This past year has brought us memorable performances in the world of live-action Star Wars TV. We kicked off with The Mandalorian Season 3 in March, followed by Ahsoka Season 1 in August. Both shows grew the galaxy far, far away from tying up storylines, building towards upcoming movies, and setting the stage for the next series to come. It was a great year. As Dork Side of the Force has already tackled the animated performances of 2023, let’s look back at it.
Here are the top 5 performances in Star Wars live-action.
5. Emily Swallow – The Mandalorian
Din Djarin follows The Armorer blindly, and who can blame him? Emily Swallow has an amazing voice and a brilliant screen presence. Plus, she has the undeniable ability to make every line seem iconic. The Armorer surprised most people by accepting Bo-Katan as a member of The Children of the Watch and then worked together with her to take back Mandalore. Hopefully, she’ll return in Season 4 because Emily Swallow never disappoints, and her one-liners are always thought-provoking.
4. Mary Elizabeth Winstead – Ahsoka
Mary Elizabeth Winstead did a fabulous job of bringing Hera Syndulla to live-action. She’s every bit the Hera we love from Star Wars Rebels, but she’s older and wiser now. Mary can convey Hera’s innate strength in the face of the toughest battles but also shows her determination to protect whatever is left of her family. Her face-offs with Senator Hamato Xiano were a highlight in the series and we’re so glad she showed him his place!
3. Rosario Dawson – Ahsoka
It’s very satisfying to see Ahsoka’s transformation in the series as she shedded the more rigid exterior for a more optimistic outlook by the end of Season 1. Rosario has all the mannerisms down, excels in every lightsaber duel regardless of the opponent, and overall looks and feels the part. She was perfect in the role of Ahsoka Tano, and we can’t wait to see what she does next with the character.
2. Hayden Christensen – Ahsoka
It’s hard to choose between Hayden Christensen and Ray Stevenson’s performances in Ahsoka. Both steal every scene they’re in, shine in the lightsaber duels, and share excellent on-screen chemistry with Rosario Dawson. It’s a toss between the two, but Hayden made dreams come true as he reunited with his Padawan in Episode 5, “Shadow Warrior.” Darth Vader, Suit-less Darth Vader, The Clone Wars Anakin, and Force-ghost Anakin are just a few of the versions of the character Hayden played with ease. His work in the series will be remembered for a very long time.
1. Ray Stevenson – Ahsoka
Baylan Skoll is by far the most interesting character introduced in Ahsoka, and Ray Stevenson’s passing is a huge loss for Star Wars. Baylan Skoll ended up being Stevenson’s final role. While playing the part of a villain, Ray’s performance makes the character so much more than a mustache-twirling baddie. He’s also a force to be reckoned with in every lightsaber duel. Everyone wants to know what Baylan’s next move is. Sadly, Ray Stevenson won’t be here to continue the character’s journey, which seems far from over.
We also wanted to note some honorable mentions, including Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan, Tait Fletcher as Paz Viszla, Eman Esfandi as Ezra Bridger, Lars Mikkelsen as Grand Admiral Thrawn, and Diana Lee Inosanto as Morgan Elsbeth.
The Mandalorian and Ahsoka are streaming on Disney+.