Fandoms can be passionate places. But with passion, toxicity tends to find its way amongst its ranks; Star Wars is one of the franchises most prone to those questionable qualities.
Before that, Moses Ingram's Inquisitor Reva's riled up undesirables who took it upon themselves to review bomb Disney+'s Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Ahsoka Was Once Really Hated
While speaking on stage at Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, via Popverse, original Ahsoka star Ashley Eckstein revealed that she cried when she first heard about the fan backlash to her character's debut in The Clone Wars animated movie.
The actress admitted that "so many people hated Ahsoka" when the film was released, which led her to "[sob] into my cheesecake:"
“It’s been quite the journey., it really has. From the very beginning where she was hated. And one thing to note, we were always a season ahead of what you all saw. We were well into season two by the time you all saw the first movie, so I knew how far she had come. When it came out, so many people hated Ahsoka. First, I sobbed into my cheesecake... But then I took a day to have a pity party."
But she wasn't at her pity party for long. She quickly became confident that "everyone else is going to see what I see if they just give her time:"
"Then, I was like, no – this character is amazing. And everyone else is going to see what I see if they just give her time. And so, I asked fans for their patience. I said look, no character is perfect in the beginning, and if they were, then they’d be really boring. So please go on this journey with her.”
Obviously, since then, things have turned around. Nowadays, to Eckstein, "the most important thing for [her] personally is to see and hear all of the stories of how Ahsoka has been changing lives:"
“I think the most important thing for me personally is to see and hear all of the stories of how Ahsoka has been changing lives, and that’s when things really changed for me, because not only did she change my life, but when you all share your stories with me about how she’s changed or saved your life, that sticks with me, and it’s changed me. And I just want to say thank you for trusting me with your stories and sharing them with me, and I will forever strive to be a real-life Ahsoka Tano however I can.”
Back in 2020, when speaking with Vanity Fair, Eckstein spoke on the same topic, sharing how "people [thought Ahsoka] was too bratty," and that the actress' history on the Disney Channel was generating a good amount of vitriol:
"You know what, yeah, there was definitely resistance to Ahsoka. She had her haters in the beginning. People that thought that she was too bratty. I even got a lot of hate in the beginning because I was most known for my work on the Disney Channel. I was an actress on That’s So Raven, and I got a lot of hate that this Disney Channel actress is going to come ruin Star Wars. I definitely read several of those headlines, and I was really, really down. I took a day to just kind of wallow in the negativity and be sad for a second. But then after that day I said, No, this character is still important."
Ashley Eckstein's Tears Are No More
Needless to say, since the day Ashely Eckstein cried, the general feelings towards the character of Ahsoka Tano have done a 180. She's now one of the most beloved pieces of the entire Star Wars franchise.
As most know, the former Jedi is getting her own series. The show, written and directed by The Clone Wars and Rebels writer Dave Filoni, will feature six episodes and see the titular character (played by Rosario Dawson) looking to find the villainous Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Perhaps, if the project does well, fans could even get a second season. After all, the show seems important towards Filoni's future MandoVerse crossover event, so more setup is almost certainly on the table.
While Dawson might be guiding the character's live-action appearances, hopefully, Ashely Eckstein can still be involved in future projects. Perhaps Tales of the Jedi Season 2 could feature more stories focusing on Ahsoka.
Ahsoka is set to debut on Disney on August 23.