Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) holds her lightsaber in the World Between Worlds in 'Ahsoka'

All the Star Wars Characters Who Have Made the Jump to Live Action (So Far)

Star Wars is one of the biggest franchises of all time, essentially a modern mythology all its own. With hundreds of pieces of media spanning over four decades, ranging from movies to books to video games and television shows (both animated and live-action), the galaxy grows bigger every day. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some familiar faces popping up every now and then. So, here’s every animated Star Wars character who has or will soon be making their live-action debut.

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Characters who technically appeared first in animated form

Boba Fett

The bounty hunter Boba Fett appears in an animated segment in the 'Star Wars Holiday Special'
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Few people remember the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special, but one of the best parts was the official unofficial introduction to Boba Fett in an animated segment. Ironically, his color scheme and weapon of choice make him more visually similar to the Mandalorian than Boba Fett of the original trilogy. But in any case, the short, animated segment got young fans excited for the character when he did eventually debut in Empire Strikes Back.

General Grievous

General Grievous, a cyborg 4-armed droid general, in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Yet another character who was only shown in the cartoon to get kids ready to buy the toys when the character premiered in the upcoming movie. The General Grievous introduced in Genndy Tartakovsky’s 2003 Clone Wars animated series was arguably the most intimidating version of the character, and while most of him would be de-canonized following the premiere of Revenge of the Sith and The Clone Wars show to follow, his abduction of Palpatine and duel with Shaak Ti in the show were alluded to at the start of the Siege of Mandalore in The Clone Wars season 7.

The retcons

From there we get into Disney-era Star Wars and the post-Clone Wars era. By this point, Disney is looking to bring back fans who disliked the prequels, while also engaging prequel and Clone Wars fans.

Saw Gerrera

Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera in 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story'
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

When creating the rebel extremist character of Rogue One, the team had originally intended him to be an entirely new character. But then someone remembered Saw Gerrera from the Clone Wars series and decided the best way to build a rebellion was to build on what already exists. This does still leave a wealth of continuity errors; Forest Whitaker is about 15 years older than the character as written and none of his Clone Wars background (such as his home world of Onderon nor his sister, Steela) is mentioned in Rogue One. But his later animated appearances in Rebels, Fallen Order, and now in Bad Batch (voiced intermittently by Forest Whittaker and Andrew Kishino) serve to close the gap between the two characters

An animated saga continues in live action

Bo-Katan Kryze

Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan Kryze in 'The Mandalorian'
(Disney+)

Bo-Katan Kryze was every fan’s pipe dream; getting to see not only a character brought directly from animation into live-action as a continuation of their story, but also played by her original voice actress, Katee Sackhoff. It’s a wonderful payoff for both the character and the actress, allowing for a seamless move between the two mediums and legitimizing the animated shows in a way never before seen.

Ahsoka Tano

Ahsoka Tano in the Rebels Series Finale and in her live action show
(Disney+)

Ahsoka Tano is a character who went from one of the most hated to one of the most loved, who fans had been wanting to see in live-action for years. And Season 2 Episode 5 of The Mandalorian finally gave us our wish. While some miss the voice of Ashley Eckstein and others miss the longer Lekku and Montrals of Star Wars Rebels Ahsoka, most agree that Rosario Dawson has done an excellent job at capturing the physicality and personality of the Not!Jedi.

Episode 5 of the Ahsoka show has also given us Ariana Greenblatt as Clone Wars-era Ahsoka, thankfully not wearing the tube top outfit Ahsoka wore in the first two and a half seasons.

Cad Bane

Cad Bane as he appears in the Book of Boba Fett
(Disney+)

Many fans of The Clone Wars recognized him by his hat alone when he appeared at Mos Pelgo. Like Maul before him, the character was brought to life with a combination of his voice actor (Corey Burton) doing the talking and another actor (Dorian Kingi) providing the muscle. While his introduction may have led to his death(?), it also opens the door for Bane to appear in later (earlier?) live-action shows beyond the Bad Batch series.

The Grand Inquisitor and Fifth Brother

The Grand Inquisitor flanked by The Fifth Brother and Third Sister in the Obi-Wan Kenobi show
(Disney+)

The Grand Inquisitor and the Fifth Brother’s appearance marks the first time seeing the Inquisitors in live-action. Though they differ somewhat visually from their original Rebels looks, they are relatively faithful in personality and intimidation and also serve to highlight the backstabbing nature of the Inquisitors.

Tera Sinube

Obi-Wan looks at Jedi Master Tera Sinube, a goat-like alien who is frozen in amber.
(Disney+)

Tera Sinube was an older Jedi Master who helped Ahsoka recover her lightsaber during a one-off Clone Wars episode. Instead of being killed during Order 66, he and many other Jedi were revealed in the Obi-Wan Kenobi show to be entombed in Amber.

