Star Wars: Clone Wars and Rebels fans, rise up. We’ve been waiting a long time to be properly fed, and with the latest news and trailers coming out of Star Wars Celebration, we’re finally getting a good look at the Rosario Dawson-led Ahsoka series.
Ahsoka stars Dawson as former-Jedi-turned-outcast Ahsoka Tano, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Birds of Prey) as Twi’lek pilot Hera Syndulla, and Natasha Liu Bordizzo (Day Shift) as Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren. The highly anticipated series will not only centre some of the most iconic Star Wars women, but will take them on a journey to the furthest reaches of the galaxy. They’ll be searching for Rebels character Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi), who, when he was last seen in the animated series, took himself and the evil Admiral Thrawn to some unknown corner of space via hyperspace whales.
Naturally, the trailer is full of references and nods to things that Rebels and Clone Wars fans will get hyped about, but it’s also just a good trailer full of great lightsaber battles, gorgeous vistas, and cute creatures. It got me even more amped for the series to debut this August. Here are eight things from the Ahsoka trailer that have the Kotaku team more riled up than the crowd at a jizz concert.
They fixed Ahsoka’s lekku
Ahsoka Tano is a Togrutan, an alien species known for their vibrant skin, white facial markings, and large head tails known as lekku (the montrals are the part of their head bits that grow upwards like horns — I often get the two confused). Togrutans’ lekku grow in length as they age, starting off as more of a shoulder-length lob before growing into something more evocative of the Haim sisters.
So when Ahsoka made her first live-action appearance in The Mandalorian with lekku that seemed too short for her age, people were rightfully ticked off. Ahsoka’s lekku were shorter than they were in Rebels, which took place years before the events of The Mandalorian. It didn’t make any sense, and they also, frankly, didn’t look that great. Thankfully, her lekku are a lot longer in the Ahsoka trailer, and are more on-par with the length seen in Rebels. They also just look a lot better in general.
Chopper the menace
If you know Rebels, then you are all-too-familiar with the galactic menace that is Chopper, the C1 astromech droid that belongs to Hera Syndulla. This feisty little bastard has quite the reputation for being a cantankerous, rude dickhead, and has become an icon amongst Star Wars fans. This isn’t technically the first time we’ve seen Chopper in live-action (he’s in Rogue One for a split-second), but we’ll get some proper Chop time this go-round.
Even though we only get a brief shot of him in the droid co-pilot seat, fans are already excited for the shit he’ll pull in Ahsoka. Maybe he’ll yeet another imperial droid off of a moving spaceship, or make a series of blips and beeps that sound suspiciously like he’s cursing you out, or just commit atrocities against bad guys with glee.
Hera Syndulla and Sabine Wren in the flesh
Star Wars: Rebels has some of the best women characters in the entire franchise, and we’ve never seen them in live-action — until now. Alongside Ahsoka, we’re getting Hera Syndulla and Sabine Wren, two legends in their own right, and I’m happy to report that they don’t look like shit here! Sabine’s gorgeous sunset ombre doesn’t look like a bad wig! Hera’s lekku look like they’re actually attached to her head! I’m only slightly disturbed by Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s blue eye contacts!
Looks aside, these two characters are incredibly complex and will add so much necessary depth to the Star Wars world. Sabine is a former wielder of the Darksaber — she gave it to Bo-Katan Kryze, who then lost it during the Purge of Mandalore. That Darksaber is at the centre of the current Mandalorian storyline. Sabine was also incredibly close with Ezra, so she’ll be very invested in finding him.
Hera is a rebel in every meaning of the word, building her own resistance movement after seeing what the Empire did to her home planet. She fell in love with a Jedi, had a baby with him, didn’t die because of it (sorry, Padme), and led multiple attacks against Thrawn and the Empire. She’s a legend.
Loth-cat Loth-cat Loth-cat
These adorable little guys should be in every Star Wars thing. Loth-cats are native to Lothal, an Outer Rim planet that is a key location in the Rebels series, and will clearly be one in Ahsoka, as well. At the start of the reign of the Galactic Empire, Lothal invited the Empire to come take over its industries in the hopes that it would fix its economic struggles. The Empire did, at first, but stripped the planet of all its natural resources and fought off several rebellions. Sucks.
