A potentially huge piece of Star Wars news is out there to end this terrible week but it almost feels too good to be true.
Slashfilm reports that actress Rosario Dawson has been cast in season two of The Mandalorian, which Gizmodo heard from a source as well. Their story continues, though, to say that Dawson is playing none other than Ahsoka Tano on the Disney+ series, which we were not able to confirm.
Unfortunately, Lucasfilm does not comment on rumours or speculation and did not return Gizmodo's email request for clarification on this at time of publication. We’ll update the article if and when they do. In this case though, if this was not true, one would think the studio would like to cut it off at the pass. We’ll see.
That said, rumours had been percolating about Dawson as Tano for a few weeks and Slashfilm has been reliable in the past in terms of, not just movie scoops, but Star Wars scoops in particular. Following the report, ABC correspondent Clayton Sandell tweeted, “A live-action version of Ahsoka Tano appearing in the second season of The Mandalorian is correct. I’d heard a couple names floated (Dawson was indeed one) but I can’t confirm the @slashfilm casting scoop. However, I can say Ahsoka will not be played by Ashley Eckstein.”
If Dawson is indeed playing Tano, though, it would mark the first time Ahsoka appears in live-action, and the first time a speaking character created for animation appears in live-action, period. (Chopper from Star Wars Rebels, briefly in Rogue One, has the overall honour of being the first animated character period.) More than that though, Ahsoka’s introduction would blow the world of The Mandalorian wide open. She’s a character familiar with the Force who knows all of the big, famous characters in the universe. Characters such as Yoda. So she’d know the importance of Baby Yoda beyond what any other characters on The Mandalorian would. Save for Moff Gideon, maybe. That would add a whole, huge layer of mystery and mythology onto the show, something executive producer Dave Filoni, who co-created Tano, would enjoy.
And yet, Tano’s potential foray into live-action feels like such a big moment, especially played by such a formidable, famous actress, that inserting her onto a show starring another character almost feels like a disservice. Plus, for almost a decade, fans know actress Ashley Eckstein as Ahsoka Tano. Period. A new actress playing the role is kind of weird. That is, unless, it’s setting up some another Star Wars show in the future and Ahsoka is going to be even bigger moving ahead.
Dawson recently finished filming the pilot of DMZ for HBO Max, which filmed after season two of The Mandalorian completed so the timing works. But is this all true? There’s a good chance we may have to wait until this fall to find out. This feels like one of those secrets, if true, everyone would have really liked to hold back.
In the meanwhile, Ahsoka’s Clone Wars story continues today on Disney+ as the character returns to the show where she debuted.