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How Star Wars' Dave Filoni Feels About Expanding Ahsoka Tano's Story From Clone Wars To Mandalorian Spinoff

Rosario Dawson on The Mandalorian
(Image credit: Disney)

The Star Wars franchise has produced numerous characters that have become widely loved by audiences, and one that has truly entered the pop culture zeitgeist in an interesting way is Ahsoka Tano. When the padawan was first introduced in the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars back in 2008, fans initially weren’t too high on her. Yet now, she’s become a true staple of the franchise and has arguably had one of the most compelling arcs in the entire saga. This is in large part due to the efforts of her creator, Dave Filoni, who is now set to continue her journey in Disney+’s Ahsoka. Details on the show are scarce right now, but Filoni has now opened up about what it’s been like to expand the Jedi’s story up to the Mandalorian spinoff. 

After Clone Wars, Ahsoka’s storyline continued into Star Wars Rebels, which smoothly transitioned her into her explosive debut on The Mandalorian last year. Dave Filoni was excited to bring his beloved heroine into the live-action world, though this new show brings a bit of pressure with it. Of course, this is far from the writer/producer’s first rodeo, and he’s apparently put a lot of thought into this new chapter in Tano’s story: 

It’s something you imagine doing for a long time. And then it’s kind of startling when you’re sitting there, and now you have to do it. … Years ago, I never would have imagined that it was sprung from a branch of a tree that had anything to do with a guy [like] Din Djarin, or a child that looks like Yoda. It’s a great lesson for me on how, when you have other creatives like Jon Favreau, they can help lend such dimension and depth to what you’re doing.

It really has been amazing to see just how this universe and its characters have continued to grow over the years. As the fan-favorite Lucasfilm producer explained to Empire, not many would’ve imagined a live-action Star Wars show centered on a bounty hunter and a diminutive, green alien. The same can be said about a spinoff series that thrusts iconic bounty hunter Boba Fett (played by Temuera Morrison no less) into the spotlight. It’s safe to say this is a wonderful time to be a fan of the galaxy far, far away. 

Ahsoka feels like the logical next step in this hype, as the project will now allow audiences to follow the story of a Jedi within the Mandalorian timeline. Not only will it make for a nice change of pace, but it will also provide action sequences that are a bit more intricate (Not that Din Djarin’s exploits haven’t been impressive.) Of course, lead actor Rosario Dawson will likely also get some weighty material that will allow her to further develop her iteration of the character. And it looks like the story may be aiming to resolve a loose plot thread that’s been dangling for a few years now. 

At the end of the Rebels series finale in 2018, young Jedi Ezra Bridger seemingly sacrificed himself in order to prevent Grand Admiral Thrawn from destroying the city of Lothal. Not believing Bridger to be dead, Ahsoka, along with Sabine Wren, sought to find the young man. According to rumors, the show has cast Aladdin star Mena Massoud to play the live-action Bridger, while Lars Mikkelsen is allegedly reprising his role as Thrawn. And just last week, it was reported that Natasha Liu Bordizzo has been cast as Sabine. This would all be exciting enough, yet Hayden Christensen is also apparently reprising his role as Tano’s master, Anakin Skywalker. 

Such developments should truly bring Ahsoka Tano’s story full circle in a compelling and sweet way. It’ll probably be a while before the show actually arrives but, with Dave Filoni behind the scenes and Rosario Dawon leading the cast, it should be well worth the wait.

In the meantime, be sure to check out Ahsoka’s past appearances in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Rebels and The Mandalorian by streaming all three on Disney+.

Erik Swann

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.