Star Wars: Ahsoka: Key information
– Launching in August 2023
– Spin-off series from The Mandalorian
– Developed by Dave Filoni and The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau
– Filoni acting as showrunner
– Rosario Dawson, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Eman Esfandi and Lars Mikkelsen head up the cast
– Filming wrapped in October 2022
– Official trailer was revealed at Star Wars Celebration 2023
Star Wars: Ahsoka is set to continue the story of one of the most pivotal characters in that famous galaxy far, far away. Having debuted as Anakin Skywalker’s apprentice in animated series The Clone Wars, Ahsoka Tano has since turned up as one of the founders of the Rebel Alliance in Star Wars Rebels, and made the move to live-action in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. Now she’s getting a TV series of her very own.
Among the many announcements at the latest Star Wars Celebration in April 2023, we learned that Ahsoka TV show will debut on Disney Plus in August 2023. We’ve also been treated to a first trailer, which confirms that Ahsoka – and former Rebels allies Sabine Wren, Hera Syndulla and Ezra Bridger – will clash with an old adversary, the infamous Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Along with The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, Ahsoka is building up to a movie that’ll “close out the interconnected stories” from this period of Star Wars “history”. It goes without saying, then, that massive spoilers from both shows – as well as The Clone Wars and Rebels – lie ahead, along with information about the cast and potential storylines.
The Force is strong with Ahsoka, so read on to discover the knowledge you seek before the show leaps into action on one of the world’s best streaming services.
Star Wars: Ashoka release date: August 2023
It was confirmed at the Star Wars Celebration event that took place in London in April 2023 that Star Wars: Ahsoka will debut on Disney Plus some time in August 2023 – exact date TBC. That means it’ll be the next live-action Star Wars TV show to emerge from that galaxy far, far away after The Mandalorian season 3 – though in the meantime we’ll be able to watch animated anthology series Star Wars: Visions, which streams from May 4 (aka Star Wars Day).
The Ahsoka TV show was one of many new Star Wars and Marvel TV shows announced at the Disney Investor Day in December 2020. The official Star Wars Twitter account confirmed production began in May 2022, with filming wrapping in October.
Who is Ahsoka Tano?: the Jedi’s backstory explained
“When gone am I, the last of a Jedi will you be,” a dying Yoda told Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi – but the wise old Jedi Master was only correct from a certain point of view. Ahsoka Tano isn’t technically a Jedi – she left the Order before passing the relevant trials – but, in every other regard, she has all the necessary qualifications.
So, who is Ahsoka Tano? For one, she made her first appearance in 2008, in the animated Clone Wars movie that set up the long-running TV show. The Togruta teen subsequently served as Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan apprentice throughout the eponymous conflict.
A highly respected commander in the Republic forces, she fought with a distinctive two-lightsaber style, and was nicknamed “Snips” by her master, owing to her supposedly snippy attitude. In return, she referred to Anakin as “Sky Guy”.
Ahsoka went on to play a key role in the formation of the Rebel Alliance in Star Wars Rebels, set during the run-up to A New Hope. She then made her live-action debut in The Mandalorian season 2 episode 5, ‘The Jedi’, and has since shown up in The Book of Boba Fett‘s sixth episode, ‘From the Desert Comes a Stranger’. Her voice can also heard among the choir of Jedi giving Rey a pep talk in The Rise of Skywalker.
Star Wars: Ahsoka trailer
Warrior. Outcast. Rebel. Jedi.
The Star Wars: Ahsoka trailer debuted at Star Wars Celebration 2023, and it’s something of a Star Wars Rebels reunion. As well as featuring plenty of scenes with Ahsoka, the teaser provides our first look at the live-action incarnations of several members of the Ghost crew: Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren, ace pilot Hera Syndulla and (very briefly) trainee Jedi Ezra Bridger. We also get to see – albeit from the back – Star Wars Rebels Big Bad Grand Admiral Thrawn, who’s returned from the far reaches of space to make life difficult for the nascent New Republic.
The Ahsoka trailer also introduces a pair of Dark Side Force wielders in the form of Baylan Skoll and Shin Hati, and confirms returns for both New Republic leader Mon Mothma, and Huyang, the ancient droid who helped Padawan learners construct their lightsabers in The Clone Wars.
