Star Wars: Ahsoka's Mary Elizabeth Winstead Says Rebels Was a Major Influence on Her Performance

The countdown is officially on for Star Wars: Ahsoka, the latest live-action series from the galaxy that is set to arrive on Disney+. The show will weave in a good chunk of lore from the Star Wars Rebels animated series, bringing beloved characters like Hera Sydulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) into live-action. While the task of stepping into such a beloved role could be seen as daunting, Winstead apparently viewed it as an important asset.

"Having a character who's already existed and has such a rich history on something like Rebels, as an actor, it's incredible," Winstead explained in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly's Dagobah Dispatch podcast. "Because sometimes we're tasked with creating our own backstories or trying to flesh out a character that doesn't really have that much on the page. And so to play a character that has season after season of storylines and complex histories with everyone in their life and relationships and experiences was really something I've never experienced quite like that... To have Rebels to refer to, and to have [Rebels and Ahsoka creator Dave Filoni] to speak to about it every day on set, was a real luxury for sure."

So who is the Hera viewers will meet on Ahsoka, and is she any different from the one we saw on Rebels? "I see Hera as an incredibly strong but complicated person," Winstead sats. "She is very maternal, but also she's this leader of this crew. And as we see, she continues and becomes a general. And so she's leading quite a lot of people and she's become something of a legend in her own right."

What will Star Wars: Ahsoka be about?

Spinning out of the events of Star Wars: The MandalorianStar Wars: Ahsoka will follow the ongoing adventures of its titular character. The cast of Star Wars: Ahsoka also includes Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Sabine Wren, Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker, Eman Esfandi as Ezra Bringer, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ray Stevenson, and Ivanna Sakhno in currently-unknown roles. The series is written and executive produced by Star Wars icon Dave Filoni, with The Mandalorian's Jon Favreau executive producing as well. 

"It's thrilling, I gotta tell you," Filoni previously shared with Empire of the process of writing the series. "It's something you imagine doing for a long time. And then it's kind of startling when you're sitting there, and now you have to do it."

"I thought of this adventure for Ahsoka for a long time, and it's interesting to see how it's evolved," the writer pointed out. "Years ago, I never would have imagined that it was sprung from a branch of a tree that had anything to do with a guy [like] Din Djarin, or a child that looks like Yoda. It's a great lesson for me on how, when you have other creatives like Jon Favreau, they can help lend such dimension and depth to what you're doing."

Star Wars: Ahsoka is expected to debut on Disney+ in August. If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.

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