How Ahsoka Tano (Eventually) Became a Beloved Star Wars Character

Thứ sáu - 17/05/2024 22:05
From early fan hate to eventual adoration, it's been quite a journey for Ahsoka Tano across multiple series and through animation to live-action.
Table Of Contents

Fifteen years ago, Ashley Eckstein originated the role of Ahsoka Tano, the previously unrevealed Padawan of one of the most famous Jedi in Star Wars lore: Anakin Skywalker. Ahsoka’s first appearance came in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars theatrically released animated movie, and she was a regular character in the subsequent The Clone Wars animated series.

Despite the initial negative reaction towards Ahsoka, and the idea that Anakin had a plucky and sometimes sarcastic young sidekick (one he quickly nicknamed “Snips”), she eventually became one of the most beloved heroines in the franchise through her growth in The Clone Wars, her return in Star Wars Rebels, and her live-action introduction during the second season of The Mandalorian and in The Book of Boba Fett, as Rosario Dawson took over the role of Ahsoka.

The long-awaited Ahsoka series has now arrived on Disney+, which will resolve some long-running unresolved subplots from Rebels and, presumably, help lead into the upcoming Star Wars film directed by Ahsoka’s co-creator Dave Filoni.

Let’s take a look back at Ahsoka’s unique journey to date, and how she gradually became a fan favorite.


Following his stint on the critically acclaimed animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, Filoni was personally recruited by Star Wars creator George Lucas to join Lucasfilm and develop the series that eventually became Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Early in the development of that show, the character that would become Ahsoka was originally going to be paired with a different Jedi. However, Lucas came up with the idea of making Ahsoka the Padawan of Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter) – which was notable given no Star Wars fan ever considered Anakin even had a Padawan prior this.

“Originally, we didn’t really know exactly what The Clone Wars was going to be,” explained Filoni in a recent Ahsoka featurette. “We made up our own little band of characters. There was a character that was a Jedi and there was a Padawan. We thought ‘We’ll put them on adventures.’ But, you know, George had other ideas. He says, ‘Well, this character…’ and he points to the Padawan we had, and he says ‘Let’s give Anakin Skywalker a Padawan.” And I was like, ‘Anakin doesn’t have a Padawan.’ He just looked at me and said, ‘Anakin has a Padawan.’ That was basically it. That’s how Ahsoka came about.”

In many ways, Ahsoka was a mirror image of Anakin himself. Like her master, Ahsoka was convinced that she knew what she was doing in battle long before she actually did. One of the ways that The Clone Wars was able to mitigate some of Ahsoka’s initially, seemingly negative personality traits is that the episodes allowed Ahsoka to make mistakes and learn from her experiences.

By the third season, Ahsoka’s outlook had turned around and she was far less brash than she was in the first two seasons. However, the biggest turning point in Ahsoka’s development came at the end of the fifth season, when she was falsely accused of betraying the Jedi Order. When Ahsoka’s name was cleared, she decided to leave the Jedi behind, in the wake of how quickly many of them had believed she could be guilty.

This dramatic turn of events left fans to wonder what became of her, since The Clone Wars initially ended abruptly soon after, without any follow up on Ahsoka’s character arc. By this time, the early critiques were very much a thing of the past and Ahsoka had truly crossed over to become a beloved aspect of the show, and this lack of resolution was disappointing to many.


In 2012, Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney, clearing the way for new theatrical projects and TV shows. Filoni remained at Lucasfilm and he was also one of the guiding creators behind Star Wars Rebels. And while Ahsoka didn’t appear on the show until the Season 1 finale, it was clear that Filoni and his collaborators crafted her story with care.

It was revealed that Ahsoka was Fulcrum, a secret operative for the Rebel Alliance who closely guarded her identity. Ahsoka’s primary contact at this point was Hera Syndulla (Vanessa Marshall), the captain of The Ghost. Hera kept Ahsoka’s secret until her onscreen return, when Ahsoka and other Rebel cells answered a distress call from Hera’s droid, Chopper. Ahsoka and her men quickly assembled a group of ships to save the crew of the Ghost as they escaped from an Imperial Star Destroyer.

“We all felt that Ahsoka, the only person that could really match her in this time period, blow for blow, would be Vader or the Emperor,” said Filoni during a 2016 interview with “So that was why you didn’t see her as much and when she showed up it was purposeful. It had meaning again. You always have to serve your story, and the best way we could do that was by actually limiting Ahsoka in the story, so when she showed up, you knew it was going to be important.”

