Under the leadership of Star Wars guru Dave Filoni, Lucasfilm is in preparations for the latest addition to the Disney+ universe with Rosario Dawson’s Ahsoka.
With this new series following up on the former Jedi’s journey from both The Clone Wars and Rebels, Lucasfilm will give fans their first live-action variations of a couple of widely popular heroes on Disney+. One of those comes with a fan-favorite Mandalorian, Sabine Wren, played by Natasha Liu Bordizzo as she and Ahsoka reunite for the first time away from the animated sphere.
Although she initially had no idea that she was auditioning for such an important role, Bordizzo prepared heavily for her introduction to the Mandoverse, with Filoni praising her work ethic and her fit in the role.
Now, Filoni has doubled down on that praise, sharing exactly why the young woman playing Sabine Wren is the right pick for the job.
Dave Filoni Hypes Sabine Wren Star
Entertainment Weekly’s Dagobah Dispatch Podcast had an interview with The Mandalorian creators Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni at Star Wars Celebration, where they discussed Natasha Liu Bordizzo’s casting as Sabine Wren in the Ahsoka series.
When asked what made her right for the role, Filoni discussed how much he wanted Sabine to stand out amongst other characters in Star Wars: Rebels. He even compared her to Luke Skywalker, noting that he wanted to develop someone that kids could get attached to, leading to Sabine and Ahsoka being set up for more exciting adventures:
“Boy, I mean, I love the characters that I’ve been a part of telling their story over the years and Sabine really stood out. She was a different character at the time that we did her. I wanted her to be a lot more colorful than people’d seen Star Wars characters [be], you know, dying her hair, changing it constantly. But I was really convinced that, you know, I was looking at the way kids are now and how they need a character of their own, as much as George [Lucas] looked at my generation when I was little and found things that I could relate to through Luke’s journey. So, I had set it up at the end of Star Wars: Rebels in a lot of ways, that there was a further story to do with Ahsoka and Sabine. “
When discussing how Bordizzo was cast in the role, Filoni shared some insight into how he and Favreau make casting decisions, which usually wind up with them picking the same person in the end:
“And so, just finding the right way to tell that story, the best way to tell that story, something that was creatively challenging for myself. And then in live-action, finding the person to perform that character… Natasha [Liu Bordizzo] just, it’s funny, Jon and I, we look at these things separately, which is always interesting, when we do the casting. And then we come together and we usually come together with the names, and we say, ‘Well, this person and this person.’ And I would say almost without fail, we’re always on the same person. It’s really fascinating. That’s our easiest barometer. That’s how we do it.”
Favreau added his own praise for Marvel and Star Wars casting director Sarah Halley Finn, who’s part of the team working together to get the tone and actor choices right for each project on an individual basis:
“We’ve been lucky enough to work with a casting director named Sarah Finn, who I met early on through the Marvel projects as well. And so, when you have a whole group of casting directors that are working together, and understand the tone, the type of actor that we like, and the characters, they bring us really, really good choices. Sometimes people that we never even think of. So, much like everything else on this show, it’s partnership.”
This decision was only reinforced at Star Wars Celebration after Bordizzo was introduced as Sabine for the first time, and Favreau saw how "how she felt about being accepted by them and excited by" the opportunity to join this universe:
"At the end of the day, it has come down to, especially in the case of Sabine, if Dave to feel that this feels authentic to the vision that he had. And also, we’re coming as we’re talking to you, we’re just coming off stage now from having done a panel where Natasha walked out for the first time in front of the fans and that really is the most reinforcing moment. To know that you picked right, because I think with Star Wars, if you aren’t delighted by being a part of something bigger, and something that’s come before you, but you could contribute, and shape moving forward, that’s really what’s in it for myself and for Dave. You get to be part of something… And you don’t always get to hear it directly back, this direct feedback from an audience. And I could really see how she felt about being accepted by them and excited by it. So I think that’s the one thing that really connects all the people that are on stage, who are of different generations, from different backgrounds, and connected to different Star Wars: that... we’re the luckiest kids at camp to be able to get to do this.”
Filoni Ready to See Sabine in Live-Action
When casting first began for Sabine Wren over a year ago, the idea of seeing her in a live-action format had Star Wars fans thrilled after such an exciting run in all four seasons of Star Wars: Rebels. Now that that casting process is complete, with three of Star Wars' top executives all signing off on the pick, anticipation is skyrocketing to see what Natasha Liu Bordizzo can do with the role.
Seeing as Dave Filoni was so integral in creating the character for the animated sphere, seeing him sign off on this casting is all that Star Wars fans could hope for with this exciting transition. Looking at how the young actress made such an incredible impression on everybody involved with the casting process, there seems to be no doubt that she'll do justice to the long-standing heroine.
Now, the wait continues to see what Sabine will do in her live-action debut, with select fans having already seen a taste of her early work at Star Wars Celebration in May 2022. Looking at how Bordizzo's role in Ahsoka will be vital to the titular heroine's journey, especially with her close friend Ezra Bridger still missing, she'll be a key piece of the puzzle to keep an eye on moving forward.
Ahsoka is rumored to release on Disney+ sometime in spring 2023.