The Ahsoka Trailer Features A Deep Cut Star Wars Resistance Character

Star Wars Celebration 2023 has so far been especially exciting for fans of the animated side of the universe. "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars Rebels" creator Dave Filoni was revealed to be directing a live-action "Star Wars" movie, set between the events of "Return of the Jedi" and "The Force Awakens." And while the film is still in early development, Filoni also brought a brand new trailer for his upcoming live-action series "Ahsoka," which will continue the storyline of "Star Wars Rebels."

When animated properties in the "Star Wars" universe make a jump into live-action, it tends to make big waves. Sometimes, though, those ripples into live-action can be a lot more subtle. When a show based on a character like Ahsoka Tano comes out, it's no surprise that we'll be seeing animated characters from her past adventures. Sabine Wren, Hera Syndulla, Grand Admiral Thrawn, and even Chopper are making that leap from "Star Wars: Rebels" — but buried in the trailer is a cameo from an entirely unexpected animated source: "Star Wars Resistance."

The Xiono family in Star Wars Resistance

"Star Wars Resistance" aired from 2018 to 2020 and told of the adventures of Kazuda Xiono (played by Christopher Sean), a brash pilot of the New Republic who was recruited by Poe Dameron to spy on the First Order in the lead up to "The Force Awakens." Kaz came from a family of service and his father, Hamato Xiono, was a Senator with the New Republic. Thankfully, Senator Xiono escaped the destruction of Hosnian Prime at the hands of the First Order when they used their superweapon, Starkiller Base.

In the trailer for "Ahsoka," we see a lineup of New Republic senators, as well as the Chancellor of the New Republic, Mon Mothma. To her right is a man credited in official Disney press materials as Senator Xiono, played by Nelson Lee. I can't imagine that there are many people called "Senator Xiono" in the New Republic, and Kaz seemed to have a long familial legacy of political service on the show.

The Filoni connection

On first blush, this seems like a fun Easter egg that might have come after the fact, but it's important to remember that the common denominator is Dave Filoni. Filoni isn't just the man behind "The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars Rebels;" he was also the creator and executive producer of "Star Wars Resistance" which was tragically cut short before its time. I imagine "Resistance" is very near and dear to Dave Filoni's heart. 

The show was gorgeously animated and more reminiscent of "Robotech", which Filoni has cited as a major influence in the past. Though aimed at a slightly younger audience than "The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars Rebels," it offered challenging ideas and added depth to aspects of the sequel trilogy, much like "The Clone Wars" expanded the prequel trilogy. All in all, it was a fun show that was unlike anything we'd ever seen in "Star Wars."

Though I doubt we'll see much more extending the storyline of "Star Wars Resistance," whose characters would encounter Kylo Ren as they headed into the timeline of "The Rise of Skywalker," it's really cool to see the story continue in other ways — even if Senator Xiono only has a small cameo appearance in "Ahsoka."

"Ahsoka" is streaming only on Disney+ starting in August 2023. "Star Wars Resistance" is available now on Disney+.