Why Doesn’t Rosario Dawson Play Ahsoka in This Live-Action ‘Star Wars’ Movie?

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Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano in 'Ahsoka' on Disney+

Credit: Lucasfilm

Now that Ahsoka (2023) is streaming on Disney+, Rosario Dawson is finally starting to become synonymous with the fan-favorite character, Ahsoka Tano.

The 44-year-old actress first played Ahsoka in The Mandalorian Season 2 episode, “Chapter 13: The Jedi” in late 2020, and while she only made one more appearance in the two years that followed, in The Book of Boba Fett (2021) episode, “Chapter 6: From the Desert Comes a Stranger”, she’s now headlining her own Disney+ series, which consists of eight episodes.

Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano in 'Ahsoka'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: A Recap of Ahsoka Before You Watch the Live-Action Series

But while Dawson is becoming synonymous with the live-action version of the character, it was Ashley Eckstein who first brought Ahsoka to life in 2008, and has continued to play her ever since. And not just in the world of animation, but in many other forms of media, such as audiobooks and video games.

With that said, it’s unlikely we’ll see much more new content featuring Eckstein’s Ahsoka, especially now that Dave Filoni has started to convert the animated side of the faraway galaxy into live action, and with projects such as the untitled Mando-Verse film in development, in which Rosario Dawson is expected to reprise her role as Ahsoka Tano.

Ahsoka Tano wielding her two white lightsabers on Corellia
Credit: Lucasfilm

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However, while Dawson may have “replaced” Eckstein as Ahsoka Tano, the voice actress returned to portray Ahsoka in one of the Star Wars films. In 2019, Ahsoka Tano made her second appearance on the silver screen, in Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker (2019), following the animated movie, Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008).

Unfortunately, we only hear Eckstein’s Ahsoka speaking from within the Force, alongside many other Jedi who have long since died, such as Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and Mace Windu (Samuel L Jackson). Presumably, this means Ahsoka has also died by this point in the film (although the end of her story in Star Wars is yet to be told).

Ahsoka Tano in "A Friend in Need" in The Clone Wars
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Naturally, this continues to cause some confusion among fans, who wonder why Rosario Dawson wasn’t asked to voice the character in The Rise of Skywalker instead of Ashley Eckstein, considering the film takes place some 30 years after the Ahsoka series.

However, Dawson wasn’t actually cast as Ahsoka until 2020, which marked her first appearance in live action, and which explains why Eckstein was the first choice. It’s just a shame we didn’t get to see all the Force Ghosts actually appear to Rey in that scene.

Kylo Ren Force-healing Rey in The Rise of Skywalker
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Another aspect about this voice cameo that confuses fans is the fact that Eckstein represents the younger version of Ahsoka. As such, some fans theorize that Ashoka isn’t dead during this scene, and is actually speaking to Rey from a different point in time, using the World Between Worlds, the mystical dimension from the Star Wars: Rebels (2014 — 2018) Season 4 episode of the same name, where time and space do not exist.

But one could easily debunk this theory by pointing out that, in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008 — 2020) Season 7 episode “”Shattered”, Ahsoka hears the voices of Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker) and Samuel L Jackson (Mace Windu), through the Force during the Senate chambers scene in Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith (2005), as opposed to The Clone Wars actors, Matt Lanter and TC Carson, respectively.

In other words, it’s nothing more than a voice cameo, so don’t think too much about it.

Ahsoka facing Maul on Mandalore in The Clone Wars
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Either way, while Dawson is the “new” Ahsoka, hopefully we’ll get to Ashley Eckstein play the character in live action some day. This might cause even more confusion, of course, but now that Ahsoka is flirting with time travel and the Star Wars Multiverse, we think there’s room for more than one version of Ahsoka in live action.

For now, here are all the Ahsoka appearances from Ashley Eckstein and Rosario Dawson.

Ashley Eckstein’s Ahsoka Tano Appearances

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Movie)

Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano fighting side by side in The Clone Wars movie
Credit: Lucasfilm

Ashley Eckstein’s first appearance as Ahsoka Tano is in the theatrical animated film, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which was developed into the animated television series of the same name that same year. In the film, the 14-year-old Togruta padawan is placed under the tutelage of Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter), who gives her the nickname “Snips.”

Related: Where is Ahsoka During All Three ‘Star Wars’ Trilogies?

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Television Series)

Ahsoka and Rex discussing Order 66 in 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Star Wars: The Clone Wars spans the three years between Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith. Ashley Eckstein reprises her role as Ahsoka Tano in the series, who appears in the majority of the episodes as one of the lead characters, alongside the likes of Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor), and Captain Rex (Dee Bradley Baker).

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Goes Too Far, Replaces Luke Skywalker in ‘Ahsoka’

Star Wars: Rebels (2014 — 2018)

Ahsoka in white robes in the Rebels finale
Credit: Lucasfilm

Ashley Eckstein returned to the faraway galaxy in the follow-up animated series, Star Wars: Rebels alongside the titular characters, Hera Syndulla (Vanessa Marshall), Kanan Jarrus (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Ezra Bridger (Taylor Gray), Sabine Wren (Tiya Sircar), Zeb Orrelios (Steve Blum) and Chopper (Dave Filoni). She made her debut in Season 1’s “Fire Across the Galaxy”, but disappears in the Season 2 finale, “Twilight of the Apprentice.” However, she makes an epic return in Season 4’s “A World Between Worlds.” Rebels takes place 14 years after The Clone Wars Season 7 and spans four years.

