The coronavirus may much of the world in its grasp, but Star Wars soldiers on! Today, news broke via Slashfilm that Ahsoka Tano has been added to season 2 of The Mandalorian. Actress Rosario Dawson will be playing the Star Wars: The Clone Wars fan-favorite character. This news has not been officially confirmed by Lucasfilm/Disney or Dawson herself, but multiple sources have verified the casting.
Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano has been a rumor for several years. A 2017 tweet the actress wrote in response to a fan wishing for her casting kicked it off:
Jumping From Animation
Ahsoka would not be the first animated character to make the jump to live-action and not even the first from Clone Wars. That honor belongs to Saw Gerrera, who debuted in live-action during Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and has since featured in several properties including Star Wars: Rebels and last year’s Star Wars: Jedi – Fallen Order video game.
This is relevant because since making the jump to live-action, actor Forest Whitaker has been the sole portrayer of Saw. Gerrera was a minor character from only 4 episodes of the show. Ahsoka was one of, if not the most, popular characters on the show. Her voice actress, Ashley Eckstein, is beloved by Star Wars fans both for her voice work and her role in the fan community with her clothing company, Her Universe. How this affects Eckstein’s role as the voice of Ahsoka remains to be seen.
Who is Rosario Dawson?
While not a “superstar” name, Dawson is well-known throughout geek fandoms for her roles in the first Sin City film as well as her several appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Netflix shows. Her character, Claire Temple, acted as the glue that tied all of the Defenders series together with a recurring role in each iteration.
Beyond nerd culture, Dawson is an accomplished actress with a wide variety of roles on both big and small screens. She portrayed Mimi in the film adaptation of RENT, has played multiple roles in Kevin Smith’s View Askew universe, and was the voice of Barbara Gordon/Batgirl in the LEGO Batman Movie.
What does this mean for The Mandalorian?
Season 2 of The Mandalorian releases in October of this year (for now). It has already wrapped filming, so it won’t likely be affected (much) by the COVID-19 pandemic. When we last saw Mando and The Child (Baby Yoda), they were off in search of The Child’s “people.” Ahsoka is one of the last living Force wielders, so finding her is a natural progression. We last saw Ahsoka on Rebels when the Galactic Civil War ended, setting off to find Ezra Bridger with Sabine Wren.
Could this mean we also see an extension of Rebels in live-action form? That remains to be seen. What does feel likely is that we’ll also get a live-action introduction to Sabine. That is purely a guess, but the end of Rebels indicates as much.
We’ll have more on this story as it develops. You can catch more stories of Ahsoka, including her debut on The Clone Wars’ final season, on Disney+.