'Ahsoka': Lucasfilm Announces 'Star Wars' Spin-Off Series Starring Rosario Dawson

Today, during Disney’s investor’s call, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy revealed that an untitled Ahsoka Tano series is in development at Disney+. The news isn’t entirely a surprise— former CEO chief Bob Iger had already said spin-off shows from Lucasfilm’s “The Mandalorian” were being explored. Then to put a finer point on it, Rosario Dawson (“Kids,” “Sin City”) showed up in a recent episode of “The Mandalorian,” and quickly became a huge hit. For the unfamiliar, Ahsoka Tano, a beloved, fan-favorite character that originates from the animated series, is a former Jedi and the ex-apprentice of Anakin Skywalker.

Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau are developing the series, and it’s expected to arrive in 2021.

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Piecing together the Ahsoka Tano story won’t be that difficult for “Star Wars” fans. Ahsoka Tano was introduced to “Star Wars” by George Lucas and Lucasfilm Animation Chief Dave Filoni during the animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” as Anakin’s Padawan learner—feisty, stubborn and pigheaded like Anakin (the events of which take place off-screen from the movies during “Attack Of The Clones” and “Revenge of The Sith”). Caught up in a terrorist conspiracy plot where she was framed as the culprit, Tano’s name was eventually cleared, but shaken from the experience and feeling betrayed, she abandoned the Jedi Order. Tano would pop up a few years later in the “Star Wars” chronology in the animated “Star Wars Rebels,” series (which takes place a few short years before “A New Hope”) featuring a team of insurgents that fought alongside the alliance, and traces of them, their ships and droids can be seen in quick cameo appearances in “Star Wars: Rogue One.

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At the end of ‘Rebels’ series, which ended in 2018, however, one of the key team members, another fledgling Jedi, Ezra Bridger, sacrifices himself so the Empire—lead in this branch by the tactically savvy Admiral Thrawn—would be lightspeed transported by Purrgils, away from his homeworld of Lothal, a planet occupied by the Imperial forces, and one that the Rebels fought over for years on that animated series. Ezra was gone and lost, blasted off into unknown quadrants of the galaxy. The series ends with a coda that pointed to an eventual sequel or continuation of that tale: Ahsoka Tano, older at this point, years later joins forces with another Rebel, Sabine Wren, on an adventure that fans have affectionately dubbed, “The Search for Ezra.”

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Dave Filoni, who co-created the Ahsoka Tano character with Lucas, and co-created “Star Wars Rebels,” has hinted that this sequel story would eventually be told. The belief now, with Ahsoka Tano finally making the leap to live-action films, is one of two things: either the ‘Search For Ezra’ will be told in full-scale live-action and or, an interim story will be told on Disney+, and then Filoni will finally regroup to tell this story in animation. Either way, this is Lucasfilm signaling that not only is Filoni a big part of their organization, the worlds he helped create in the animation realm, finally take the first step into a larger world and crossing over in a major way. The move also speaks to the popularity of some of these characters, Ahsoka and the ‘Rebels’ in particular.

Want more? Fueling this idea’s speculation, Commander Rex, a Clone Trooper featured in both ‘Clone Wars’ and the final season of ‘Rebels’ is also said to be potentially appearing in the ‘Mandalorian’ season two. It would make a lot of sense for Rex, a former teammate, to join Ahsoka and Sabine on this quest for their missing friend. And at the very least, all signs point to Dave Filoni’s animated world—characters from ‘Clone Wars’ and ‘Rebels’— finally getting their due in a live-action series lead by Ahsoka Tano.