Ariana Greenblatt Makes Star Wars History In Ahsoka

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Long-term Star Wars fans have had a lot of reasons to enjoy watching new content on Disney+, thanks to the fact that shows like The Book of Boba Fett have helped bring animated characters like Cad Bane to live action. Now, Ariana Greenblatt’s appearance as a young Ahsoka Tano in the most recent Ahsoka episode has helped her to make history in a galaxy far, far away. Specifically, Greenblatt became the first actor in the history of the franchise to play a younger incarnation of a character that originated in animation.

Ariana Greenblatt plays a young Ahsoka in the series, marking the first time that a younger version of a character from an animated Star Wars series is shown in live action.

In the most recent episode, Ariana Greenblatt plays a younger version of Ahsoka. Narratively, this was necessary because much of the episode was told via flashbacks in which Anakin Skywalker (played once more by Hayden Christensen) helps his former apprentice to learn from the past. While digital de-aging technology helps make Christensen look like he did back in Revenge of the Sith, Disney took a different approach to providing us with a younger Ahsoka.

When we were first introduced to Ahsoka back in The Clone Wars, she was much younger than she is now. This resulted in occasional annoying banter between her and Anakin, in which she came across more as a bratty sibling than an earnest Padawan. Rather than de-age Rosario Dawson to play a younger version of the current character, Disney’s powers that be determined, it would be easier to have Ariana Greenblatt (who is currently 16 years old) play Ahsoka as a teenager.

Ahsoka exploring the World Between Worlds

Rather than de-age Rosario Dawson to play a younger version of the current character, Disney’s powers that be determined, it would be easier to have Ariana Greenblatt (who is currently 16 years old) play Ahsoka as a teenager.

Fortunately for Disney, the fan reaction to Ariana Greenblatt’s portrayal of Ahsoka has been mostly positive. She is a great actor with (like her onscreen Padaway) plenty of potential to become even greater, making her flashbacks with Christensen very memorable. Plus, simply having someone else play a younger version of a familiar character may be a reassuring choice to fans who are still weirded out by the uncanny valley effect of seeing a de-aged Mark Hamill pop up in The Mandalorian

Speaking of The Mandalorian, though, fans of that show may wonder about the significance of Ariana Greenblatt making history by playing a younger version of Ahsoka Tano. After all, we have already had several animated characters pop up in other live-action series, including Katee Sackhoff bringing fan-favorite character Bo-Katan Kryze to life in The Mandalorian. But what makes Ariana Greenblatt’s appearance in Ahsoka so special is that this is the first time an actor has portrayed a younger version of the character first introduced in animated form (Sackhoff, for example, is playing an older version of Bo-Katan rather than a younger one).

Fortunately for Disney, the fan reaction to Ariana Greenblatt’s portrayal of Ahsoka has been mostly positive.

While Ariana Greenblatt has made history by playing a younger version of Ahsoka, we’re confident that other actors will follow suit. For example, it would make only sense to get flashbacks showing how Hera and Kanan first got together or maybe a flashback to Ezra’s early days on the planet Lothal. No matter who Disney taps to play younger versions of our favorite characters, we’re just happy to see the franchise make more and more trips back into its rich animated history.

This is the way.

Subscribe to get exclusive Star Wars news in your inbox, once a week!

We don’t spam! We aren't Jawas!