Purrgil

Purrgils (space whales) as they appear in live-action in the Star Wars Ahsoka show.
(Disney+)

A blink and you’ll miss it cameo in season 3 of The Mandalorian, Grogu finds himself awestruck as he looks out into hyperspace and sees a pod of purrgil surrounding him and Din Djarin’s ship. The space whales played a major role in the Star Wars Rebels finale with Ezra Bridger calling on them to destroy the Imperial Blockade of Lothal and capture Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Garazeb Orrelios

Garazeb Orrelios, a.k.a. Zeb, a large purple alien with pointy ears in 'The Mandalorian'
(Disney+)

Zeb is the first (living) member of the Ghost crew to make his live-action debut, having a cameo in The Mandalorian. Similar to Cad Bane, they brought the character to life by combining his voice actor (Stephen Blum) with a motion-capture artist and CGI.

Sabine Wren

Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) in 'Ahsoka'
(Disney+)

Sabine is now a main character in the Ahsoka show, where she is played by Natasha Liu Bordizzo. Notably, the first two episodes of the show recreate the Rebels epilogue shot-for-shot.

Huyang

Huyang, the ancient Jedi Lightsaber craftsman droid, voiced by David Tennant in the Ahsoka show
(Disney+)

First introduced in The Clone Wars, Huyang is one of the oldest characters in Star Wars, being a millennia old droid who has helped generations of Jedi create their lightsabers. Voiced by David Tennant, he now serves as an aide to Ahsoka as she investigates old Force temples and not-so-subtly hints about Ahsoka needing a padawan to have her back.

Hera Syndulla

Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Hera Syndulla in a scene from Disney+'s 'Ahsoka.' Hera is a Twi'lek with green skin, bright blue eyes, and two long, tentacle-like appendages coming out of the back of her head and hanging behind her. She wears a brown leather aviator hat with goggles at her forehead and a brown leather bomber jacket with light brown fleece at the collar.
(Disney+)

General Hera Syndulla is captain of The Ghost and is arguably the best pilot in the Star Wars galaxy. Played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Hera is one of the few military leaders of the New Republic who still takes the threat of Imperial Remnants (such as the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn) seriously.

Chopper

Chopper the Star Wars droid on the Ahsoka show
(Disney+)

Everyone’s favorite murderous astromech first debuted as a cameo in Rogue One, but has been since upgraded to side-character status. He’s still flying on The Ghost with Hera and her son, Jacen, and appears to be the one to tell Jacen things he maybe shouldn’t know yet about his father.

Grand Admiral Thrawn

Lars Mikkelsen as Grand Admiral Thrawn in 'Ahsoka'
(Disney+)

Yet another case of a voice actor being brought into live-action, Lars Mikkelsen (brother to Rogue One actor and best creator of Death Star weaknesses, Mads Mikkelsen) plays Thrawn in Ahsoka.

Technically, this is a unique case as the character originated in Star Wars Expanded Universe / Legends novels before being brought into canon through animation and now live-action.

Jai-Kell

Jai Kell in 'Ahsoka'
(Disney+)

Jai-Kell was a minor Rebels character in the show (voiced by Dante Basco), being an Imperial cadet with potential Force-sensitivity who was rescued by the crew of the Ghost. He later became a rebel and helped free his home world from the Empire. The Ahsoka show brings him into live-action as the senator for Lothal, now played by Vinny Thomas.

Governor Ryder Azadi

Another voice actor returning as his animated character is Clancy Brown as Lothal Governor Ryder Azadi. Azadi was originally arrested by the Empire for “treason” and reluctantly joined the rebellion after escaping prison with the help of Ezra Bridger’s parents. This is actually Clancey Brown’s second live-action Star Wars role after playing the Devaronian mercenary, Burg, on The Mandalorian.

Ezra Bridger

Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi) speaks with Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) in 'Ahsoka'

Eman Esfandi finally appears in-person as Ezra Bridger, whose beard evokes both the images we see of his late father and also of his Jedi Master, Kanan Jarrus, who sported a beard for most of his appearances in seasons 3 and 4 of Rebels.

Jacen Syndulla

Jacen Syndulla in the Ahsoka show
(Disney+)

Jacen is the son of General Hera Syndulla and Jedi Knight Kanan Jarrus. He is half Twi’lek and half human, which is why his hair is green. He appears excited to learn that his “aunt” Sabine Wren is learning to be a Jedi and expresses a similar desire to learn. We will have to wait and see if he chooses to become a Jedi like his father or a pilot like his mother (or both).

Hamato Xiono

The Senator from Hosnian Prime was actually someone I didn’t recognize at first. However, we now know that one of the New Republic senators Hera Syndulla meets with is Hamato Xiono, whose son, Kaz, would later become a spy for the Resistance and a racer in the animated Star Wars: Resistance series.

