The stars of Star Wars talk about bringing the animated favorites to live action.

Ahsoka Tano has popped up in just about every corner of the Star Wars galaxy. Anakin Skywalker's former Padawan has been a fan favorite ever since she debuted in the 2008 animated Clone Wars film, and over the last decade-and-a-half, she's appeared in the animated Clone Wars series, Rebels, The Mandalorian, and The Book of Boba Fett. (She even made a voice cameo in 2019's The Rise of Skywalker.)

Now, the double-lightsaber-wielding heroine will finally headline her own Disney+ series in 2023, with Rosario Dawson starring as Ahsoka.

Earlier this summer, EW sat down at Star Wars Celebration with Dawson and newly announced cast member Natasha Liu Bordizzo, who's playing Rebels favorite Sabine Wren in her live-action debut. The two actresses were only a few weeks into filming at the time, but they brought top-secret Ahsoka footage to share with the crowd, teasing the next chapter in the ever-growing Star Wars universe

Speaking to EW, Dawson opened up about making the jump from Mandalorian guest star to headlining her own show.

"What I love is that these little things we've gotten to hint at in these other shows, we get to more deeply explore," Dawson explains. "I think whether you've seen the previous animations or have only seen these episodes, she's still quite mysterious at this stage and point in her life. That's what I think is the most exciting part of Ahsoka having her own series here, that you get to better understand her in this part of her journey."

Natasha Liu Bordizzo and Rosario Dawson
'Ahsoka' stars Natasha Liu Bordizzo and Rosario Dawson at Star Wars Celebration
| Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Star Wars Celebration also marked the official introduction of Bordizzo as Sabine, the talented Mandalorian artist who journeyed with the Ghost crew in Star Wars Rebels. Bordizzo told EW that her audition process for Ahsoka was particularly mysterious, and when she originally sent in a self-tape, she was unaware that it was for a Star Wars project. Eventually, she learned she was auditioning for Sabine, and she says she was shocked by how quickly she was cast.

"It was a very, very quick process," she explains. "I was suspicious! I was like, 'Wait, I have the offer for this?' I met Jon Favreau later, and he was basically like, 'I get it. I'm an actor. I don't want to put you through the ringer, and I don't want to make you do a million takes and auditions and tests. We know we want you, and that's it.' I really appreciated that."

Both Bordizzo and Dawson were tight-lipped about exact plot details for Ahsoka, but they did open up about the show's elaborate sets and practical effects — from Ahsoka's detailed head tails to gorgeous, galaxy-hopping scenery. (Dawson notes that the same puppeteers who helped operate Grogu on The Mandalorian also worked with her on 2002's Men in Black II.) Dawson added that she and the makeup team have slowly perfected Ahsoka's makeup process, whittling it down from about three hours to one and a half.

Still, she adds, she's happy to spend the extra time in the makeup chair if it means getting Ahsoka right. "Every single day, you're not dialing it in," Dawson explains. "There's no dialing it in in Star Wars."

Listen to the full interview with Rosario Dawson and Natasha Liu Bordizzo on EW's new Star Wars podcast, Dagobah Dispatch.

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