How Star Wars' Ashley Eckstein Now Feels About The Clone Wars Finale And Ahsoka Tano's Legacy

Ahsoka in Season 7 of Star Wars The Clone Wars
(Image credit: Disney+)

The Star Wars galaxy continues to expand further and further with the Disney+ TV shows, and Obi-Wan Kenobi has officially become the latest chapter in the saga. It was the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series that really established that stories set in the galaxy far, far away can work on the small screen, however, and the Disney streaming platform finally gave fans the final season that they were waiting for back in 2020. Speaking with CinemaBlend two years later, Ahsoka Tano voice actress and Star Wars Mindful Matters host Ashley Eckstein has looked back at the Clone Wars finale and legacy.

Ashley Eckstein has been active within Star Wars even beyond her voice work, and overcame some fears for the Mindful Matters project that debuted on Star Wars Day 2022. That said, hers is the voice of one of the most iconic characters from Star Wars TV, and she helped bring The Clone Wars to a dramatic close with a finale arc involving the Siege of Mandalore, an epic duel between Ahsoka and Maul, and how Ahsoka and Rex escaped Order 66

More than two years after the end of The Clone Wars, Eckstein has shared with CinemaBlend how she currently feels about the finale:

I think the Siege of Mandalore – the finale of Clone Wars – is just incredible. And it only gets better, honestly, in my mind, the more times I watch it, and the more I get to talk with fans about it and interact about it. It's funny because we had planned so many things for the final season of Clone Wars. We had planned fan screenings and press events and premieres and none of it got to happen because of COVID. At first it was really disappointing, but then I realized the timing was perfect, because this was right in the beginning of COVID, and everyone needed hope. Everyone needed something to look forward to. Everyone needed some light in the darkness. And we had Clone Wars. To me and to so many fans, Star Wars means hope, Ahsoka means hope, and leave it to Star Wars: The Clone Wars to provide that hope in the middle of honestly some of the darkest times.

The deliberate timing of The Clone Wars’ seventh and final season meant that the finale released on Star Wars Day in 2020, but the coincidental timing meant that the final season of Clone Wars was releasing in early months of the COVID pandemic lockdown. The finale wasn’t an altogether happy ending, as it took place after Order 66 with Ahsoka on the run and the Empire in control, but it ended on a sense of hope for the future. Plus, any fans who had watched Star Wars Rebels already had an idea of what was in store for Rex and Ahsoka in the Star Wars timeline, so it wasn’t the end of their story even if it was the end of The Clone Wars. Ashley Eckstein continued:

Now that I'm able to get out and interact with fans at conventions – I've been to several conventions now – I've heard time and time again, from fans, how Clone Wars was there for them in a very dark time when they needed it most. So to hear how the final season impacted so many people, in such a positive way, is really incredible. You know, the Force works in mysterious ways, so Clone Wars coming out when it did was really the perfect timing.

The final season of The Clone Wars was a long time coming, as the series was originally cancelled on Cartoon Network after five seasons in 2013, with a sixth season releasing on Netflix in 2014. It took more than six years and another platform change before the show got its deserved ending on Disney+, with what Ashley Eckstein deems “perfect timing.” The finale to the show that really started Star Wars on TV wasn’t Eckstein’s only project that was a long time coming either, as she shared about the new Mindful Matters project:

Even though it's taken five years for these Star Wars Mindful Matters videos to come out, I feel that they're coming out at the perfect time. They're coming out during a time when fans need them most. And thanks to Citrone 33 and Lucasfilm, you know, we collaborated to bring these to fans, and they are a free resource. We're going to try to get them to as many fans as possible, because I feel like these lessons and these exercises are needed now more than ever.

Star Wars Mindful Matters is a series of shorts hosted and written by Ashley Eckstein, with the goal of guiding viewers in mindful exercises. The shorts have been releasing throughout the month of May on as well as the Star Wars Kids YouTube account, starting with the first episode on – when else? – May the 4th. Eckstein has become a key part of Star Wars over the years since her debut as Ahsoka Tano back in 2008.

On the heels of Hayden Christensen revealing that he watched The Clone Wars and Rebels ahead of reprising his prequel trilogy role as Darth Vader for Obi-Wan Kenobi, I asked Eckstein about her sense of pride that the animated shows featuring Ahsoka have had such an impact on the galaxy far, far away with such a strong legacy, and she shared: 

It’s just an honor and a privilege to be a part of such an important time period of the Star Wars saga. And I just feel so grateful. Getting the chance to be a part of even Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker and to have Ahsoka Tano included in the Skywalker saga of films was just absolutely incredible and surreal. It's just humbling. I feel like I won the lottery by being able to originate the role of Ahsoka Tano, and to have the opportunity to bring my own heart, my own soul to this character for the past 14, almost 15 years, is absolutely incredible. It's an honor and a privilege I will try to live up to and strive to live up to every single day.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker delivered a surprise cameo from Ahsoka Tano (as well as a number of other Jedi characters), which led some to speculate that she had died off-screen, but it was definitely a treat for Clone Wars and Rebels fans to get to see such an important animated character included in the Skywalker saga on the big screen. After all these years, Ashley Eckstein only had good things to say about voicing Ahsoka Tano and the Clone Wars finale.

Of course, Ahsoka will return to television in 2023, but not in animation. Rosario Dawson’s live-action Ahsoka series is expected to debut for Disney+ subscribers next year. In the meantime, you can find plenty of Ahsoka content – including the full run and finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars – streaming on Disney+ now.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.