As the galaxy far, far away becomes more complex and interconnected, it can sometimes mean that certain new films and television shows can become a bit more inaccessible for some viewers. Not everyone has the time or inclination to sit down to watch sixty plus hours of animation (though I’d always recommend it if you’ve got the time). With the latest Star Wars series, Ahsoka, being both the continuation of several stories and the beginning of a whole new chapter, we’ve put together a quick breakdown of the returning key players.
The titular character, Ahsoka Tano was first introduced to audiences in 2008 in the animated movie Star Wars: The Clone Wars, as Anakin Skywalker’s new Padawan. And audiences absolutely hated her. Fans knew that Anakin didn’t have a student in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, and they didn’t want a cartoon messing with their continuity. However, over the course of the show that spun out of the film, opinion of the character would change. Originally a bit of a bratty, snarky kid, Ahsoka proved to be the perfect student for Anakin as they were so similar. Over the course of multiple seasons, Ahsoka would mellow and become one of the most formidable Jedi around thanks to Anakin’s training, even holding her own against General Grievous more than once.
Towards the end of the series, Ahsoka was framed for a series of terrorist bombings and thrown out of the Jedi order. When her name was cleared she was offered her place back but refused, literally walking away from that part of her life. However, she couldn’t resist the call to action and fought in the Battle of Mandalore at the end of the Clone War, where she faced former Sith warrior Maul in combat. She would survive the events of Order 66 thanks to Anakin’s training and go into hiding for several years. Ahsoka would survive many encounters with Imperial Inquisitors, eventually joining Senator Organa in creating the early stages of the Rebel Alliance.
Fighting alongside the members of Phoenix Squadron, Ahsoka would come face to face with Darth Vader. During the battle with Vader, she learned the truth that he was once Anakin Skywalker. Since then, Ahsoka has been helping to search for a way to bring the missing Ezra Bridger home. During the events of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels Ahsoka was played by Ashley Eckstein, but will be played by Rosario Dawson in Ahsoka.
Sabine Wren is a Mandalorian explosive and weapons expert who was a member of the Ghost crew and the Phoenix Squadron cell in the Rebel Alliance. A former Imperial cadet, Sabine defected from the Empire when she discovered that her weapon designs were being developed into tech used to kill her fellow Mandalorians. She spent some time working as a bounty hunter before joining the crew of The Ghost, a small band of criminals and thieves.
When the Ghost Crew took a more active role in the Rebel Alliance, it was Sabine’s art which was used as inspiration for the symbol that the organisation would take on. During this time, Sabine would also lead efforts to bring Mandalorian factions into the conflict to help against the Empire, using the Darksaber (a relic of both the Jedi and Mandalorians) that she acquired from Maul to do so. Despite weilding the saber, Sabine handed it to Bo Katan, who she saw as a worthy leader to follow.
When Ezra Bridger was lost in the fight to retake his home world Sabine made a promise to watch over his planet, Lothal, for him and remained there until the end of the war against the Empire. Sabine was played by Tiya Sircar in Star Wars Rebels, and will be played by Natasha Liu Bordizzo in Ahsoka.
Grand Admiral Thrawn
Originally from the Unknown Regions of space, Thrawn is a member of the Chiss Ascendancy, an aristocratic oligarchical organisation that ruled their own empire. Discovered on a desolate planet on the edges of space, Thrawn managed to sneak his way on board an Imperial Star Destroyer after tormenting the crew on the planet for several hours. Eventually captured, his actions were so impressive that he was brought before the Emperor. Thrawn promised to bring his impressive mind to work for the Empire and was inducted into the Imperial Accademy, which he graduated from in record time. Despite his unorthodox tactics, Thrawn quickly rose through the ranks, eventually having the title of Grand Admiral created for him by the Emperor.
