Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano

How an Animated ‘Star Wars’ Fan-Favorite Became a Live-Action Legend

Ahsoka Tano made her live-action debut in The Mandalorian and quickly generated excitement for her future in the Star Wars franchise. Ahead, we’ll take a closer look at Ahsoka’s animated history in our favorite galaxy far, far away and why Rosario Dawson is perfect casting for her live-action counterpart.

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A brief history of Ahsoka Tano

Ahsoka was first introduced in the Star Wars universe in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars as the adolescent Jedi padawan to Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter). Tano is a Force-sensitive Togruta and was voiced by Ashley Eckstein. She was Anakin’s padawan for over two years, and the two built up a close relationship, with Anakin affectionately calling her “Snips.” However, her relationship with Anakin sadly ended when he turned to the Dark Side.

Eckstein’s Tano returned in Star Wars Rebels as a Rebel agent who begins working with the Ghost crew, including Ezra Bridger (Taylor Gray). After Bridger disappears while fighting Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen), Ahsoka sets out on a mission to find her lost friend. Throughout Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, Ahsoka built up quite a fan following. She won viewers’ hearts with her wit, sarcasm, and charm as an adolescent and, later, won their respect when she developed into a fierce, loyal, and strong leader in the Rebellion.

As a result, viewers were hoping her story would continue after the end of Star Wars Rebels. They got their wish when Ahsoka made the transition from animation to live-action with a guest appearance in The Mandalorian season 2, episode 5, “Chapter 13: The Jedi.” She then returned in The Book of Boba Fett in episode 6, “Chapter 6: From the Desert Comes a Stranger.” Ahsoka also isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, as she is the next Star Wars character set to get her own self-titled series following The Mandalorian season 3.

How Rosario Dawson helped bring Ahsoka to life

Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano in The Mandalorian season 2
(Disney+)

While Katee Sackhoff impressively provided both the voice of the animated Bo-Katan Kryze and the character’s live-action portrayal, most characters in the Star Wars universe have separate actors for animated projects and live-action projects. While Eckstein was open to portraying the live-action role of Ahsoka, it ultimately went to Rosario Dawson—an actress best known for appearing in Men in Black II, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, the cult favorite Josie and the Pussycats, and Space Jam: A New Legacy.

Dawson also has ties to both DC and Marvel, as she’s voiced Wonder Woman in multiple animated DC projects and starred as Claire Temple in Netflix’s Defenders series. While she has only appeared twice as Ahsoka in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, viewers are already excited by what they have seen. Dawson embodies the role of Ahsoka perfectly, especially as an older and more mature version of the character. However, while older and more reserved, she is still very much the same Ahsoka: fierce, loyal, kind-hearted, and a bit weathered by the many struggles in her past.

It is unclear if Dawson will appear in The Mandalorian season 3. However, she will resume her quest to find Bridger in Ahsoka, which is slated for release in late 2023. Dawson may also appear in other parts of the Star Wars universe, as she’s already indicated her openness to playing Ahsoka for as long as the franchise lets her.

(featured image: Disney+)


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.