Star Wars: Ahsoka cast
Here’s what the Ahsoka TV show cast currently looks like:
- Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano
- Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Sabine Wren
- Eman Esfandi as Ezra Bridger
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead as General Hera Syndulla
- Lars Mikkelsen as Grand Admiral Thrawn
- Ivanna Sakhno as Shin Hati
- Ray Stevenson as Baylan Skoll
- David Tennant as Huyang
- Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma
- Diana Lee Inosanto as Morgan Elsbeth
- Chopper as himself
Although Ashley Eckstein voiced Ahsoka throughout The Clone Wars and Rebels, Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Daredevil) has played the character in live-action Star Wars projects. Dawson returns as the Jedi in the new Disney Plus series.
Dawson will be joined by Natasha Liu Bordizzo, replacing Tiya Sircar who voiced graffiti-loving Mandalorian explosives expert Sabine Wren across four seasons of Star Wars Rebels. The show’s Star Wars Celebration 2022 panel in Anaheim also confirmed a return for surly astromech droid C1-10P, better known as Chopper. Then, in September 2022, The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab) confirmed Eman Esfandi will play aspiring Jedi Ezra Bridger, a role originated by Taylor Gray in Rebels.
Additional members of the cast were announced at Star Wars Celebration 2023 in London.
Birds of Prey’s Mary Elizabeth Winstead will play Hera Syndulla, who captained the Ghost throughout Rebels (where she was voiced by Vanessa Marshall), and has since been promoted to the rank of general in the New Republic. (Following the confirmation of Hera’s return, the only member of the Ghost crew who isn’t definitely returning to action in Ahsoka is Lasat muscle Zeb Orrelios. But, seeing as he turned up in The Mandalorian season 3, we’ll be extremely disappointed if we don’t get a full-on Star Wars Rebels reunion somewhere down the line.)
There’ll also be new roles for Pacific Rim: Uprising‘s Ivanna Sakhno and Punisher: War Zone/Black Sails star Ray Stevenson as Dark Siders Shin Hati and Baylan Skoll. (This will be Stevenson’s second part in Star Wars, as he previously voiced Mandalorian warrior Gar Saxon – now deceased – in both The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.)
But arguably the most exciting piece of Ahsoka casting news – for Star Wars Rebels fans, at least – is the identity of the actor playing Grand Admiral Thrawn, the blue-skinned Imperial mastermind who first appeared in Timothy Zahn’s much-loved series of (now non-canonical) 1990s novels, starting with Heir to the Empire. While fellow Rebels veterans Ahsoka, Sabine, Hera and Ezra have all been recast, actor Lars Mikkelsen is following the character from animation to live-action. This is great news for the Ahsoka TV show – not only was Mikkelsen suitably chilling in Rebels, he also has a track record playing memorable villains after his appearance in Sherlock season 3 finale ‘His Last Vow’.
The Star Wars: Ahsoka trailer also confirms a return for Diana Lee Inosanto, who played Thrawn acolyte Morgan Elsbeth in The Mandalorian season 2. And other actors reprising their roles from previous Star Wars projects include Genevieve O’Reilly as former Rebel and New Republic Chancellor Mon Mothma, and David Tennant as lightsaber-expert droid Huyang.
Rumors also persist that Hayden Christensen is set to follow-up his spectacular return as Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker in Obi-Wan Kenobi – you can watch Ahsoka showrunner Dave Filoni neither confirm nor deny Christensen’s return in an interview he gave to CinemaBlend (opens in new tab) at Star Wars Celebration 2023.
And seeing as Ahsoka exists at a similar point in the Star Wars timeline to The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett – check out our guide on how to watch Star Wars in order to understand how everything fits together – don’t be surprised if the likes of Katee Sackhoff’s Bo-Katan Kryze, Pedro Pascal’s Mando/Din Djarin, and even Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker make cameos appearances in the series. There’s also a possibility of The Book of Boba Fett star Temuera Morrison turning up to play Ahsoka Tano’s Clone Trooper buddy Captain Rex – Boba and Rex were born in the same Petri dish, after all.
In fact, seeing as all the shows in this part of the Star Wars universe are building up to a “climactic” event, it would be a big shock if we don’t see any big-name guest stars from elsewhere in that galaxy far, far away in Ahsoka. Han Solo, Leia Organa and Lando Calrissian are all active at this point in the timeline, so anything could happen…
Star Wars: Ahsoka showrunner and directors
Lucasfilm Executive Creative Director Dave Filoni co-created Ahsoka Tano alongside George Lucas for The Clone Wars and – having worked extensively on The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett – returns to call the shots on her TV show.