Captain Rex

Captain Rex (Temuera Morrison) in 'Ahsoka' episode 5
(Disney+)

Episode 5 of Ahsoka offered our first glimpse of Captain Rex in live action. CT-7567, better known as Captain Rex, was the commander who served under Anakin and Ahsoka in The Clone Wars. This marks the first time Temuera Morrison voices the character instead of Dee Bradley Baker.

However, it should be noted that Dave Filoni has somewhat retconned a background extra in Return of the Jedi into being an older Captain Rex, who was canonically at the Battle of Endor. The character was originally named Nik Sant in Star Wars Legends, an older soldier on Endor who had the distinction of being captured while wearing Scout Trooper armor.

Unlike Saw Gerrera, it makes sense that Rex would be so much older, given that clones are engineered to age twice as fast as normal humans. However, there is the issue of the live-action character having been played by a white actor (known only as L. Burner), while Rex is the clone of a Maori man.

The cameos

Droids

A majority of the droids you see in live-action Star Wars properties were not created out of thin air but were based on previously existing designs. The Separatist Battle Droids in The Mandalorian and the Rabbit droid and BD droid in Book of Boba Fett are all based on animated/video game droids who serve as connective tissue in the ever-expanding Star Wars galaxy.

Death Watch

While most casual viewers saw the Mandalorians who saved child Din Djarin as normal Mandalorians, Clone Wars fans immediately recognized them as the Death Watch, a Mandalorian terrorist group determined to overthrow the non-violent, neutral regime. This also served as a bit of foreshadowing that the cabal that took Din in might not be as good as they seem.

Pre Vizsla / Paz Vizsla

Technically not the same character but Jon Favreau voiced two different but related Mandalorians in The Clone Wars and The Mandalorian: Pre Vizsla, who was governor of the Mandalorian moon of Concordia turned leader of the Death Watch, and Paz Vizsla, member of Din Djarin’s covert of Mandalorians. Both of them are descended from Tarre Vizsla, the only known Mandalorian Jedi and creator of the Dark Saber, the weapon that denotes the ruler of Mandalore. Both also seem to operate on the idea that only the strongest will rule Mandalore.

The voices of Jedi past

Technically, while they do not physically appear in Rise of Skywalker, the voices of Ahsoka Tano, Kanan Jarrus, Aayla Secura, Luminara Unduli, and Adi Gallia all speak to Rey in the climax of Rise of Skywalker, voiced by their Clone Wars / Rebels actors.

Pyke Syndicate

The Pyke Syndicate (a.k.a. the de facto drug manufacturers of the galaxy) first appeared as one of the many crime syndicates in The Clone Wars. They first appeared in Solo: A Star Wars Story as the aliens in charge of the Spice Mines of Kessel, before taking the role of main antagonists in The Book of Boba Fett.

Hondo Ohnaka

Hondo Ohnaka was a fun case in that he wasn’t just in a live-action show or film but is one of the faces of the Smuggler’s Run ride at Galaxy’s Edge. Portrayed by both an animatronic and an actor (while being voiced by his Clone Wars/Rebels actor, Jim Cummings), Hondo is a delightful callback for fans of the animated shows who blends in seamlessly with the storyline of Smuggler’s Run (though we all know he’s not going to give the Falcon back to Chewie if he can avoid it).

Darth Maul

“Formerly Darth, now just Maul” is a wonderful case of combining both the live-action and animated portrayals to create a more well-rounded character. Ray Park returned to play the role in Solo: A Star Wars Story after almost two decades away, with Sam Witwer doing the voice of the former Sith Lord. While Solo is unlikely to get a sequel and the character was cut from the Obi-Wan Kenobi show, many fans are still open to seeing Maul return in live-action form.

Nightsisters

The Great Mothers of the Nightsisters in Ahsoka
(Disney+)

Morgan Elsbeth has been confirmed as being Dathomirian, which means she descended from the Nightsisters.

Like Grand Admiral Thrawn, the Nightsisters were originally from Star Wars Legends, where they were introduced as witches who use the Force to tame rancors. The Nightsisters here are a trio called the Great Mothers—a reference to Mother Talzin, leader of the main Clan of Nightsisters from The Clone Wars.

Thanks to Phoenix Fan Fusion and The Wampa’s Lair and Star Wars: The Saga Continues podcasts for additional info.

(featured image: Disney+)


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Author
Kimberly Terasaki
Kimberly Terasaki is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She has been writing articles for them since 2018, going on 5 years of working with this amazing team. Her interests include Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Horror, intersectional feminism, and fanfiction; some are interests she has held for decades, while others are more recent hobbies. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan.