Ahsoka first appeared in “The Mandalorian” director Dave Filoni’s 2008 “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” film as the spunky apprentice of Anakin Skywalker. Though the character was not initially well-received, Ahsoka has since become one of the franchise’s most popular characters, and is one of the most well-known and fleshed out female characters in “Star Wars” mythos, likely only surpassed by Carrie Fisher’s Leia Organa.
The Force-sensitive Jedi, who is a member of the alien Togruta race, was initially headstrong and petulant, but evolved into a more complex and wise character throughout her appearances in the long-running “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” television series (which recently returned from a six-year hiatus on Disney+) and “Star Wars Rebels.”
Ahsoka’s youth made her particularly relatable for younger viewers, and her growing revelations about the morality of the Jedi Order and their galactic war helped make “The Clone Wars” television series a major critical and commercial hit. “The Mandalorian” takes place after the events of the aforementioned animated series and it is unclear how Ahsoka will fit into the Mandalorian’s ongoing adventures with The Child, AKA Baby Yoda.
Dawson is apparently a fan of the character; the actress, who most recently starred in USA Network’s pulpy “Briarpatch” drama anthology series, enthusiastically told a Twitter follower in 2017 that she would be eager to portray Ahsoka in a “Star Wars” project and later told “Good Morning America” that it would be an “amazing” opportunity. Dawson is no stranger to Disney’s biggest franchises, having portrayed nurse Claire Temple in “Daredevil,” “Luke Cage,” and several of Netflix’s other Marvel Cinematic Universe television shows.
Ahsoka isn’t the only iconic “Clone Wars” element that will be appearing in “The Mandalorian” Season 2: The live-action show’s first season ended with a fan-pleasing jawdropper of a cliffhanger, where Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) sliced his way out of a crashed TIE fighter with the Darksaber, a legendary black-bladed lightsaber that is beloved by the “Star Wars” fandom. The darksaber and Ahsoka’s upcoming appearance indicate that “The Mandalorian” is gearing up to significantly raise the stakes for its titular protagonist and The Child, his Force-sensitive ward, and though Season 1 didn’t feature any lightsaber battles or much Force-wielding antics, Dawson’s introduction to the series suggests that that is likely to change in Season 2.