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Star Wars: Mena Massoud Reacts to Ezra Bridger Casting: 'Never Had a Fair Shot'

Mena Massoud, Ezra Bridger
By Nathan Johnson

When Ahsoka Tano made her live-action debut in Season 2 of The Mandalorian, her inclusion acted as a backdoor pilot for her own upcoming solo Disney+ series. It established that she was in search of Thrawn, which led fans to believe that she was still on the hunt for Ezra Bridger, who was last seen with Thrawn in the final episode of Star Wars: Rebels as he was shot into the unknown regions of space by the Purrgil.

When the Ahsoka series was announced, rumors began to swirl about who would take on the mantle of playing Ezra. 

Mena Massoud, the actor known for his role in 2019's Aladdin, was reportedly being eyed by Lucasfilm at one point. The actor even expressed his interest in the role and went so far as to make a social media post quoting a line from Ezra in Season 2 of Rebels. When asked why he decided to quote the young Jedi, Massoud stated that he "wanted to throw (his) name in the ring" and that "it would be a dream come true" for him to be in Star Wars.

However, none of the rumors ever gained too much traction, and with Ahsoka's 2023 release dating approaching quickly, fans have been expecting an official casting for some time now. Now, ahead of this weekend's D23 showcase, those expectations have seemingly been met as a recent report confirmed who will be playing the Jedi, which Massoud has now officially responded to.

Mena Massoud Responds to Ezra Bridger Casting

According to The Hollywood Reporter, actor Eman Esfandi has been cast as Ezra Bridger in the upcoming Ahsoka series on Disney+. Esfandi is known for his role in King Richard and he stars in an upcoming film titled The Inspection.

The actor will join Rosario Dawson and Natasha Liu Bordizzo, who will be playing Ahsoka Tano and Sabine Wren, respectively.

Eman Esfandi
Eman Esfandi

⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠With Esfandi's casting, Mena Massoud has once again addressed the rumors that he was up for the role of Ezra Bridger, saying that he "never really had a fair shot at it unfortunately." The Aladdin confirmed that he did tape an audition for Ezra, while sending support Esfandi’s way:

"Glad the rumors will stop now. Never really had a fair shot at it unfortunately (1 self-tape months ago) but just wasn’t meant for me I guess. Can’t deny the dude looks exactly like Ezra. Hope it’s done justice!"

The Ahsoka Cast is Coming Together

Now that Ezra had been officially cast, with Eman Esfandi joining the Star Wars universe, there are only a handful of important characters left who don't have actors to go with them. The two biggest that have yet to be cast are Hera Syndulla and Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead was confirmed to be starring in the series earlier this year, but her character wasn't revealed. Many fans believe that she will be the one to take on the mantle of Hera and lead the Ghost crew in the upcoming series. It is possible that Winstead's character could be revealed during Lucasfilm's D23 showcase, but that has not been confirmed.

As far as Thrawn goes, there has been one name attached to him more than anyone else, and it is the actor that voiced him in Rebels - Lars Mikkelsen. A great number of reports throughout the past year have said that Mikkelsen is definitely going to be reprising his role, but many of those also stated that Mena Massoud would be taking on the role of Ezra. Now that Esfandi has been confirmed to play the Jedi and not Massoud, Mikkelsen may not be the one to play Thrawn when it is all said and done.

Ahsoka is set to premiere on Disney+ sometime in 2023.


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