This was illustrated in the Season 2 premiere of Rebels, when Ahsoka’s mind briefly made contact with Darth Vader as he attacked the Rebel fleet. Ahsoka clearly suspected that her former master had become the Dark Lord of the Sith, but it took several additional episodes for Ahsoka to come to terms with this revelation. Ahsoka’s appearances moved her story forward until she finally came face-to-face with Vader in the season 2 finale, “Twilight of the Apprentice.”

The epic battle between Ahsoka Tano and Darth Vader did not disappoint, and she pushed him farther than almost any of his other opponents since he had turned to the Dark Side. Ahsoka’s mistake was that she assumed that she would be able to reach Anakin’s humanity, and she was willing to bet her life on that. That’s why she sealed off their battleground in the Sith Temple as Ezra Bridger (Taylor Gray) and Kanan Jarrus (Freddie Prinze Jr.) made their escape.

Once again, Ahsoka’s fate was left up in the air and her survival was in question – and once more fans were concerned. But in the fourth and final season of Rebels, Ezra found his way into The World Between Worlds, a place where the past, present, and the future intersected outside of normal space and time. Ezra was able to save Ahsoka moments before her death at Vader’s hands.

That was the last time that Ezra saw Ahsoka before they parted ways. And as revealed in the series finale of Rebels, Ahsoka joined forces with Sabine Wren (Tiya Sircar) to find Ezra no matter how far they had to go.


Notably, even as the eventual debut of The Mandalorian took Star Wars television, and Ahsoka herself, into live-action, the end of Rebels didn’t close the book on Ahsoka’s animated adventures. Disney+ happily revived The Clone Wars for a seventh and final season that allowed the show to finally depict what happened to Ahsoka after she left the Jedi Order. After some adventures with new friends, Ahsoka was drawn back into the Clone Wars and given her own unit to command in a mission to liberate Mandalore from Darth Maul (Sam Witwer). Filoni had previously hinted at this then-untold story on episodes of Rebels and the events were also alluded to in E. K. Johnston’s Ahsoka novel. But these episodes were Filoni’s first chance to truly tell the full story and wrap up the series properly.

This all turned out to be a vital part of Ahsoka’s past, as she made a tentative alliance with Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) to depose Maul. By this time in the series, Ahsoka’s fighting abilities were on the level of almost any Jedi Knight, even if she was no longer technically a Jedi, and she managed to defeat Maul in battle and finish her mission. At one point, Maul even tried to make an alliance with Ahsoka against the Sith, but she didn’t believe him when he said that Anakin was aligned with the Sith.

Unfortunately for Ahsoka, Maul wasn’t lying. On their way back to Coruscant, Order 66 was executed and most of the Jedi were slaughtered. Even Ahsoka’s troops were turned against her, although she managed to free Commander Rex (Dee Bradley Baker) from his control chip. Ahsoka freed Maul to sow chaos among the troops, but she refused to align with him. Ahsoka and Rex managed to survive the crash of their ship, but every single troop under their command perished. Before she left for parts unknown, Ahsoka laid out memorials for her men.

This haunting and tragic ending to the series — complete with an epilogue where Darth Vader, years later, finds his old Padawan’s discarded lightsabers — seemed to truly underline that if anyone had eventually become the protagonist of The Clone Wars, it was Ahsoka Tano.

Although Eckstein believed at the time that this might be the end of her run voicing the character, she expressed her eagerness to see Ahsoka live on in other stories.

“I do wonder about Ahsoka’s journey,” related Eckstein during a 2020 interview with EW. “In my hopes and dreams, [The Clone Wars finale] is just Ahsoka’s ending for Clone Wars. She gets such a beautiful, incredible ending, one that I feel this character truly deserved. In my opinion, there’s so many more Ahsoka stories to tell and it’s my hope that we continue to get those stories no matter the medium, whether it be animation or film or television or books or video games.”


In 2017, Dawson’s name was floated by fans on social media as a potential live-action performer for Ahsoka, and Dawson was quick to voice her approval of the idea. Filoni also believed that Dawson would be a good fit for the character, and she proved to be very eager to portray Ahsoka when she was given the chance to guest star in “The Jedi,” the fifth episode of The Mandalorian Season 2. Once she was actually cast in the role, Dawson went back and watched Ahsoka’s animated appearances to prepare herself. Dawson also praised Eckstein’s performance and elaborated on how it helped shape her own take on Ahsoka.

“Ashley did a remarkable job,” said Dawson during a 2020 profile in Vanity Fair. “You’ve seen this character first come into our hearts and minds as a teenager and then evolve, and Ashley has been there the entire way. Seeing how her voice changed, how her energy changed, and to hear the maturity develop in her was just so powerful and so beautiful. I studied it like crazy and tried my best to honor that. And it was just incredible to be able to have such an in-depth performance to source.”

