In April, we got our first look at the new Disney+ series Star Wars: Ahsoka with the release of a teaser during Star Wars Celebration Day in London. It was tantalizing but a bit light on details. Now we’ve got a full-length trailer that reunites several fan favorites and also gives us our first peek at the live-action version of Grand Admiral Thrawn, whose rumored return will fuel much of the plot for Ahsoka.
(Some spoilers for Star Wars: Rebels below.)
As previously reported, the Jedi Padawan of Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka, was introduced as a supporting character in 2008’s animated film Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the subsequent animated series (voiced by Ashley Eckstein). The character returned in the sequel series Star Wars Rebels (2014-2018) as a member of the Rebel Alliance, operating under the codename Fulcrum, and made numerous other cameo appearances in the extended Star Wars universe. Rosario Dawson’s live-action version made her debut in The Mandalorian‘s second season. We last saw Ahsoka briefly in The Book of Boba Fett when she passed on a gift of chain mail to Grogu after warning Mando/Din Djarin that his presence would distract from Grogu’s Jedi training. We all know how that turned out: Din and Grogu reunited and went on to share even more adventures in The Mandalorian S3.
Ahsoka takes place in the same timeline as that third Mandalorian season. In addition to Dawson, the cast includes Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Sabine Wren, a young Mandalorian warrior, graffiti artist, and former bounty hunter; Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Hera Syndulla, a Twi’lek New Republic general and former pilot for the Rebellion; Eman Esfandi as Ezra Bridger, a former con artist and thief who trained as a Jedi; and the recently deceased Ray Stevenson as Baylan Skoll, a former Jedi and survivor or Order 66, now an ally of Thrawn, an Imperial military leader who leads the remnants of the scattered Galactic Empire in a campaign against the New Republic in a trilogy of novels and Star Wars Rebels. Lars Mikkelsen voiced the character in the animated series and returns to play the live-action version.
Ivanna Sakhno plays Shin Hati, Baylan’s lightsaber-wielding apprentice. Genevieve O’Reilly and Diana Lee Inosanto reprise their roles as Mon Mothma and Morgan Elsbeth, respectively, while David Tennant is back voicing Huyang, a lightsaber-crafting droid who appeared in The Clone Wars. Hayden Christensen will return as Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka’s former Jedi mentor who fell to the Dark Side of the Force and became Darth Vader. We’re also likely to get more of Ahsoka’s backstory since Savannah Steyn will play a younger version of the character.
Showrunner Dave Filoni created Rebels and also co-created The Mandalorian, which makes him a natural choice to helm Ahsoka. We learned in April that the series will continue the storyline of Rebels, which ended with Ezra Bridger essentially sacrificing himself to disappear into the Unknown Regions with Thrawn. The trailer reveals that Ahsoka and Sabine tried to find Ezra and failed, splitting less than amicably. So they’ll likely have to resolve some interpersonal issues in addition to renewing their hunt for Ezra and fighting off enemies over the course of the season-long arc.
The trailer opens with Baylan somberly declaring, “War is inevitable. One must destroy in order to create. We are no Jedi.” Then we see a lightsaber cut down a random rebel just to drive home the point. We cut to Ahsoka, who has been picking up on whispers of Thrawn’s return, seeking to reclaim his position as heir to the Empire. Baylan and Shin are looking for Thrawn in hopes of gaining power “such as you’ve never dreamed,” per Baylan. Shin has orders to hunt down Ahsoka, and we see her crossing lightsabers with Sabine (who inherited Ezra’s weapon), but it’s Baylan who confronts Anakin’s former apprentice in the trailer.
Meanwhile, Hera is weary of constantly being at war and pleads with a group of senators to help her prevent another one. When Ahsoka approaches her about finding Ezra, Hera makes the obvious suggestion: Sabine would be a big help. Ahsoka complains that Sabine remains incredibly stubborn, and Hera reminds her that her own master likely found Ahsoka equally difficult. “Anakin never got to finish my training,” Ahsoka replies. “I walked away from him. Just as I walked away from Sabine.” But she and Sabine do team up, and Sabine is clearly up to the challenges ahead. As always, the stakes are high. “If we don’t stop Thrawn, everything will be in vain,” Ahsoka says.
Ahsoka debuts on Disney+ on August 23, 2023.
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