Thanks to her appearances in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, Ahsoka Tano has become one of the most beloved characters in all of Star Wars, putting immense pressure on any performer bringing her into live-action, with the character's co-creator Dave Filoni recently detailing what made Rosario Dawson the right choice to embody the character for The Mandalorian. Having been telling stories focusing on the character for years, it likely would have been more difficult to win over Filoni than fans, with his selection of the actress confirming an entire embodiment of the character that was almost indescribable.
“When I was first exploring the possibility of directing live-action, I asked [Lucasfilm president] Kathleen Kennedy about casting and when you knew someone was right for a part," Filoni shared with Vanity Fair. "She thought about it and said, 'You just know.' And she was right. When I met Rosario, I just knew she was right for Ahsoka. Yes there was the tweet, and her interest in the part, yes she has been in action movies and is a huge fan of sci-fi and fantasy stories, yes, she knew Hayden Christensen and pictures of them together look like Anakin and Ahsoka. But in the end, when I met her and we talked, I just knew.”
The tweet Filoni mentioned featured Dawson retweeting a fan who said she should play the character, which occurred back in 2017, with her endorsing the casting choice.
Despite the enthusiasm from fans and from Filoni, it was still complicated to translate the unique character design of Ahsoka for the live-action universe, with the director detailing that process.
“Many tests were done, screen tests, because within the Volume [the digital effects process for shooting The Mandalorian] it will tend to lean magenta," Filoni explained. "You have to worry about how a character like Ahsoka would look because the temperature that we have her orange could be dramatically different in the Volume than in stage shots. So there were tiny little considerations that had to made and adjusted.”
He added, “Performance-wise I don’t want her to be lost in all of this headgear and makeup, but she definitely is not. I kept things subtle in some ways with the markings. I mean, the funny thing is that the white markings over the brow are always done in animation to give an eyebrow performance … I didn’t want a brightly saturated character. Again, in animation it works, but in live-action I think it works another way, and so you just have to play with the values and see.”0comments
While it's unclear when, or if, Ahsoka will return later in this season of The Mandalorian, rumors claim that she will be taking the spotlight in her own Disney+ series.