heard that tantalizing line of dialogue.
“Perhaps it is time to begin again.” Those words, spoken by the droid, Professor Huyang.
So, who is this guy? Is he even important?
Huyang is not a new character to the Star Wars universe. We first met him in The Clone Wars animated series. His primary purpose is to help younglings craft their lightsabers. Once they’ve acquired a kyber crystal on Illum, Huyang works with each aspiring Jedi to gather both the pieces and knowledge necessary to construct a blade that is unique to and representative of them.
Professor Huyang is doing exactly that in the episode “A Test of Strength” when Hondo Ohnaka and his pirates board their ship. In the ensuring three-episode arc, the younglings work together with Huyang and Ahsoka Tano herself to escape both Hondo’s pirates and General Grievous.
“It was the most eventful [mission] since the time Master Yoda went to find his lightsaber crystal,” Huyang says.
Which is important. That single sentence highlights just how old this lightsaber architect droid is. Huyang had been serving the Jedi order for centuries before Order 66. He’s already shown up in stories from the High Republic era—in Cavan Scott’s The Rising Storm, Padawan Bell Zettifar remembers his own lightsaber construction under Huyang’s watchful gaze.
Seeing as the droid has apparently survived the downfall of the Jedi Order, Huyang now stands to connect nearly every era of Star Wars storytelling.
“Inside my memory banks I contain a record of every lightsaber ever made and the Jedi who fashioned them,” Huyang tells those younglings under Ahsoka’s care.
Huyang was introduced to Star Wars fans in an Ahsoka-centric arc of The Clone Wars; it only makes sense that he would be brought into live action in her self-titled series. But I don’t think he’ll stay solely in Ahsoka’s storyline.
We know that Daisey Ridley is back to portray Rey as a Jedi Master reviving the Jedi Order some fifteen years after The Rise of Skywalker. Could Huyang play a role in bringing the Order back from the brink?
We know that more stories from the High Republic and even the Old Republic eras are on the way. Will Huyang provide connective tissue across these many generations?
And we know Luke Skywalker himself—still hard at work at his own doomed Jedi Order enterprise in the era of The Mandalorian—is looking for Jedi artifacts. Huyang seems like the right droid to talk to. Luke would certainly be interested in the contents of that sprawling memory bank.
And of course, it bears asking: What is Ahsoka herself doing with Huyang? She’s given up on the Jedi Order; what does she need from this very Jedi-focused droid?
All this to say, I think that one cameo at the bitter end of the Ahsoka trailer is more important than we might think—and might suggest the sprawling stories still to come from the Star Wars galaxy.