Ahsoka Is Not A Jedi, But She Takes The Threat Of Thrawn Seriously

When Ahsoka made the move from animation to live-action, there was reason to be skeptical. For one, it could seem like a statement about one medium being more valid than the other, or that voice actors are in some way lesser than live-action performers. It could also mean giving Dave Filoni more opportunities to retcon the "Star Wars" canon as he has before, with both his own canon and that which others have contributed — like an episode of "Tales of the Jedi" removing a queer character from a book that seemingly inspired the episode.

Indeed, one aspect of the upcoming "Ahsoka" show that fans of her animated origins were worried about is the marketing approach to selling Ahsoka as a Jedi, and her appearances in "The Mandalorian" and "The Book of Boba Fett" showing her to be rather close to Luke's efforts to restore the Jedi, despite one of Ahsoka's biggest moments being a very clear statement about how she is no Jedi.

Thankfully, there's no reason to worry. During a panel for "Ahsoka" at "Star Wars" Celebration 2023, Rosario Dawson vehemently reminded the audience that she is not a Jedi — but that doesn't mean she forgot what a Jedi means either.

"Although she is not a Jedi, she definitely has some [Jedi values] at heart. She's really driven by trying to do good, and I think she recognizes a threat that other people aren't necessarily seeing, and she's keeping her eye on the ball."

Let's hope the show remembers the "she is no Jedi part." As for the threat, that is none other than Grand Admiral Thrawn, who is a key element of the "Ahsoka" show, and part of the titular character's main drive.

The heir to the Empire

Introduced in the Timothy Zahn trilogy of the same name, Thrawn is a brilliant tactician and the first non-Force-using "Star Wars" villain since Tarkin — only with more of a central role. His appearance in "Rebels" marked the character's introduction to canon, as he became a thorn in the side of the Rebellion and the Ghost Crew. He was defeated when Jedi Ezra Bridger used a bunch of space whales to transport himself and Thrawn to some unknown corner of the galaxy via hyperspace. But of course, as we already know, he is coming back, and he is played by returning actor Lars Mikkelsen.

It seems part of the tension in "Ahsoka" is that no one believes the Grand Admiral is alive, but the titular former Jedi knows otherwise.

"I think she just really knows that he is formidable, and not someone to just take lightly," Dawson said. "And the idea that he's just dead, but she's getting these rumors, she's getting these hints [...] she just knows that these foes are not so easily dismissed."

Of course, Thrawn didn't disappear alone, he was with Ezra, and his search is the other side of the plot coin that is "Ahsoka." As we saw in the "Rebels" finale, Sabine is asking Ahsoka for help, and that carries unto the show. "Her relationship with Ezra is something that's really powerful," Dawson continued. "And so I think that's just always top of mind for her, and is probably what continues to drive her, is just that feeling of, 'I can do more. I can help, I can be of service.'"

"Ahsoka" hits Disney+ in August 2023.