Everything We Learned About ‘Ahsoka’ at Star Wars Celebration

The live-action “Star Wars” series starring Rosario Dawson will debut in August on Disney+


“Ahsoka” — the live-action “Star Wars” series starring Rosario Dawson in the title role of Ahsoka Tano — is the next live-action series coming to Disney+.

It’s based on a character writer and executive producer Dave Filoni created 15 years ago. Judging by the thunderous applause at the recent Star Wars Celebration, Ahsoka is a fan-favorite who will only grow in popularity with this upcoming show. Jon Favreau and Kathleen Kennedy also serve as executive producers.

Who is Ahsoka?

Ahsoka is a character created by George Lucas and Dave Filoni for the 2008 animated film “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and the subsequent animated series of the same name that ran from 2008-14 and for one final season in 2020. Lucas had wanted Anakin Skywalker to have a padawan of his own, thus Ahsoka was created. She was trained as a Jedi, but she broke away from the Order. And we all know what happened to Skywalker.

Ahsoka later appeared in the animated series “Star Wars Rebels” assisting the crew of the spacecraft Ghost. We won’t spoil too much about her role in “Rebels” for those who want to catch up, but this upcoming live-action series is a continuation of that show. Filoni also served as the executive producer on “Rebels.”

The live-action Ahsoka made her first appearance in Season 2 of “The Mandalorian,” after she’s recommended to train Grogu (aka Baby Yoda) in the ways of the Force. But sensing Grogu’s connection with the Mandalorian, she refuses. She later appears in “The Book of Boba Fett” to offer further guidance.

She is a fierce warrior who wields two lightsabers. Dawson says she became ambidextrous after training with the props.

Who plays Ahsoka Tano?

Ashley Eckstein voiced the animated Ahsoko. Rosario Dawson, who plays the live-action version, gave props to Eckstein during the Star Wars Celebration panel, saying, “She did a remarkable job developing her” and praising the “complexities and nuances she brought.”

What is “Ahsoka” about?

“Ahsoka” follows the title character as she uncovers the threat of Grand Admiral Thrawn, a villain introduced in “Rebels.” In the trailer released during Celebration, Ahsoka warns “Something’s coming. Something dark. I started hearing whispers about Thrawn’s return as heir to the Empire.”

Filoni described Thrawn as Moriarty — referencing the brilliant fictional professor that was a match (or more) for Sherlock Holmes.

“He is formidable and not someone to take likely,” Dawson elaborated at Celebration. “She knows these foes aren’t easily dismissed.”

With the threat of Thrawn re-emerging, Ahsoka crosses paths with Sabine Wren, Hera Syndulla and other characters from “Rebels.”

Who is in the “Ahsoka” cast?

Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Hera Syndulla (Photo credit: Lucasfilm/Disney)

“Ahsoka” includes a cast of both new and familiar characters. Those featured at Celebration include:

  • Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano, former apprentice of Anakin Skywalker
  • Natasha Lee Bordizzo as Sabine Wren, Mandalorian warrior and artist
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Hera Syndulla, a New Republic general and pilot of the Ghost along with her trusty droid Chopper
  • The late Ray Stevenson as Baylan Skoll, a new character. He’s a Force user and wields an orange lightsaber.
  • Ivanna Sahkno as Shin Hati who is tied to Baylan. She also wields an orange lightsaber. Both are described as aligned with Thrawn.
  • Diana Lee Inosanto as Morgan Elsbeth, who lost her Beskar spear in combat with Ahsoka. Described by Inosanto as “very loyal to Thrawn” and a “hard worker” whose background will be explored.
  • Lars Mikkelsen as Grand Admiral Thrawn, Empire officer who Mikkelsen calls a “strategic mastermind.” His face was revealed in a special Celebration-only trailer.
  • David Tennant as Huyang, a droid. Filoni confirmed Tennant’s participation in the series. He completed all his recording before primary filming, so his voice was actually played back on set, it was revealed.

Also seen in the trailer:

  • Eman Esfadi as Ezra Bridger
  • Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma, Chancellor of the New Republic, reprising her role from “Andor”

Not seen (yet):

  • Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, Ahsoka’s former Jedi master

Filoni also teased the possibility of other “Rebels” characters appearing either in present-day or flashback.

All episodes are written by Filoni. He also directs the first episode. Guest directors revealed during Celebration include Peter Ramsey, Steph Green, Jennifer Getzinger, Geeta Patel and Rick Famuyiwa.

Kevin Kiner returns to do music for the series.

When does Ahsoka take place?

Executive producer Jon Favreau has said “Ahsoka” takes place around the same time as “The Mandalorian,” roughly 5+ years after the events of “Return of the Jedi” when the Empire was defeated. In lore, this period is known as the New Republic Era.

You can learn more about how to watch Star Wars shows in order with our handy guide.

Do I need to watch “Clone Wars” and “Rebels” before “Ahsoka”?

With 75 episodes a piece, watching each animated series is a significant time commitment, but doing so — particularly “Rebels,” will equip viewers with most of what they need to know about Ahsoka, Sabine, Hera and Thrawn.

“There’s a relationship that the audience shares with these characters,” Favreau said.

Where can I watch “Ahsoka”?

Ahsoka is coming to Disney+ with a two-episode premiere on August 22, 2023. Stevenson let slip that there are eight episodes, but that has yet to be confirmed. The episode lengths are unknown, but if it follows “The Mandalorian,” they will range from 26 to 52 minutes, with most around 35-40 minutes.

You can watch her previous appearances in “Clone Wars,” “Rebels, “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett” on the streamer as well.

Why should viewers watch “Ahsoka”?

The level of action in “Ahsoka” has been teased as next-level, with Dawson revealing she worked out and trained two hours a day, seven days a week for months for this role. “There was lots of profuse sweating,” she admitted.

She also praised Filoni’s participation as the series writer and executive producer. “It’s impossible to do the show without having David on set, his encyclopedic knowledge,” she said. “At the end of the day, this is something he’s had in his head for years.” And now it’s finally coming to the big screen.

Watch the Ahsoka teaser and trailer

Here is the teaser released during Star Wars celebration:

And the full trailer released on July 11: