Disney+ and Lucasfilm Tease First-Look at ‘Ahsoka’

“Ezra’s out there somewhere. And it’s time to bring him home…” four years ago, those final words ended one journey, and began a new one, as the beloved Star Wars: Rebels brought its four-season run to a close. For years, Rebels mastermind, and overall walking Star Wars encyclopedia, Dave Filoni, has been asked when we’d get to see that new journey unfold. And this weekend at Star Wars Celebration, Filoni finally answered that question.

In a terrific highlight from the entire four-day convention, Filoni and partner, Jon Favreau took to the largest stage at the convention to discuss their brilliant show, The Mandalorian. Unfortunately for the duo, you can’t discuss this show without disclosing a few secrets about the future of the Mando-Verse within Star Wars. And chief among this universe is the forthcoming Ahsoka series.

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 28: (L-R) Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Rosario Dawson, Rick Famuyiwa, Katee Sackhoff, Temuera Morrison, Carl Weathers, Emily Swallow, Giancarlo Esposito, Brendan Wayne, Lateef Crowder, Pedro Pascal, Dave Filoni, Jon Favreau, and Ash Crossan attend the panel for “The Mandalorian” series at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California on May 28, 2022. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

Ahsoka, set to debut in 2023, will be that long-awaited continuation of the Star Wars: Rebels series fans have been clamoring for. And considering all the shrieks and screams of Star Wars fans all across the auditorium today, the wait will surely be worth it. The show will see Rosario Dawson reprising her role as Ahsoka Tano, whom which she first portrayed in Season 2 of The Mandalorian.

During the panel, Dawson made a surprise appearance, given that Ahsoka has been in production for the past three weeks, and she’s been busy filming. And bigger than that — she also brought out the live-action Chopper they’ll be using in the series. When we last saw her in The Mandalorian, she demanded to know the location of Grand Admiral Thrawn. This makes sense, given where Rebels concluded. The end of that series took place after The Battle of Endor, and Sabine and Ahsoka began their mission to look for Ezra Bridger. Which begs the question, where is Sabine Wren in all this?

This was another question answered, as Favreau, Filoni, and Dawson introduced the actress portraying Sabine in live action: Natasha Liu Bordizzo. Bordizzo’s casting has admittedly been met with disappointment for those holding out hope that Tiya Sircar would reprise the role from the animated series (myself included). But I, and I’m sure other fans as well, am happy to go into this decision with an open mind and give Bordizzo a chance to shine in the role as Filoni and Favreau have intended.

Personally, they haven’t outright disappointed me just yet. You can’t deny she has Sabine’s eyes. And it’s nice to see them still cast an Asian actress for the part. If she ends up being a terrific, it wouldn’t be the first time I’d taste crow. In Favs and Filoni we trust.

The panel aside, however, the biggest surprise of all was getting to see our first glimpse at the series — especially considering it’s only been in production three weeks. The footage was only shown once, and there wasn’t much revealed in it. However, we get our first look at the live-action interior of The Ghost (the ship of the Rebels crew), a full on reveal that Hera Syndulla will be in the series (the shot only showed the character and her unmistakable lime green lekku from behind, so the actress portraying her is still a mystery), and the live action version of the mural of the Ghost crew from the final scene of Rebels, with Bordizzo’s Sabine approaching it (another shot from behind the character, so her face wasn’t seen).

And with that, thunderous applause arose from the likes of the main stage and the live stream rooms, as Star Wars: Rebels fans ignited in joy and celebration knowing their long wait for resolution to the series will be coming to life very soon.

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 28: (L-R) Dave Filoni, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Rosario Dawson and Jon Favreau attend the panel for “The Mandalorian” series at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California on May 28, 2022. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

Ahsoka will debut on Disney+ in 2023.