Ahsoka Tano has been the subject of many headlines in the past few days, mainly because of the character's impressive live-action debut in The Mandalorian Season 2. The hit Star Wars show wasted no time in establishing Ahsoka's arrival in the narrative, with the character bursting right out of the gate in a lightsaber-infused action sequence that earned the admiration of many fans.
Rosario Dawson (Marvel's Daredevil) brought Ahsoka Tano to life in the live-action setting, and it was clear from the get-go that her portrayal was accurately depicted from her animated counterpart. After being a controversial character in the early parts of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ahsoka quickly earned the respect of fans over the years due to the Jedi's impactful and relatable journey.
Now, Dawson has shared interesting details on how her own journey to becoming Ahsoka was realized in the past months, giving fans an exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse of how The Mandalorian gave new life to the fan-favorite former Jedi.
In an insightful interview with Vanity Fair, Ahsoka Tano actress Rosario Dawson shared the story of how she got the fan-favorite role in The Mandalorian Season 2, pointing out that “it first came from fans online:”
“Actually it first came from fans online. Someone tweeted me and fancast me. I retweeted back and I was like, “Absolutely, yes please" and “#AhsokaLives." And apparently that got the attention of someone who has been doing the Star Wars press for years. She forwarded it to Dave Filoni. That kind of started a whole thing. I was like, “Oh my goodness, did I just get fancast in something?” And then nothing happened.”
“Chapter 13” director and The Clone Wars creator Dave Filoni chimed in on the conversation, revealing that he thought back then that “maybe she would make a good Ahsoka” after looking closely at Dawson:
“That was the first time and I looked at Rosario and I thought, "Huh. Yeah, I think maybe she would make a good Ahsoka." I just kept loosely aware of what she was up to, and she was doing some Marvel things. But I'd seen interviews with her where she would talk about wanting to play the character and her excitement, so it was interesting.”
Filoni also mentioned that Dawson is at the “top of my [his] list” for playing Ahsoka in the live-action setting, and this moment occurred when he started working with The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau:
“Oh, no. Not at all. I was still trying to figure out how to get off Tatooine myself at that point. But when I started working with Jon [Favreau], I’d bring up the character, and he's like, “Well, who are you thinking of playing her?" I said, “Well, Rosario Dawson's top of my list," and he's like, “I know her!" So immediately that starts to fit really well.”
Admittedly, the former Daredevil and Luke Cage actress bared that she was fascinated with all the fan casting that she received online, ranging from She-Hulk to Ahsoka:
“People have been fancasting me on all kinds of things, like She-Hulk and stuff. And I always just think it's really fun, because I get to see myself in different kinds of art. But then I got a Facetime call from Jon Favreau and Dave. They were building out The Mandalorian, and I got to have a behind-the-scenes look at visuals and concept [from] what they were planning on doing with this second season.”
In addition, Dawson unveiled that Favreau and Filoni showed her “all of this art that had me as Ahsoka” while also sharing that the duo was visualizing her for the role even before The Mandalorian Season 1 dropped on Disney+:
“They were just about to drop the first one, and they had all of this art that had me as Ahsoka. They had already been preparing, knowing that they wanted to have her be a part of a story in the second season. They'd just been visualizing me in this role that whole time, and it was mind-boggling.”
Lastly, Dawson revealed her reaction upon seeing concept art of herself as Ahsoka:
“I actually was really glad because I had really bad reception, and so I ended up just going to the audio. So I was pacing and jumping up and down, trying to keep really cool in my voice, but I was freaking out. I mean, this is real Star Wars—the font, the look, the art, the everything, and my face in there. I just, I couldn't. I was beside myself, and they were asking, “Do you want to do this? I mean, we appreciate if it's not something you want to do." And I was like, “Oh no, no, that would be cool, actually. I think we could maybe work this out." Trying to play it cool, but I was sweating.”
WHAT THIS MEANS
It's fun to think that a simple fan casting ultimately paved the way for Dawson to be cast as Ahsoka in The Mandalorian Season 2. This effectively shows not just the reach of social media, but also the unity of fans towards achieving a common goal. It's also refreshing to see Dawson's excitement for nabbing the Ahsoka Tano role, and this is solid proof of the commitment and dedication of the actress to effectively bring the fan-favorite character into live-action.
The reveal about Favreau and Filoni considering Dawson for Ahsoka even before The Mandalorian Season 1 is a surprising one since it highlights the fact that the roadmap for the show was pretty much set. The clear narrative direction of The Mandalorian has long been teased by several cast members, with Moff Gideon actor Giancarlo Espositio even admitting that the third and fourth seasons of the show are already set in stone at this point.
If anything, this opens the door for more established characters to soon make their way into The Mandalorian's narrative, and it's a safe bet that Favreau and Filoni have already visualized which characters will join Mando and Grogu to bring peace to the galaxy. Given the overwhelming amount of Star Wars characters, it appears that Ahsoka is only the beginning, and this bodes well for fans of the hit Disney+ series.
From being Anakin Skywalker's padawan to the Rebel Alliance's Fulcrum, Ahsoka's impact in the interconnected narrative might've been overshadowed by the core protagonists of the Skywalker Saga, but her inclusion in The Mandalorian signifies that she will play a much more major role this time around, bringing the character's legacy full circle.