NYCC 2015: Ashley Eckstein on Star Wars Rebels, Ahsoka’s Presence and Impact

Michael Moccio ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Editor-in-Chief

Anyone who was a fan of Star Wars The Clone Wars knows how important Ahsoka Tano is to the overall mythology. Starting as a scrappy young padawan, she grew and flourished into a wise and mature Jedi, ultimately leaving the Order and became the mysterious Fulcrom organizing the resistance. Although fans had an inkling, it wasn’t revealed until the end of the first season of Star Wars Rebels that Fulcrom was revealed to be none other than Ahsoka herself, voiced again by Ashley Eckstein.

Eckstein is no stranger to how powerful and impactful Ahsoka was on fans, even going so far as to start her own line of geek-inspired clothing for women to create a space for them in a culture that largely shuns their presence, yet continually objectifies them. That’s what Eckstein was so quick to play off of Dave Filoni’s comments at NYCC in the Star Wars Rebels on the importance of well thought out and developed female characters.

“Dave and his crew don’t point out that these characters are girls—they’re just really cool. In my opinion,” Eckstein said, “you look past the gender when these characters are written well, and I think that’s how it should be.”

As far as Ahsoka is concerned, Eckstein remains the expert, which is why she was asked if she had any input on the story direction for Ahsoka. “My ideas are not the best,” Eckstein admitted, laughing. “Dave and the writer, from Clone Wars to Star Wars Rebels are top notch. The stories they come up with are way cooler than anything I can come up with.”

One of the major story elements still unexplored was what Ahsoka did between Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. “I did joke about that all the time! There are hints!” Eckstein said. “Listen closely to this season, because there are little lines and sentences, you’ll miss it. Those hint at what happened.”

Despite the self-deprecating remarks, Eckstein followed up that she’s an expert in how Ahsoka would approach things in the story. “Dave gives me a lot of opportunity to provide input in Ahsoka’s mannerism and how she would say things.”

What’s one thing that Eckstein was surprised about in terms of impact? Disney Infinity. “I had the chance to speak with one of the creators of Disney Infinity and got to hear a little more about the game and how they made it.” Ahsoka is a playable character. He say, actually, a lot of kids—and a lot of boys—play Ahsoka. They designed it where she’s one of the best characters. I’m not as familiar with the games, but she’s one of the better fighters available to play. At D23, they had the game set up and there was a little boy playing Ahsoka. There were about 30 characters he could have picked, and he chose Ahsoka. What more could I want?”

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