With the actions of Phoenix Squadron causing havoc on the planet Lothal, Thrawn was sent to bring the rebels to heel, something Imperial Inquisitors and Darth Vader had failed to do. Thrawn would engage the crew of the Ghost several times, landing a number of blows against the rebel forces. Eventually, a final battle between the two groups took place over the skies of Lothal, where Jedi Ezra Bridger used the Force to summon space whales to the rebels’ aid. The whales surrounded the ship that they were on, and he and Thrawn vanished into deep space. Since then there have been whispers of Thrawn working in the shadows to rebuild and continue the Empire. Thrawn was played by Lars Mikkelsen in Star Wars Rebels, and will be reprising the role for Ahsoka.
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Daughter of the Twi’lek freedom fighter Cham Syndulla, Hera was raised from a young age to fight for what’s right. With a passion for flying, Hera would eventually leave her home world, which had fallen under Imperial rule, and took her fight out into the galaxy. Becoming an agent for Bail Organa in the early days of the Rebellion, Hera met the surviving Jedi Kanan Jarrus on a mission and the two of them teamed up to take down the Empire. Over the coming years, the two of them would be joined by more allies who eventually grew into a crew and family on board Hera’s ship, the Ghost.
Hera became a key figure in the early days of the Rebellion, leading a number of important and dangerous missions, eventually earning the rank of General. She and Kanan became lovers as the years progressed and she would eventually have his son, Jacen, though Kanan would die before ever knowing that Hera was pregnant. Despite the loss of her lover, and other members of her found family, Hera continued in her fight against the Empire and was present at several notable battles, including the Battle of Scariff and the Battle of Endor. Hera was played by Vanessa Marshall in Star Wars Rebels, and will be played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Ahsoka.
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An orphan who grew up on the streets of Lothal after his parents were arrested by the Empire, Ezra discovered that he had a connection to the Force after meeting up with the crew of the Ghost. Originally out only for himself, the Ghost crew offered him his first chance to help others, and it was something that he realised he wanted to do. Trained by the Jedi Kanan Jarrus, Ezra would become strong with the Force whilst battling against the Empire, fighting against a number of Inquisitors, and even surviving an encounter with Darth Vader thanks to the intervention of Ahsoka Tano.
Kanan wasn’t the only person who had an interest in teaching Ezra, however, and he formed a strange relationship with former Sith warrior Maul. Maul wished to take Ezra on as an apprentice, and Ezra even used a Sith holocron for a while in order to learn more about the Force. Ultimately, though Ezra turned his back on learning from the Dark Side and continued his fight against the Empire. After the death of Kanan, Ezra brought together all of his allies to help free his home world of the Empire. Whilst the plan ultimately worked, Ezra never saw the results. Using the Force to summon space whales to his aid, Thrawn’s ship, along with Ezra, was transported across space. Ezra had left a message thanking the Ghost crew for being his family, but remains lost to this day. Ezra was played by Taylor Gray in Star Wars Rebels, and will be played by Eman Esfandi in Ahsoka.
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There have been a number of other characters confirmed to be returning for Ahsoka though the extend of their involvement remains unknown. C1-10P ‘Chopper’, Hera’s droid and member of the Ghost crew has been seen in the trailer. Chopper is a droid who fought in the Clone Wars, has a grumpy disposition, and actually owns one of the highest body counts in all of Star Wars. Genevive O’Reilly will be reprising her role of Mon Mothma, now a member of the New Republic. Most exciting of all, it has been revealed that Hayden Christensen will be appearing as Anakin Skywalker, though we are yet to know if that will be as a Force Ghost or in flashback form. Imperial Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto), whom Ahsoka fought against in her live action debut in The Mandalorian, will also be returning. And rounding out the returning characters is David Tennant as Professor Huyang, an ancient droid who has helped to teach Jedi to craft lightsabers for generations; they appeared in Star Wars: The Clone Wars alongside Ahsoka. It has not been confirmed if remaining Ghost crew member Zeb will be appearing in Ahsoka, but considering he appeared in The Mandalorian in a scene that would have cost a lot to make it’s likely he will also be appearing at some point.
Ahsoka will air its first two episodes August 23rd on Disney+.