Ahsoka Star Mary Elizabeth Winstead Breaks Silence on Her New Star Wars Child, Jacen Syndulla

By David Thompson Updated:
Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Hera, Jacen Syndulla

Mary Elizabeth Winstead, the live-action actress for Hera Syndulla, broke her silence about having a son, Jacen Syndulla, in the Ahsoka series. 

Vanessa Marshall voiced the rebels general during the character's time on Star Wars Rebels from 2014-2018.

In the final episode of Rebels, it is revealed that Hera has a son, Jacen, whose father is Jedi Knight Kanan Jarrus.

So far in Ahsoka, Jacen's Force abilities have been hinted at and utilized, especially when he was able to hear Anakin and Ahsoka fighting in the World Between Worlds.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead‘s Thoughts on Jacen Syndulla

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While speaking on the Dagobah Dispatch podcast, Mary Elizabeth Winstead opened up for the first time about her in-universe child.

Winstead said it "was a lot of fun" on set "getting to imbue Chopper with that great personality:"

"It’s pretty exciting, I think just knowing that you’re in the Star Wars world and you’ve got a droid is something really cool to experience. And to have Dave on set most of the time, getting to imbue Chopper with that great personality that we’ve come to know from Rebels was a lot of fun."

Played by Evan Whitten, the young Jacen actor "has like that imagination so fresh in him" which Winstead said helped her believe Chopper was real while filming because it was "infectious to just be around:"

"And my son Jacen, played by Evan [Whitten], it was so great to see him interact as well, because you know having a child around you has like that imagination so fresh in him that he can look at Chopper and see something real was also kind of infectious to just be around, and I couldn’t help but feel that he was real to me too."

The actress was also asked about any notable days on set that stick out in her head. While not wanting "to give anything away" Winstead mentioned there's one episode that carries "all the seasons of Rebels into it:"

"There were several, there’s one that, I don’t want to give anything away, but it was kind of carrying all the seasons of Rebels into it, and kind of the emotional history of that, as well as everything that happened between the end of Rebels and the beginning of our show, and getting to kind of bring all of that to fruition and a satisfying way, and that was really amazing to get to do."

As a mother, Hera brings her son Jacen along for many of the galactic adventures. Winstead said this aspect helped her "experience Star Wars through a child’s eyes" which helps "a whole new light on everything:"

"And also just really anything I got to do with Jacen because I got to live through his awe of everything that he got to see and to experience Star Wars through a child’s eyes is something really, really special. And it just kind of sheds a whole new light on everything and you just go ‘Wow, this really is the most special thing in the world.' So when you get to see it through his eyes and his absolute wonder is amazing."

The Future of Jacen Syndulla

For now, Jacen is an innocent, star-gazing kid with (presumably) a high midi-chlorian count which is giving him natural Force abilities.

In many ways, Jacen can be compared to a young Anakin Skywalker from The Phantom Menace, but in this case, audiences know who Jacen's father was.

Living on the legacy of his father, Kanan, is assumed to play a major role, but his overly excited attitude toward becoming a Jedi may ultimately receive some pullback from his mother Hera.

Considering his apparent connection to the Force, it may be imperative to guide him in the right direction, so he doesn't fall victim to the Dark side.

Veteran Star Wars fans may recognize the name Jacen, which according to Dave Filoni is a reference to the non-canon son of Leia and Han Solo from Legends books:

"It seemed, in a very small way, naming him 'Jacen' was a way to honor the expanded universe character of Jacen Solo who just really isn't there anymore as the timelines have changed. I thought that's a little bit of a wink to people that I know that was an important character."

Jacen Solo also wields the Force but falls to the Dark side, similar to the couple's canonized son: Ben Solo aka Kylo Ren.

It will be fascinating to see what direction this series and beyond takes ith Jacen. Does he go to Luke's Jedi training temple? That could ultimately make sense, but would sadly mean he most likely died at the hands of Kylo Ren.

To see Jacen's journey continue, watch Ahsoka every Tuesday night at 9 p.m. ET on Disney+.

- In This Article: Ahsoka
Release Date
August 22, 2023
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Natasha Liu Bordizzo
- About The Author: David Thompson
As an editor, writer, and podcast host, David is a key member of The Direct. He is an expert at covering topics like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and business-related news following the box office and streaming.