Ahsoka Tano’s very first appearance in The Clone Wars cartoon divided the fanbase. Some people saw her as a continuity error, and others simply didn’t like her personality. However, despite the initially polarized reception, she has since grown to become one of the Star Wars franchise’s most beloved non-movie characters.
With appearances in both The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, as well as her own novel, the padawan-turned-renegade Jedi has left a mark on Star Wars canon and left fans clamoring for more – #AhsokaLives, anyone? Still, she has yet to make an appearance on film, but with movies like Rogue One paving the way for non-episodic stories, that could soon change. In fact, recent developments have left fans wondering if one of the big announcements at Star Wars Celebration this coming week might be a live action Ahsoka appearance.
It can all be traced back to this past February, when actress Rosario Dawson first said that she’d be interested in playing Ahsoka after a fan tweeted art of her as the character. Naturally, the internet flew into a frenzy over that. Recently, an eagle-eyed fan noticed that the official Star Wars twitter account, as well as executive producer of Rebels Dave Filoni, were following Dawson on twitter. As a rule, the Star Wars account doesn’t tend to follow fans but rather actors, writers, and crew members involved in the brand, though there are exceptions (we can rule out a cameo from 5 Seconds of Summer). Filoni following Dawson is even more interesting, as he only follows Star Wars related people and members of his favorite sports teams. Dawson has also been liking a number of tweets from fans asking if she’s playing Ahsoka or, in some cases, tweets saying that they’re excited about her Ahsoka movie.
This is obviously all theoretical right now, though. There is no concrete evidence saying that Dawson will be playing Ahsoka Tano, much less joining the Star Wars family. This could be another false alarm from a fanbase dying for news. But there’s no denying that Dawson could deliver in the role, and there is the promise of a 2020 anthology film in the works. As the studio works to transition from Skywalker saga to original character driven films, introducing a legacy character like Ahsoka to a wider audience might be a smart move, similarly to how Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) made the jump from animation to live action.
Many rumors are swirling about an Ewan McGregor led Obi-Wan Kenobi film making its debut in 2020. If these rumors are true, and the studio is pursuing a Kenobi-centric film, Ahsoka might be the perfect female lead to compliment McGregor’s Kenobi. After all, both were close to Anakin Skywalker prior to his fall to the dark side, and both have become disillusioned with the Jedi Order. Pairing Kenobi and Ahsoka would be a nod to fans of The Clone Wars as well – the duo, along with Anakin, had quite a few adventures together. It would also be an easy way to write in a female lead without forcing in some kind of love interest for Kenobi. Ahsoka’s connections to the Rebel Alliance would also be a way to give the film a plot, since Kenobi’s adventures on Tatooine don’t seem to provide much fodder for an entire film. By involving Ahsoka in the story, Kenobi can have some ties to the rebellion before Luke comes knocking at his door.
But this remains speculation for now. Even though it’s likely, the Kenobi film hasn’t been announced and could very well never be. It is the safest bet for a future anthology. The bigger question is will Ahsoka be involved in some way, and will Dawson be playing her, or have the Star Wars fans merely gotten overexcited over nothing?
If Ahsoka is being brought to life onscreen, it’s likely that Dawson is playing her. Between the actress’s enthusiasm over the role and the fan push behind her stepping into Ahsoka’s boots, it would be a bad move for Lucasfilm to give the role to someone else, especially if it is yet another white brunette actress. Dawson is the perfect choice for the role for multiple reasons. She’s a talented actress who is capable of playing both badass and vulnerable equally well, and she clearly has a passion for the role.
Dawson’s most recent turn as the glue holding the Marvel Netflix Universe together has made her an icon for the geek squad. As Claire Temple, Dawson brings both a gentleness and a strength to a role that could too easily devolve into being a damsel in distress. In particular, her work in Daredevil has showcased her ability to play fiercely independent characters capable of holding their own. While Claire and Ahsoka are from two different universes, the steel spine that Dawson gives Claire could easily be transferred to Ahsoka. She already has the hearts of the nerds, so they’d definitely welcome a fan favorite stepping into the shoes of…well, a fan favorite.
Dawson is also capable of playing an action star. Her role in Tony Scott’s runaway train film Unstoppable might not have seen her kicking ass but she showed her ability to hold her own in an action film playing a character she described as “capable and composed”. While Ahsoka tends to be more on the emotional side, at least in Clone Wars, there’s no denying she’s capable, and it would be great seeing Dawson wield a lightsaber. She did prove she can take names in the final part of Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof as well, which just adds to her ability to handle herself playing a badass.
Above all else, she clearly cares about the role of Ahsoka. In the initial tweet that first drew attention to her interest in the character, Dawson used the hashtag #AhsokaLives. A popular tag among Star Wars fans, this hashtag arose after the season 2 finale of Rebels left Ahsoka’s fate somewhat up in the air. It’s definitely not a tag the casual fan would know; you have to have some familiarity with the role and the impact Ahsoka has had on fans. So either Dawson herself is a Rebels fan or she’s done her homework on the role. Given that she’s a self-professed geek, it wouldn’t be surprising if she had familiarity with the character, but coupled with the Star Wars Twitter account following her? It definitely raises a few eyebrows.
Dawson is an incredibly talented actress, and for her to join the Star Wars family in any capacity would be fantastic. However, she would be perfect in the role of Ahsoka, and the role is one that should join the legion of cinematic characters that have captivated audiences for generations. Hopefully, the fans haven’t gotten their hopes up over nothing and, come Celebration this Thursday, we’ll get an announcement that she’s joining the cast of either a Kenobi film or an Ahsoka standalone. We can only hope Lucasfilm is on the same page.