Ahsoka Lives! Ashley Eckstein on Future 'Star Wars' Movies, Meaning of Luke's 'Last Jedi' Line

·Editor-in-Chief, Yahoo Entertainment

Of all the characters to emerge from the Star Wars animated series, none has resonated more than Ahsoka Tano, whose journey from wannabe Jedi in The Clone Wars to Darth Vader-confronting freedom fighter in Star Wars Rebels has made her genuinely beloved. With Lucasfilm about to plot out the next standalone films, Ahsoka, along with fellow fan-favorites Obi-Wan Kenobi and Boba Fett, has risen to the top of the wish list for Star Wars devotees — among them the actress who defines the role, Ashley Eckstein.

“I would love an Ahsoka movie, not only as the voice of Ahsoka, but just as an Ahsoka fan,” Eckstein told Yahoo Movies (watch above) last weekend at Star Wars Celebration Orlando. “It’s so exciting that we’re even talking about that, that it’s even a possibility to have a standalone film or other media with Ahsoka in it.”

Eckstein, whose legion of selfie-seeking fans rivaled other saga stars at the convention, said even she is surprised at the popularity of Ahsoka, who wasn’t exactly embraced when she debuted as a whiny Padawan nicknamed “Snips” in 2008’s Clone Wars feature.

“Ahsoka started out as this brand new character that, at first, I thought was going to be the next Jar Jar. But she’s become such a beloved character by everyone — boys, girls, men women — I play a small part in the team that brings Ahsoka to life.”

Ahsoka Tano Star Wars The Clone Wars Rebels Ashley Eckstein
Ashley Eckstein as Ahsoka, an image that originally accompanied her essay on cosplaying for CNN.com. (Credit: Preston Mack for Her Universe/Ashey Eckstein)

Over the intervening decade, Ahsoka has been the subject of a novel, comic books, and lots of toys, and will soon be one of the featured female heroes in the upcoming Star Wars Forces of Destiny animated shorts.

The 35-year-old actress and owner of the Her Universe line of fangirl-targeting apparel says part of Ahsoka’s appeal comes from fans watching the character grow up on screen in The Clone Wars, where she transformed from Anakin Skywalker’s bratty Togruta trainee to his formidable apprentice only to break away from the Jedi. Her decision to leave spared her from the “Order 66” Jedi purge — and it also gave Eckstein some unique insight into The Last Jedi trailer and Luke Skwyalker’s confounding concluding statement, where he announces, “It’s time for the Jedi to end.”

“Luke’s line in the trailer actually gave me chills because, you know, Ahsoka very famously said, ‘I am no Jedi,'” Eckstein said. “The reason Ahsoka is still alive is because she walked away from the Jedi Order. Clearly there’s something there with The Last Jedi…. It’s not what it once was, apparently.”

Ahsoka resurfaces in Rebels as an ally of the burgeoning Alliance, but many viewers presumed her to be dead following a confrontation with her former master-turned-Sith lord at the end of Season 2. But both Eckstein and Clone Wars/Rebels creator Dave Filoni (who sported an “Ahsoka Lives!” T-shirt at the Rebels Saturday panel) have indicated her story isn’t over.

“I want to know more about Ahsoka’s future as this kind of neutral character,” said Eckstein. “Her lightsabers are white because she’s neutral. She’s not on the Dark Side, she’s not a Jedi. She’s not even a full-blown Rebel. What is she doing? Where is she? All I can say is, you’ll see Ahsoka again.”

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