During today’s Ahsoka panel at Star Wars Celebration, it was pretty clear that this was a role Rosario Dawson manifested into her life. In fact, in a 2019 interview she did with Black Girl Nerds for the film Zombieland: Double Tap, among her wish list of roles to play, Ahsoka was one of them.
Dave Filoni worked and collaborated with Henry Gilroy. who he originally worked with on Clone Wars. There were talks about giving Anakin a Padawan and after a bit of back and forth between the two, Ashoka was created.
Jon Favreau stated that there was a larger goal of bringing the characters to the screen in live action as well as getting used to seeing these characters in live action. “There is a relationship the audience has with these characters,” he says. Jon also added that Ashoka is a guest star in a script Dave wrote, and each director brings a different flavor to each episode. The directors were unveiled to the audience as well.
Favreau says, “We were able to explore that without the pressure of a new show. I watched Dave as he developed a look. He brought his sensibilities and artistic vision and how his artwork and costuming work, and I learned a great deal from this man. I think that is why there is such a strong vision behind this series.”
And although Dave Filoni has never directed live action before, he felt confident with Jon Favreau at his side.
Dawson joined the Celebration stage and stated how she felt blessed to have volumes of history to reflect back on. “I loved this character,” she adds. “It feels like memories when I think of this show. It feels like visual memories to reflect upon. It’s such a remarkable moment. To have this show be a continuous journey that she’s on is exceptional, and I can’t wait for you to see it.”
Dawson describes Ahsoka as a character who understands her strengths and her weaknesses. One of the most challenging things for her performances was wearing the contact lenses, according to Dawson. However, she described the makeup process as very meditative, when putting it on every day. “It can feel very zen actually,” she says. The makeup for Ahsoka only took one hour.
Jon Favreau added that George Lucas was there on set watching and observing the filming of Ashoka. And although he’s very much retired, he still had a presence on set.
Dawson described the crew in a nerdy-like way. “They had Star Wars tattoos and would go to Disneyland on their days off. Living and breathing Star Wars — it’s not just a job, it’s their joy.”
Filoni adds to the tone on set as a massive collaboration, and everyone is all in it together. “That’s how we make it work,” he says.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead says she thanks God for Dave who gave her the confidence to play Hera. Natasha Liu Bordizzo says, “I didn’t wanna feel like a fraud when I put on the armor. I wanted to feel like it was putting on a T-shirt. It took months and months, and I loved it.”
Winstead describes playing Hera as a rich thing to do as an actor, carrying the heavy emotions she had to deal with, to be leading an army and to be everyone’s mom and to nurture and comfort. “I did the best I could to rise to her level.”
Rosario says that Ahsoka is so unique in her capabilities, she was fearless when she was young. For her to team with someone, they have to be on her level.
It’s certainly a role that fits like a glove for Rosario Dawson. Here’s our press interview featuring her talking about that moment manifesting Ahsoka into existence and her hunger for a Season 2. With the fanfare received from the trailer and the popularity surrounding this animated character, Season 2 could become a reality.
Ahsoka premieres August 2023 on Disney+.
What's Your Reaction?
Jamie Broadnax is the creator of the online publication and multimedia space for Black women called Black Girl Nerds. Jamie has appeared on MSNBC's The Melissa Harris-Perry Show and The Grio's Top 100. Her Twitter personality has been recognized by Shonda Rhimes as one of her favorites to follow. She is a member of the Critics Choice Association and executive producer of the Black Girl Nerds Podcast.