The Mandalorian: Ashley Eckstein Offers Thoughts on Ahsoka Tano Debut
By now, a vast chunk of the "Star Wars" universe has checked out the Dave Filoni-written and directed The Mandalorian episode "Chapter 13: The Jedi"- which means they know that Mando (Pedro Pascal) and The Child met up with Ahsoka Tano, making her live-action debut courtesy of Rosario Dawson (DMZ). Since it premiered, Dawson's take on Tano has not been with social media feedback- and to say that the vast majority of those commenting are impressed would be an understatement. But what about Ashley Eckstein, who made the animated version famous in the beloved animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels? How does she feel seeing the character take on a new life in a live-action role?
Taking to Instagram on Saturday, Eckstein expressed how much the character has meant to not just her but to the millions of fans who've taken her message of hope and perseverance to heart. "It's my wish that Ahsoka continues to bring people joy, light and most importantly hope. This is the way of Ahsoka Tano," the actress wrote at the end of her message to the fans, thanking them for their love and support. Here's a look at Eckstein's Instagram post from Saturday, followed by a transcript of the caption for easier reading:
To understand Ahsoka Tano, is to understand what she means to people.
Millions of people are meeting Ahsoka for the first time after watching her in The Mandalorian and I'm excited for them to hopefully go back and watch her journey in The Clone Wars and Rebels. Millions of fans already know Ahsoka and her presence has come to mean more to them than words in a script.
In Star Wars The Clone Wars, Ahsoka became the eyes of the audience. Viewers experienced the show through Ahsoka, and even though these stories happened in a galaxy far, far away, her feelings and emotions are very relatable to our everyday lives. Ahsoka's strength has inspired, changed and literally saved millions of lives all over the world.
In turn, Ahsoka has become a beacon of hope, light and genuine goodness. Everyone's relationship with Ahsoka is very different because she triggers the memory of a certain point in a person's life where she's inspired them. Even in the darkest of times, Ahsoka brings people joy and that's what truly matters.
Ahsoka taught us that, "You don't need to carry a sword to be powerful…" and Dave Filoni reminded me that kindness is powerful. After 12 years (and hopefully many more to come!) of having Ahsoka in our lives, #AhsokaLivesInAllOfUs now. I am blown away by everyone's kindness. I've read all of your messages, DM's, comments, text messages and emails and to say "thank you" does not even feel adequate enough to express what your kind words mean to me.
It's my wish that Ahsoka continues to bring people joy, light and most importantly hope. This is the way of Ahsoka Tano.
Behind the camera, Peyton Reed (Ant-Man), Robert Rodriguez (Sin City), cast member Carl Weathers, Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Bryce Dallas Howard (Dads), and Sam Hargrave (Extraction) will be sharing time with series creator Jon Favreau and executive producer Dave Filoni in The Mandalorian director's chair. While the second season of Disney+'s live-action Star Wars spinoff series appears to have gotten off relatively light compared to many COVID-19-impacted productions, Favreau was asked if new health and safety guidelines would make it difficult starting up production on a (for now) hypothetical third season and if he had concerns. As Favreau sees it, the series' reliance on virtual sets/scenes and distance-based production actually lends itself pretty naturally to the "new norms" on sets now:
"The fact that the set is much more contained is a benefit because you can limit the number of people. A lot of the people controlling it are doing it remotely from what we call the Brain Bar, which is a bank of gaming computers, essentially. The amount of people near the camera could be much smaller than [usual]. We also shoot a lot outside, which is helpful, too. We build to a moment in filming more like an animated production, where we have a lot of storyboards, a lot of discussions, and scouting in virtual reality. We use cinematic tools in VR much the same way we did for The Lion King and The Jungle Book. A lot of times the actors you are seeing on the screen aren't actually there on set."