The highly-anticipated Star Wars series Ahsoka arrives on Disney Plus on August 22. Obviously, we know that Ahsoka Tano, former Jedi Padawan of Anakin Skywalker, will be the titular character. But who else will be along for the ride?
Given what we’ve seen in the previous trailers for the series, it’s fair to say you should at least be somewhat familiar with Star Wars Rebels going into this series. In fact, several main characters from that series appear to be playing key roles here.
Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo)
Once a rebel. Always a rebel.— Ahsoka (@ahsokaofficial) August 7, 2023
Meet #AhsokaTano, #SabineWren, and #HeraSyndulla. Experience the two-episode premiere of #Ahsoka, a Star Wars Original series, streaming August 23 only on @DisneyPlus. pic.twitter.com/dfNHfYCWmj
Sabine Wren is a Mandalorian known for her artistic flair as much as her expertise with explosives and weaponry. Sabine was a key member of the Ghost crew in Star Wars Rebels, often bickering with Kanan Jarrus’ erstwhile Jedi Padawan Ezra Bridger but eventually becoming close friends. Trailers have suggested that her friendship with Ezra will be a key plot point, as she is seen looking at a holo of him as well as wielding his green lightsaber. There have also been hints that Sabine may be Force-sensitive, despite never appearing to show such skills during Rebels even when she briefly wielded the Darksaber. There have been allusions to Ahsoka and Sabine either having been or becoming Master and Apprentice so it will be interesting to see how their relationship evolves as a result. The dialogue we see in the trailers, specifically Ahsoka talking about walking away from both Anakin and Sabine, could reference past training for Sabine or come in the middle of the training we see Ahsoka and Sabine engage in during a recent TV spot, further driving speculation about Sabine being Force-sensitive. Being Mandalorian, Wren is impulsive, fiery and free-spirited, thus hard to rein in and perhaps that is the genesis of whatever tension may exist between her and Ahsoka.
Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead)
Once a rebel. Always a rebel.— Ahsoka (@ahsokaofficial) August 7, 2023
Meet #AhsokaTano, #SabineWren, and #HeraSyndulla. Experience the two-episode premiere of #Ahsoka, a Star Wars Original series, streaming August 23 only on @DisneyPlus. pic.twitter.com/LIFEPsyIXq
Hera Syndulla is a gifted pilot and strategist, rising to the rank of general in the Rebellion during the course of Rebels. She along with Kanan Jarrus served as almost pseudo-parents to the Ghost crew, often telling “the kids” to make “mom and dad proud.” It would be more true than she ever realized, however, when she bore the late Jarrus’ son, as seen in the Rebels finale, Family Reunion – and Farewell. Originally from the planet Ryloth, the Twi’lek’s father was famed warrior Cham Syndulla, although in Rebels she is seen having something of a difficult relationship with him due to working with the larger Rebellion to take down the Empire rather than focusing on liberating her homeworld. She is also constantly backed up by her trusty droid Chopper, who continues a long line of Star Wars droids with a unique personality even if they don’t speak.
Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi)
Erza Bridger was an orphan living on Lothal using his street starts to survive until he is discovered by the Ghost crew during a mission and became the Jedi Padawan to Kanan Jarrus. Bridger was often headstrong and eager to prove himself, things which could eventually lead to trouble. At times he struggled with anger, selfishness and traits generally associated with the Dark Side, even briefly behaving more aggressively while learning from a Sith Holocron found during the Season 2 Rebels finale. More than anything, Bridger seems to yearn for a family — whether it be memories of his late parents or building connections with his found family. Through his training with Jarrus and his adventures with the Ghost crew, Bridger grows into a leader and makes the ultimate sacrifice to save Lothal in the Rebels finale, sending himself and Grand Admiral Thrawn into unknown space thanks to purrgil converging around Thrawn’s ship, the Chimaera. Rebels ends with Ahsoka and Sabine seemingly set to search out Bridger and the trailers for Ahsoka show Sabine clearly still thinking about Ezra. It is assumed that the return of Thrawn will also open the door for the return of Ezra.
Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen)
A master strategist and tactical genius, Thrawn was initially introduced in Timothy Zahn’s 1991 novel Heir To The Empire. However, upon Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm, Thrawn was de-canonized and relegated to non-official “Legends” status. However, Thrawn was a fan favorite and their clamoring was eventually heard by Dave Filoni, who envisioned Thrawn as the big bad for Rebels and part of the show’s endgame. Thrawn was a thorn in the Rebels side, including attacks on the planets of Mandalore and Lothal. He also helped devise an upgrade to the Tie Defender, although that program stalled when the Empire’s fuel depot on Lothal was destroyed by Governor Pryce in an attempt to thwart the rescue of Hera Syndulla. Ultimately, Thrawn was sent into unknown space aboard his star destroyer the Chimaera when Ezra Bridger drew purgill and Thrawn was caught in their tentacles. I will write more at length on Thrawn in a future article.
Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson)/Shin (Ivanna Sakhno)/Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto)
Baylan Skoll and Shin seem like another Master and Apprentice pair, although it does not appear as though they are full-fledged Sith, but rather some form of Dark Side Force users. Baylan notes that he and Shin are no Jedis and he notes that war is inevitable and that one must destroy in order to create. In the most recent trailer he also alludes to the fact he knew Ahsoka’s Jedi master Anakin Skywalker, suggesting that Skoll was at one time a Jedi himself. Elsbeth was introduced as the evil magistrate on Corvus in the second season of The Mandalorian, dueling with Ahsoka as she seeks information about Thrawn. It appears from the trailers that the three are working together to pave the way for Thrawn’s return and appearing amid what appears to be some type of ruins as Baylan tells Shin that once Thrawn is found they will have unbelievable power, “such as you’ve never dreamed.” Meanwhile, Elsbeth activates something which appears to be somewhat reminiscent of the World Between Worlds from Rebels. We’ve seen glimpses of duels between Ahsoka and Baylan and Sabine and Shin, so we should have some exciting lightsaber duels to look forward to.
Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen)
Anakin Skywalker, believed by some to be the Chosen One, was Ahsoka’s Jedi master and one of the most powerful Jedi of all time. At times rash and reckless but also forthright, Skywalker had a major impact on Ahsoka’s life. Of course, he would fall to the Dark Side, becoming one of cinema’s greatest villains, Darth Vader. Ahsoka encounters Vader during Rebels, seeing visions manifesting her guilt for what happened to Anakin after she left the Jedi Order, before dueling him and vowing to avenge her former master when Vader says he destroyed the “weak” Skywalker (all very reminiscent of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s duel with Vader in the Kenobi finale). Obviously, Skywalker/Vader is dead by the time of the Ahsoka series, however, Christensen is rumored to be involved in this project in some form and was recently heard in new dialogue speaking to Ahsoka as part of a new TV spot. That spot seems to point toward a Clone Wars-era flashback, but a scene in the World Between Worlds or even a Force Ghost appearance both remain possibilities. All that said, none of it has kept talented fans from coming up with their own ideas for how Skywalker/Vader could appear, as seen in the fan-made poster seen below:
In the trailers, we have seen a few other familiar characters who should likely appear in smaller roles. Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) and other New Republic leaders are seen appearing to continue their competency seen in the third season of The Mandalorian, opening the door for the eventual rise of the First Order. We also get a surprising return — Huyang, the droid seen in Clone Wars helping Jedi younglings assemble their lightsabers following the Gathering, suggests that perhaps it is time to begin again. Given the potential time travel aspect of this could we also see Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in some form? After all, his wife Winstead is the series portraying Hera. Luke Skywalker? Bo-Katan? Din Djarin? GROGU? None can be ruled out, although for various reasons they seem unlikely. We’ll just have to wait and see what surprises Filoni and Co. have in store for us in this highly-anticipated series.
Two episodes of Ahsoka will drop on August 22 and the series will extend for eight episodes.
Check out the full trailer below and hit me on up on X at @ByAndySilva to let me know how excited you are for the Ahsoka series and where you think they may take the character.