Rosario Dawson Talks Ahsoka Tano Including Wanting to Continue Playing Her in Future Projects
Coming off her highly anticipated debut as Ahsoka Tano in The Mandalorian: Chapter 13 – The Jedi, Rosario Dawson has spoken more about what it was like to play the fan favorite character.
Speaking to starwars.com, Rosario had more to say off the back of her recent interview with Vanity Fair. A few of the points were repeated from that previous interview, such as how she ended up landing the role, but there were some interesting bits around what it was like taking on such a beloved character with so much history.
Like in the Vanity Fair interview, Dawson was quick to pay tribute Ashley Eckstein’s portrayal of Ahsoka, which is responsible for making Ahsoka such a beloved character in Star Wars fandom:
Ashley did such an incredible job and I know how the fans feel about her, and I know how she feels about this character and how much she’s given to it. And I know that it’s such a different feeling and space to bring this character that people have loved for so many years into live-action. I really, really, really wanted it to be something that people could enjoy and get into as another Ahsoka story.”
Starwars.com also notes that Dawson was already familiar with The Clone Wars before taking the role, having watched it with her daughter. And while some actors prefer not to watch or read the original material before putting their own mark on a popular character, Rosario actually found it hugely beneficial as she went back and re-watched The Clone Wars and her appearances in Star Wars Rebels:
There was so much material to work from. I think that was definitely a huge benefit for me. I was marathoning the show from beginning to the end, putting in the movies. It was really fun to see how Ahsoka’s physicality changed, and her facial expressions changed, and her voice and her tenor changed as she just evolved.”
Dave Filoni, who helped create Ahsoka with George Lucas and wrote and directed this episode, also advised her to look to Gandalf from Lord of the Rings as well as some samurai influences as a touchpoint for who the character was by the time we meet her in The Mandalorian.
It was just interesting playing with an amalgamation of all that. I wanted to kind of have some her playfulness and her fun — the cocky eyebrow thing that she does. You know that she’s got that feistiness. You know that she’s willing to push the rules a little bit in order to get what needs to get done. But I also really like that she does have that wisdom. She’s gone through a lot. She’s really gone through a lot of things. And she’s grounded, more than when you first meet her as a young teen. It was really fun to find moments to throw homages to the different aspects to Ahsoka that I’ve always loved.
She’s sort of been wandering. If you know Dave, then you know he’s got a lot of classic samurai references. He was talking about films like Yojimbo. She’s wandering the galaxy helping those in need. She always, for me, was a true Jedi, even if she technically wasn’t a Jedi anymore. She represented the best of what the Jedi Order could be.”
Dawson also speaks about her excitement for the costume fitting and her determination to look as authentic as possible:
I’ve got pictures and video. I was jumping up and down as if I was using a jump rope. I was so excited.
There was one point, actually, where Dave was curious whether I should wear the contacts or not. I had tried them on so I knew what a difference it made. Also, in talking about the fans, I was like, ‘You can’t do this to me. I can’t not have blue eyes. That will just not be okay.’ [Laughs] And it really made all the difference. Because, you know, you have the whole headpiece, and the costume, and the whole world because we’re there on this set — it’s incredible, with these huge screens, you feel all of it there. You’ve got lightsabers. But the contacts would go in and it just dropped you into this character. I wasn’t Rosario playing dress-up cosplay. I was Ahsoka.”
The actress also made it clear that she would love to return as Ahsoka one day, whether it be for another appearance in The Mandalorian or a different project entirely.
I mean, I would love that opportunity. I think it’s so cool that this show exists. I think it’s so cool that I got to show up and give information about this character, the Child, that everyone’s loved so much. You know, that she was not so much showing up as a cameo, but really being a storytelling device for new fans that have fallen in love with yet another new character that we’re getting to see grow. Little Grogu is just amazing.
It’s interesting watching The Mandalorian, realizing you’re not seeing lightsabers, you’re not seeing a lot of what we love about Star Wars. It was really amazing to be able to have that gift of being able to bring that into this series and into this space, and I’m really grateful for that opportunity.”
Finally, Rosario expressed her delight that the character even lived in the first place, after the #AhsokaLives campaign that ran following her vague fate in Star Wars Rebels Season 2 that led to her being fancast in the role.
I’m just really glad that she lived, that we’ve been able to continue growing with her. I think that she’s so special.
So many of the wonderful, awesome Jedi that we love and have gotten their stories told, are male, and you saw them older. When you got to see Anakin grow up it made such a huge difference. I think as people grew with her and aged with her and the story, they grew themselves, and evolved. I think it gives complexity to good and bad and right and wrong in a way that we don’t always get to have story-wise. It’s just fantasy. And I think she represents something stronger than that, about will and determination and audacity and tenacity. She really has pushed herself and evolved in a way that I think her heroine story is one that is not easy to find in other spaces. It’s really cool to see her still out there on quests and having things teased about that world still being very much alive.
On top of that, she’s got two lightsabers. There’s that.”
Fans will no doubt be excited to see Ahsoka return again once more, whether that’s in animation or live action.
Josh is a huge Star Wars fan, who has spent far too much time wondering if any Star Wars character could defeat Thanos with all the Infinity Stones.