The first trailer for the eagerly awaited 2023 Star Wars series Ahsoka couldn’t have been more exciting, and the second just adds more of the same. Do we need more? Probably not. You’re either in or you aren’t. The series serves as a sequel to the brilliant, animated Star Wars Rebels (our top animation pick several years in a row) and The Clone Wars, while also tying together threads from The Book of Boba Fett, The Mandalorian, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the Andor series–even the animated Tales of the Jedi and Star Wars Resistance. Series star Rosario Dawson, the queen of genre roles from DC and Marvel series, Frank Miller, Tony Scott, and Quentin Tarantino movies, made the character of Ahsoka Tano her own in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. Is there a bigger genre actress right now?
But Lucasfilm went with the animated series voice actor (Lars Mikkelsen) for the live-action premiere of Thrawn (will he still be Grand Admiral?), which seems like a missed opportunity for the big stage presence required of the role. Thrawn really only became fleshed out in the animated versions after his introduction in a series of novels, but he could have played a bigger role in future shows. The more interesting villain presence appears to be bad guy Baylon Skoll, played by Ray Stevenson, who passed away last month, which means that gritty appearing character won’t be the future bad guy either. Another baddie is introduced in this trailer–or is it? Could Sabine be Jedi-training on Dagobah?
Even better, the three heroines of Star Wars Rebels are really the stars of this series (so why not call it Star Wars Rebels then?). Check them out in this second big trailer for Ahsoka:
Dawson leads a cast of characters we never thought we’d see in live action: Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane) as Twi’lek Hera Syndulla, Natasha Liu Bordizzo (Day Shift) as Mandalorian Sabine Wren, Eman Esfandi (King Richard) as grown-up Ezra Bridger, a loth-cat, the return of the fully-realized astromech Chopper we last saw in Rogue One, the planet Lothal, and the ship, the Ghost. And it didn’t go unnoticed how Sabine’s astromech looks like the Kenner 1978 R2-D2 action figure (great Easter egg!).
Ivanna Sakhno is Shin Hati (possibly Skoll’s Sith apprentice with a Sith anagram name?), with the return of Genevieve O’Reilly in her fifth show as Mon Mothma (this takes place years after her last appearance in Andor), The Mandalorian’s Diana Lee Inosanto back as Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth, Doctor Who star David Tennant as the voice The Clone Wars-era droid Huyang, and Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano’s Force master/trainer way back in The Clone Wars. Plus orange light sabers!
Keep in mind Darth Maul, Sabine Wren, Kanan Jarrus, Pre Vizsla, Tarre Vizsla, Din Djarin, and Bo-Katan have all possessed the Darksaber. Will the two 2023 series tie all of this together? Darth Maul has died a few times, and this would be a good time to see Star Wars’ second best villain one more time–or maybe an appearance by Emilia Clarke as Qi’ra? If we say it enough times maybe it will happen.
This series has something for every corner of Star Wars fandom. The only thing missing is the “Emperor’s Hand” Mara Jade. Here are some screencaps:
Winstead gets her Han Solo moment:
Dave Filoni, Steph Green, Peter Ramsey, Jennifer Getzinger, Geeta Patel, and Rick Famuyiwa are the series directors. Kevin Kiner, composer on The Clone Wars and The Bad Batch, will score the series.
Look for Ahsoka to begin streaming this August, with the first two episodes August 23, only on Disney+.
C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg