When Disney announced that its was purchasing Lucasfilm in 2012, most of the attention was centered on the prospect of a new live action Star Wars trilogy, as to be expected. However, the merger has also brought about new animated properties from the company’s Lucasfilm Animation unit. “Star Wars Rebels,” which will air the first half hour episode of its second season on “Disney XD” next week, follows a group of new characters during the early days of the Rebel Alliance while also revisiting some of the other iconic residents of a galaxy far far away. This banner, displayed near “Star Tours” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios during this summer’s “Star Wars Weekends,” highlights one of them: Ahsoka Tano.
Introduced in the 2008 animated feature, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” Ahsoka Tano was a central figure in both the film and the subsequent TV series of the same name. As the teenage Jedi-in-training, she was assigned to be the padawan apprentice of Anakin Skywalker before his turn to the Dark Side as well as a general in the Clone Wars. As revealed in the season one finale of “Star Wars Rebels,” it appears that she was also an important figure in the birth of the Rebellion as well. Ahsoka also represents a milestone for Lucasfilm animation as she was the first major character introduced into the Star Wars cannon via the unit since its founding in 2004.
Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano, also has many ties to the Walt Disney World Resort. For the past seven years, Eckstein has participated in “Star Wars Weekends,” including acting as a celebrity host for certain events and showcasing her “Her Universe” fashion line. The actress’ connection to Disney’s Hollywood Studios goes back even further, though. As she recounted on StarWars.com, her first job was as a performer in the park’s “Hercules Zero to Hero Victory Parade.”