Star Wars Tales of the Jedi Ahsoka Interview: Ashley Eckstein


ahsoka using the force

Ahsoka is again.
Picture: Lucasfilm

A couple of decade in the past, everybody was certain Ahsoka Tano was lifeless. Useless each on display screen, together with her present The Clone Wars all however canceled, and off-screen, as a result of how may one other Pressure consumer nonetheless be alive on this planet of Star Wars?

Issues have actually modified. Not solely did Ahsoka come again for extra Clone Wars episodes, however she was additionally again on one other animated present, Star Wars Rebels, and has been on the heart of novels, comics, and even the world of live-action, with appearances on The Mandalorian and Ebook of Boba Fett establishing her very personal present. However even that’s just the start.

Final week, Ahsoka went again to her roots and appeared in three episodes of Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi, an animated anthology from the character’s co-creator Dave Filoni, aiming to inform new, essential tales, about Star Wars Jedis. The present meant actress Ashley Eckstein would as soon as once more get to voice the character, and io9 spoke together with her about returning and every of the landmark episodes.

“When Dave Filoni calls and says that there’s a brand new challenge, there’s no pitching, it’s simply how shortly we are able to get out the phrase ‘Sure,’” Eckstein instructed io9 final week. She recorded her episodes through the pandemic over Zoom, and each posed distinctive challenges and questions. Under, we break all of it down.

Image for article titled Ahsoka Tano Herself, Ashley Eckstein, Breaks Down Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi

Picture: Lucasfilm

Tales of the Jedi Episode 1: “Life and Death”

“Life and Death” tells the story of Ahsoka’s birth and first experience with the Force. However, since the character is still a baby, Eckstein didn’t have anything to do with the episode. As a fan of the character though she was riveted by the fact she finally got to see where Ahsoka came from.

“It was really, really interesting to see Ahsoka’s backstory as a baby and to see everyone in her town,” Eckstein said. “I think that the problem with Tales of the Jedi is that it opened up more questions than we have answers to. Now, I have so, so many questions.”

When Eckstein was making The Clone Wars, she would ask Filoni about Ahsoka’s backstory, but he’d never really give her any information. “I asked about it a lot,” she said. “I always wanted to know her backstory. And to be honest, I don’t fully remember what Dave said. But what I do remember is him always being coy about it. What I always gathered from his answers was that it was a story that he always wanted to tell. So, it’s very cool that he finally got the chance to tell it.”

Image for article titled Ahsoka Tano Herself, Ashley Eckstein, Breaks Down Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi

Image: Lucasfilm

Tales of the Jedi Episode 5: “Practice Makes Perfect”

The next time Ahsoka pops up in Tales of the Jedi, the story is set early on in her journey, around the timeline of the Clone Wars movie and season one of the show. For Eckstein, that meant going back to a voice she hadn’t had to do for years.

“I really enjoyed going back to a 14-year-old Ahsoka,” she said. “It’s fun to reminisce and go back to those days, and it actually was quite easy to change my voice to go back to 14-year-old Ahsoka. It’s like stepping back into an old pair of boots that you’ve had for years that you broke in. They’re comfortable. They just mold to your foot. And that’s how it felt.”

That doesn’t mean there wasn’t preparation though. “I did go back and watch The Clone Wars movie and several of the first episodes in season one,” she said. “So I did listen to my voice back then and it’s shocking how different it is. Ahsoka has grown up so much and she’s gone through such an evolution.”

That evolution is partially because her master, Anakin, puts her through such intense training. The episode not only features the voices of Eckstein’s Clone Wars family (Matt Lanter, James Arnold Taylor, Dee Bradley Baker), all of whom reunited on Zoom, but may hold the keys to multiple mysteries surrounding the character. For example, Ahsoka Tano has two lightsabers. Is it because of this?

“I think so,” Eckstein said. “I actually got to watch the episodes with my nephew last night who’s like a Star Wars expert. And we came to the same conclusion. That she got the second lightsaber for her training and because of these exercises.”

Eckstein also found it interesting how this specific exercise of dodging blasts from Clone Troopers would become so, so crucial to the character’s survival. “[Anakin] was making ready her to avoid wasting her life,” she stated. “And I feel what was so heartbreaking to me, having seen it for the primary time, was little did any of them know he was actually making ready her to avoid wasting her life towards the clones. The very folks she was studying from are the very people who she needed to escape from afterward, which made it a lot extra heartbreaking. But in addition that solutions our query of how may she try this? How may she escape from the clones on the finish of season 5 like she did after which how may she escape from the clones, clearly, with Order 66?”

Image for article titled Ahsoka Tano Herself, Ashley Eckstein, Breaks Down Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi

Picture: Lucasfilm

Tales of the Jedi Episode 6: “Resolve”

The ultimate episode of Tales of the Jedi, set quickly earlier than the occasions of Star Wars Rebels, introduced up complicated feelings for Eckstein. “Ahsoka at Padmé’s funeral, for me, I used to be sobbing throughout that scene as I used to be recording it,” she stated. “It was very actual the place she says, ‘She was my good friend.’ I may hear it as a result of I knew what was taking place however I used to be full-out crying throughout that scene. So. yeah, the feelings had been very, very actual in that episode.”

After the funeral, we meet Ahsoka hiding as a farmer. Some followers seen that the story has some very shut parallels to the E.Ok. Johnson Ahsoka novel, however Eckstein says that was by no means mentioned. “No, we didn’t have any conversations concerning the novel… nevertheless it felt like an extension of the novel,” she stated. “I didn’t even ask Dave if this was earlier than the novel or [after], I simply assumed this was sort of initially of that chapter. So I positively sense the parallels.”

One parallel that’s lacking is Kaedan Larte, a lady who begins to fall for Ahsoka within the guide. Tales has an analogous character however has eliminated the love story and a few (together with io9) have criticized the present for ostensibly changing a queer character. When the subject was introduced up, Eckstein may solely specific a deep adoration for the character.

“I’ll say I completely love the character of Kaedan and Miara, her sister,” she stated. “E.Ok. Johnson and I really collaborated on one other guide, From a Sure Level of View, the place we collectively wrote a chapter and included these characters. However, that is purely my opinion as a result of I didn’t have any discussions about it, I do hope that we ultimately get to see Kaedan and Miara as a result of I feel E.Ok. Johnston wrote two unimaginable feminine characters that I hope we’ll see sooner or later.

Lastly, as was the case nearly 10 years in the past, Eckstein admits the ultimate episode of Tales From the Jedi made her unhappy as a result of, for now, she’s unsure if that is the final time she’ll voice the character or not. “Each time I step into the studio and report Ahsoka I all the time have a lot gratitude and I’m so grateful to have the chance,” she stated. “I by no means have a look at like, ‘Okay, nicely, what’s forward?’ And, ‘Why don’t now we have extra?’ I don’t ever have a look at it that manner. I’m simply grateful for what I get to do. However there’s all the time a unhappiness each time a challenge involves an finish. And in order that episode, specifically, was, the final one, it was unhappy.”

Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi is now on Disney+.

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