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“Ahsoka” by EK Johnston

Anakin Skywalker (Mat Lanter) and Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) talking in 'Tales of the Jedi'
Credit: Lucasfilm

While Ashley Eckstein doesn’t “play” Ahsoka Tano in the novel, “Ahsoka” (2016), by EK Johnston, which takes place a few years after the events of The Clone Wars Season 7, she does lend her vocal talents to the audiobook version (although the story is told in third person, which makes Eckstein’s welcome presence sort of strange overall).

Related: ‘Ahsoka’ Could Revisit Iconic ‘Star Wars’ Moments, But Not In the Way You Think

Star Wars Video Games

Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) in Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
Credit: LucasArts / Feral Interactive (OS X)

Ashley Eckstein is a voice actress who has certainly broken down many barriers when it comes to all the different mediums of storytelling. Along with animated movies, animated shows, and audiobooks, she also voiced Ahsoka in four Star Wars video games: Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Lightsaber Duels (2008), Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Republic Heroes (2009), Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (2011), and Disney Infinity 3.0 (2015).

Related: Do These Clues Suggest That Ahsoka Tano Is Actually a Time-Traveller?

Star Wars: Forces of Destiny

Ahsoka Tano and Padme in Star Wars Forces of Destiny
Credit: Lucasfilm

Ashley Eckstein voiced Ahsoka Tano in a 2D animated web series Star Wars: Forces of Destiny (2017– 2018). Set across multiple eras of the Star Wars timeline, the animated shorts follow iconic female Star Wars characters such as Qi’ra (Olivia Hack), Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o), Rey (Daisy Ridley), Padmé Amidala (Catherine Taber), Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), and Princess Leia Organa (Shelby Young).

Related: ‘Ahsoka’ Just Opened up ‘Star Wars’ Extended Universe

Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi

Ahsoka in her farm hiding place in Tales of the Jedi (2022)
Credit: Lucasfilm

Eckstein’s most recent performance as Ahsoka Tano is in Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi (2022), which follows The Clone Wars‘ animation style, with three episodes spanning the character’s life from birth to her time training with Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars. The other three episodes follow Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus (Corey Burton).

Related: Will Yaddle Return In ‘Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi’ Season 2?

Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker

Rey wielding a blue lightsaber as she listens to Jedi spirits in The Rise of Skywalker
Credit: Lucasfilm

Ahsoka Tano doesn’t make a physical appearance in Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker, but we do hear Ashley Eckstein’s voice, along with the spirits of many other dead Jedi such as Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), Yoda (Frank Oz), and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), speak to Rey from within the Force, as she prepares to battle Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious (Ian McDiarmid). Ahsoka simply says, “Rey.”

Related: ‘Star Wars’ May Replace Ahsoka Tano With Another Popular Character

Rosario Dawson’s Ahsoka Tano Appearances

The Mandalorian Season 2

Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano (left) and Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin/Mandalorian on Corvus
Credit: Lucasfilm

Rosario Dawson first brought Ahsoka Tano to life in live action in The Mandalorian Season 2 episode, “Chapter 13: The Jedi”, in which Din Djarin/The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu find her on the forest planet of Corvus. So far, it’s her only appearance in the show, which takes place five years after Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi (1983).

Related: ‘Rebels’ Character Returns to ‘Star Wars’ After Actor Exits Franchise

The Book of Boba Fett

Ahsoka Tano (left) and Luke Skywalker (right) talking in The Book of Boba Fett
Credit: Lucasfilm

Rosario Dawson returned as Ahsoka Tano for the second time in The Book of Boba Fett episode, “Chapter 6: From the Desert Comes a Stranger”, alongside Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Din Djarin, and Grogu. Her time in the episode is fleeting, and it’s really her episode in The Mandalorian that sets up her own live-action series on Disney+.

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Just Officially Changed the Mando-Verse Forever


Ahsoka Tano in her space suit in S1 E3 of 'Ahsoka'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Ahsoka is now streaming on Disney+. Rosario Dawson returns as everyone’s favorite Togruta Jedi, leading the live-action versions of the Rebels characters, such as Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo), and Chopper (Dave Filoni), as they search for lost Jedi, Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi), while trying to prevent the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen).

Rosario Dawson’s next appearance as Ahsoka Tano beyond the new Disney+ series will likely be in the untitled Mando-Verse film, which is being directed by Dave Filoni. It is expected to unite characters from across the Mando-Verse in their first theatrical outing.

As for Ashley Eckstein, she may return in Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi Season 2, which has been confirmed by Disney and Lucasfilm. However, as Season 1 focuses on Ahsoka Tano and Count Dooku, it’s possible Season 2 will shift the focus onto a different set of characters.

As per Disney and Lucasfilm, here’s the official trailer for Ahsoka:

Related: After “Replacing” Luke Skywalker, Ahsoka Is Set to Disappoint Fans With Upcoming Change

Ahsoka stars Rosario Dawson (Ahsoka Tano), Natasha Liu Bordizzo (Sabine Wren), Eman Esfandi (Ezra Bridger), Lars Mikkelsen (Grand Admiral Thrawn), Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Hera Syndulla), Genevieve O’Reilly (Mon Mothma), Ivanna Sakhno (Shin Hati), Diana Lee Inosanto (Morgan Elsbeth), and the late Ray Stevenson (Baylan Skoll).

Ahsoka is now streaming on Disney+. New episodes will be available to stream every Tuesday, with the eighth and final episode airing on October 3.

Would you like to see Ashley Eckstein play Ahsoka Tano in live action? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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