Within the episode, Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), the title hero of The Mandalorian, was searching for a Jedi to train his companion, a child who was clearly from the same species as Yoda. Earlier in the season, Bo-Katan gave Din Ahsoka’s exact location. This allowed Din to finally track down a member of the Jedi.

After an initial misunderstanding, DIn was able to convince Ahsoka that he only wanted to talk to her about the child. Subsequently, Ahsoka’s Force abilities allowed her to commune with the child, and she was able to tell Din that his name is Grogu. They even teamed up against Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto), a local tyrant. However, Ahsoka refused to train Grogu. Instead, she pointed Din towards a way for Grogu to find his own Jedi Master. In the meantime, it was revealed that Ahsoka was hunting down Grand Admiral Thrawn, the Imperial officer who disappeared alongside Ezra in the series finale of Rebels, which many deduced was setting the stage for Ahsoka’s own series.


The Book of Boba Fett provided an unexpected reunion between Din Djarin and Ahsoka when he came to visit Grogu, while also giving her onscreen interaction with another Star Wars icon. Much to the surprise of fans, Ahoska met Anakin’s son, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), at some point that has yet to be revealed. And while Ahsoka had no intention of helping Luke train the next generation of Jedi, they clearly seemed to connect during her appearance. She even told Luke that he reminded her of his father.

“The biggest thing was putting [Ahsoka] on screen with Luke,” explained Filoni during a chat with Star Wars Coffee. “It’s a strange relationship they have, because she was taught by his father [and] he never really knew his father. So they can provide some context for each other in a beautiful way.”

Once more, Ahsoka’s significance to the entire saga was clear, as fans debated just what had occurred when she’d met the son of her former Master for the first time and what their conversations must have been like about him.


Although there was a lot of excitement surrounding the announcement of Dawson’s Ahsoka series in late 2020, fans still showed a lot of loyalty to Eckstein’s animated incarnation. This was a far cry from the way Ahsoka had been received years earlier, but it reflected her continuing importance in the mythology of Star Wars and how much she resonated with fans at this point, many of whom could now say they had grown up with the character.

To the surprise of many, even with the live-action series in the works, Eckstein had an unexpected encore in Filoni’s 2022 Star Wars animated anthology series, Tales of the Jedi. Three of the six shorts explored Ahsoka’s life from an infant on Shili to her intense training during the Clone Wars, and it also revealed why Ahsoka came out of hiding after Order 66 to join the Rebel Alliance. Eckstein once more voiced the animated Ahsoka, which was an inventive way of allowing her and Dawson to share the part simultaneously across two different mediums.

“Once again, it’s like, well, you know, this might be the last time I have a record [session] for Ahsoka,” explained Eckstein in a 2022 interview with Fandom. “I always think that, but then also it’s saying goodbye to friends after having worked together since 2008. I felt like, as Ahsoka was saying goodbye to her friend, I was saying goodbye to my cast and crew. The emotions were very, very, very real. So I’m looking forward to seeing that one to see how much you can hear and if you can hear I was crying because I went through multiple tissues!”

Eckstein also spoke about meeting Dawson for the first time, remarking, “It’s really incredible that we’re all now having the chance to meet. I finally had the chance to meet Rosario and it was wonderful. She’s just as just as lovely as could be. I’m all about women supporting women and I built an entire brand around it. All I ever wanted to do was to kind of step out united and say ‘We’re one’ and so I’m excited that we finally had the chance to do that.”

Tales of the Jedi Season 2 will premiere on Disney+ in 2024, and it may provide Eckstein with even more opportunities to reprise her iconic role.


While most of the story for Ahsoka remains secretive, Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) and Ezra (Eman Esfandi) are both slated to appear. Perhaps the most intriguing thing to be revealed though is that Sabine (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) actually trained under Ahsoka, though there are now hard feelings between the two. It should be noted that Sabine hadn’t displayed an aptitude for the Force on Rebels, despite welding the Darksaber for a time, so we don’t know what changed along the way.

Hera (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Chopper are also in Ahsoka, so it’s a virtual Rebels reunion, while the bigger picture includes Thrawn’s reemergence, the search for Ezra, and, perhaps, a return to the World Between Worlds. And at this point, it’s clear many Star Wars fans are eager to see more adventures for Ahsoka Tano, with those original days of derision long in the past.

Ahsoka premieres on

Disney+ on Tuesday, August 22.

Total notes of this article: 0 in 0 rating

Click on stars to rate this article

Related New