The Mandalorian might be getting a surprising new character when it returns to Disney + in October: Ahsoka Tano. According to Slashfilm, Rosario Dawson has been cast as the character. If true, it’ll mark the first time that the character has appeared in a live-action Star Wars project.
The character first appeared in the 2007 The Clone Wars theatrical film as an apprentice to Anakin Skywalker, voiced by Ashley Eckstein. Over the course of the series, the young Jedi grew as a character, and became a f fan-favorite. However, she left the Jedi order in Season 5 (today’s new episode of The Clone Wars finally shows off what she was up to), and she appeared in Star Wars Rebels as Fulcrum, an agent providing information to the budding Rebellion against the Empire. The character has also appeared in Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures, and her own novel, Ahsoka, written by E.K. Johnson. Eckstein also voiced a cameo for the character in The Rise of Skywalker.
Some spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian
The Mandalorian has already made a couple of references back to The Clone Wars and Rebels: A Loth-cats shows up in episode 4 of the series, while Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) closes out Season 1 wielding the Darksaber, a black lightsaber typically wielded by the head of Deathwatch — which played a notable role in both series. Plus, Dave Filoni, who supervised The Clone Wars, Rebels, and Star Wars Resistance, directed a pair of episodes of The Mandalorian’s first season, and returned to direct at least one more in its second. The season has finished its production.
Slashfilm notes that it’s spent a month chasing down the rumor and has confirmed it with two sources, although it hasn’t received word back from Lucasfilm or Dawson’s representatives. Variety has also reported that it’s confirmed the rumor. ABC correspondent Clayton Sandell also confirmed that the character would appear in the series, and that while that Dawson’s name had been “floated”, but said that he couldn’t confirm Slashfilm‘s report. He did indicate that Eckstein wouldn’t portray the character in the series.
A live-action version of Ahsoka Tano appearing in the second season of The Mandalorian is correct. I'd heard a couple names floated (Dawson was indeed one) but I can't confirm the @slashfilm casting scoop. However, I can say Ahsoka will not be played by Ashley Eckstein.
— Clayton Sandell (@Clayton_Sandell) March 20, 2020
Although Eckstein is best-known for voicing the character, Dawson is apparently a fan of the character, tweeting that she’d love to play her when asked by a fan in 2017, and reaffirmed that on Good Morning America not long after.
Dawson is best known for her work in Sin City and Rent, as well as for playing Claire Temple in Marvel’s Netflix shows, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders. She’s also faced some scrutiny: last October, Dedrek Finley, a trans man who worked for Dawson and her family, filed a discrimination lawsuit against her, alleging assault and verbal abuse.
It’s not known what role Ahsoka could play in The Mandalorian, but now, we’re dying to see her getting called in to help protect a certain child.