As well as being showrunner on Star Wars: Ahsoka, it’s been confirmed that Filoni will direct at least one episode. Other directors on the show include Steph Green (The Book of Boba Fett), Peter Ramsey (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), Jennifer Getzinger (Jessica Jones), Geeta Patel (House of the Dragon) and Rick Famuyiwa (The Mandalorian).
Star Wars: Ahsoka story
For the benefit of anyone who hasn’t watched the animated Star Wars shows, here’s a brief history of Ahsoka Tano’s life and times.
Having served the Republic with distinction throughout the Clone Wars, she left the Jedi Order under a cloud during The Clone Wars season 5. Although she was eventually exonerated for bombing the Jedi Temple – she’d been framed by her friend and fellow Padawan Barriss Offee – she decided not to return, and went out into the galaxy solo.
During the final days of the Clone Wars, she helped Bo-Katan Kryze remove Darth Maul from the Mandalorian throne, and was on her way to return the former Sith Lord to Jedi custody when the Emperor initiated Order 66. With some help from her old friend (and Clone Trooper) Captain Rex – whose mind-controlling inhibitor chip she surgically removed – Ahsoka survived the Jedi purge and went into hiding. Interestingly, one of the episodes from 2022 anthology series Tales of the Jedi (available on Disney Plus) shows how a chance encounter with one of the Empire’s Jedi-hunting Inquisitors persuaded her to rejoin the fight.
Ahsoka turned up again in Star Wars Rebels, set around 15 years after the Emperor came to power. It was eventually revealed that Ahsoka was the mysterious Fulcrum, an agent who helped pull disparate cells of freedom fighters together to form the Rebel Alliance.
She also fought a fateful duel with her former master. When she removed a portion of Darth Vader’s helmet with her lightsaber – much as Obi-Wan did in the Obi-Wan Kenobi TV show – she became one of the few people in the galaxy to realize his true identity. The Vader/Anakin Skywalker connection wouldn’t become common knowledge for several decades, with the secret eventually being leaked to damage Leia Organa’s post-Return of the Jedi political aspirations in Claudia Gray’s 2016 novel Bloodline.
Ahsoka barely made it out of the duel with Vader alive, but she was saved by a future version of Jedi apprentice Ezra Bridger. He pulled her into the so-called World Between Worlds, a mystical realm where the usual rules of time and space do not apply. By the time of the Rebels epilogue – set some time after Return of the Jedi – Ahsoka had somehow returned to the normal reality of that galaxy far, far away.
Aside from the flashbacks of Tales of the Jedi, her most recent canonical appearances came in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.
In The Mandalorian episode 13, otherwise known as ‘The Jedi’, she met Din Djarin (aka the Mandalorian) and Baby Yoda. While communing with the Child, she learned his real name was Grogu, and gave Mando some pointers to help find some other Jedi – who just happened to be Luke Skywalker.
She showed up again in The Book of Boba Fett’s sixth chapter, ‘From the Desert Comes a Stranger’. The episode provided confirmation that Ahsoka has been in contact with Luke Skywalker, as she paid him a visit at his new Jedi academy on Ossus. She also counselled him about Grogu’s training, and told him that he reminded her of his late dad. When Luke asked if he would see her again, she replied with a cryptic “Perhaps”.
So what do we know about Star Wars: Ahsoka‘s plot? Well, it’ll have plenty of existing canon to work from, and there’s nobody on the planet who knows how to navigate the Star Wars timeline better than Dave Filoni. During his previous life as supervising director on The Clone Wars, Filoni co-created Ahsoka Tano with George Lucas. He then went on to shepherd her through seven seasons of The Clone Wars and several guest appearances on Rebels. He also directed her episodes of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, and clearly has a long-standing plan for the direction of the character.
In fact, this is why he insisted that Ahsoka shouldn’t be the Jedi to train Grogu in The Mandalorian. “I was telling Jon [Favreau, Mandalorian showrunner] that as much as I wanted to have Ahsoka in the show, she can’t take this kid on,” he told Empire (opens in new tab) magazine in March 2023. “That‘s just not what I have planned.”