But we’re talking about Loth-cats here. These guys are fucking adorable. Look at their little smushed faces. Their black olive eyThey’re carnivorous little fox-cats that can get quite spicy when cornered, but are also sold as pets in Batuu. There’s a Loth-cat in The Mandalorian, too: It snarls at Grogu from under a table on the planet Sorgan.
It seems Sabine’s Loth-cat is a pet, and a very cute one at that, but I’m excited to see it be a bit of a nuisance, too.
Ahsoka’s fighting style
Ahsoka Tano is a delightful character to watch in a fight because she’s one of the strongest (if not the strongest) Force-sensitive people to ever live. She fought off General Grievous and Asajj Ventress (two Sith-trained assassins) when she was a teenager, made Darth Maul run away scared, and held her own against Darth Vader after learning he was her former Jedi Master. She dual-wields sabres in a complicated reverse grip style, and is incredibly acrobatic. It’s great to see that the Ahsoka series is paying attention to that, as there are multiple scenes in the trailer showing off not only her unique stance and style, but her flair for the dramatics as well: Ahsoka slashing her sabers through a giant window, jumping out of it, and landing hundreds of feet below is just so *chef’s kiss* perfect.
A sneaky Thrawn peek
Grand Admiral Thrawn is a fascinating villain. He’s an alien (read: non-human) who reached an incredibly high rank within the Empire (not common for aliens) because of his willingness to assimilate and pledge his allegiance to Emperor Palpatine. It’s why he’s referred to as the “Heir to the Empire” in the trailer (which is also the name of the book series in which he was first introduced back in the old, non-canon EU). Amongst many things he did for the big, bad Empire, he led an attack against Syndulla’s rebels on Lothal, which is where he was pulled into hyperspace by Ezra Bridger. After his disappearance, the Empire fell apart.
This singular shot of the back of a blue-tinged man’s head has got people very, very excited.
Ezra’s Tower/Ezra in general
We know that the Ahsoka series will focus on finding Ezra Bridger, but it’s still exciting to see hints and nods to him in the trailer. Ezra is an Anakin-adjacent character: He’s an orphan who is Force-sensitive, taken in by a Jedi and taught the ways of the Force. But whereas Anakin eventually succumbs to the Dark Side, Ezra only briefly taps into it, before successfully completing a test that proves he wished to use the Force for good. His loss is a tragic one for his group of friends, and the last vestiges of the Jedi, and he’s beloved in the Star Wars universe. The brief shot of a tower in the trailer is Ezra’s Tower, a Lothal communications tower that he lived in as an orphan. We also see a brief shot of Sabine Wren looking at a holovid of Ezra, presumably an old one taken before he disappeared. We miss our boy!
Huyang is back
At the very end of the trailer, we see an odd-looking robot. This droid only says one line at the end: “Perhaps it is time to begin again.” Without context, this is just a cool but vague line in a trailer filled with moments like that. But this isn’t a random droid. This is Huyang, a droid that has been around for a very long time and has helped thousands of Jedi younglings build their very first lightsaber.
This droid first appeared in The Clone Wars animated series voiced by David Tennant (Doctor Who). It’s unclear if the actor is returning to voice Huyang this time around, but it certainly sounds like it. Not only is it fun for a Doctor Who actor to be in Star Wars, but Tennant did a great job. Dude won an Emmy for his performance as Huyang.
Regardless if he’s back or not, the droid is and his connection to the greater Star Wars universe is big. He literally was around helping a young Yoda craft his first lightsaber. He’s popped up in High Republic stories, too. And now we see he survived the fall of the Jedi and the rise of the Empire. I’m still not sure what part he will play in this new series, but I’m more excited that this old droid could show up in the recently announced Star Wars film about Rey creating a new Jedi Order. If anyone could help with that, it would be Huyang. And now we know for sure he’s still around post-Return of the Jedi. Exciting stuff! – Zack Zwiesen, staff writer
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