August 23rd sees the release of the new live action series Ahsoka, starring Rosario Dawson as the wayward Jedi.
Originally voiced by Ashley Eckstein in the animated movie and series The Clone Wars starting in 2008, Ahsoka Tano quickly rose to become one of the franchises most popular new characters. As evident by having her own live action series, that popularity has only grown with the passage of time.
Tano was the brainchild of The Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni, who has since gone on to direct the character into her live action debut in season two of The Mandalorian. The decision was also made to make Ahsoka the Jedi padawan of none other than Anakin Skywalker.
By the time of Tano’s introduction into canon, the final film of the prequel trilogy, Revenge of the Sith, had already been released, in which Tano of course had no presence. This led many fans at the time to speculate that the character would likely be killed off at some point in the show, furthering Skywalker’s descent into the dark side of the force. However, this was not to be and following plot points from season six of The Clone Wars saw Tano leave the Jedi order prior to the events of Episode III, thus explaining her absence in that period of time.
Ironically this would go on to ensure the characters survival into the reign of the Empire and solidify Ahsoka as a powerful ally of the nascent Rebellion. By the time we see her in another animated series: Rebels, Tano has been a rebel informant longer than she ever was a Jedi. The events of Ahsoka then take place nearly a decade later.
Rumours of Ahsoka’s live action debut were already years old by the time of her first appearance in that medium in 2020. In an interview with Good Morning America in April 2017, Rosario Dawson made note that she was aware of an online campaign to have her cast as Ahsoka, at which she expressed enthusiasm.
The subject of ‘fan-casting’ has been a source of major speculation for online communities and fan groups, particularly when it comes to adaptations from books or animated sources such as the case was for Tano. Other actresses that had been pitched to play the Jedi padawan were Laura Harrier (Spider-Man: Homecoming, BlacKkKlansman) and Zoe Saldaña (Star Trek, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avatar).
Dawson watched The Clone Wars and Rebels in preparation for her role as Ahsoka. She alongside Sabine Wren’s live action counterpart Natasha Liu Bordizzo were both instructed in the Chinese martial art of Wushu which Dawson incorporated into her lightsaber fighting style.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Dawson stated that she is “not a workout-y person, and I’m in my 40s getting into the most physically demanding role of my life. [Ahsoka’s] not someone who gets tired. I can’t play this like a human. She is an indefatigable alien. She’s precise. She’s master-level. The challenge is for me to show up and express that. It’s like, I won’t necessarily work out for myself, but I’ll work out for Ahsoka any day of the week”
Episodes one and two of Ahsoka will air on August 23rd exclusively on Disney+ and will consist of eight episodes in total.
What are you looking forward to in Ahsoka? Let us know in the comments below! For all things Star Wars, head on over to Dork Side of the Force!