Going by StarWars.com (opens in new tab)’s original announcement, it looks like the new series will pick up soon after Ahsoka’s meeting with Mando and Grogu: “After making her long awaited live-action debut in The Mandalorian,” the site’s article reads, “Ahsoka Tano’s story will continue in a limited series.”
It’s currently unknown whether that Rebels epilogue takes place before or after Ahsoka showed up in The Mandalorian. However, we do know (from footage screened at Star Wars Celebration 2022) that the animated show’s closing scenes have been recreated in live-action for Ahsoka.
As is traditionally the case with Lucasfilm, solid details of the Star Wars: Ahsoka plot are thin on the ground. The trailer does offer up a few clues, however – especially in the snippets of dialogue.
It begins with Ahsoka Tano announcing that, “Something’s coming. Something dark. I sense it.” New character Baylan Skoll, a Dark Side Force-wielder, then chips in to speak of a “new beginning. For some, war. For others, power.”
The most important line, however, arguably concerns the comeback tour of an infamous Chiss officer, last seen disappearing (along with Ezra Bridger) into deep space in the Star Wars Rebels finale:
“I started hearing whispers about Thrawn’s return,” says Ahsoka. “As heir to the Empire.”
This isn’t just a sly callback to the aforementioned Timothy Zahn novels. We’d long suspected that Thrawn was going to be the main antagonist in Ahsoka, not least because Ahsoka asked Morgan Elsbeth about her “master”‘s whereabouts in The Mandalorian season 2. The new trailer provides definitive confirmation, however, even providing a glimpse of the man himself, albeit from the rear. (The lucky attendees at Star Wars Celebration 2023 also got to see Thrawn’s face.)
How Thrawn (and presumably Ezra) have made it back to this corner of the galaxy is surely going to be one of the big questions answered by the Ahsoka TV show. Could it have something to do with the purrgil (space whales) who made an appearance in hyperspace in season 3 of The Mandalorian, perhaps?
It looks like Thrawn’s impact will stretch way beyond Ahsoka, as his imminent return was discussed by the Imperial Shadow Council in The Mandalorian season 3 episode ‘The Spies’. Indeed, it looks like he’s being set up as the Big Bad for this whole era of the Star Wars galaxy as the action builds up to a movie (directed by Filoni) that –according to StarWars.com (opens in new tab) – will “close out” interconnecting plot threads from The Mandalorian, Ahsoka, The Book of Boba Fett and (we’re guessing) the upcoming Skeleton Crew.
With The Mandalorian tackling the re-emergence of the Empire from a Mandalorian perspective, and The Book of Boba Fett hanging out in the criminal underworld, Ahsoka seems primed to explore what it means for the New Republic and what’s left of the Jedi order.
With Hera now a general in the New Republic military and Mon Mothma at the head of its government, Ahsoka has friends in high places. But we know from both The Mandalorian and the Star Wars sequel movies (where Empire spin-off group the First Order have risen to power in secret) that the New Republic are frustratingly slow to act on the growing Imperial threat on the Outer Rim. This means that Ahsoka may be left to take on Thrawn’s forces alone – or, at least, with the help of her old friends from Star Wars Rebels.
It’s also clear that she’ll be facing a new enemies from the Dark Side in the form of Baylan Skoll and his Force-wielding apprentice (as confirmed by actor Ivanna Sakhno at Star Wars Celebration (opens in new tab)) Shin Hati. It’s safe to assume they’re not Sith – following the deaths of Darths Vader and Sidious, the arch-enemies of the Jedi are unlikely to make another appearance until The Rise of Skywalker – but they’re clearly powerful enough to give Ahsoka some serious headaches.
Ahsoka may have a part to play in restoring the Jedi Order, too. “The Jedi fell a long time ago,” she acknowledges in the trailer. “There aren’t many left.”
“Perhaps it is time to begin again,” replies Huyang, an ancient droid who’s been associated with the Jedi for millennia.
Having turned her back on the Jedi decades earlier, we think it’s unlikely Ahsoka will join forces with Luke Skywalker at his (ultimately doomed) Jedi Academy on Ossus, so her involvement may be more advisory than hands-on. Even so, the TV show that bears her name clearly has a big role to play in shaping the Star Wars galaxy as it approaches the era of The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker.
For more Star Wars-based content, read our interview with The Mandalorian season 3 director-executive producer Rick Famuyiwa. Additionally, find out which Star Wars TV series made it onto our best Disney Plus shows list.