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The Mandalorian Season 2 has been thoroughly entertaining, but this week’s episode, “Chapter 13: The Jedi” took things to an entirely different level with the highly anticipated debut of Rosario Dawson’s Ahsoka Tano. Her live-action entrance was arguably even better than what many Star Wars fans had hoped for and, since the episode premiered, they’ve been praising Dawson’s take. Of course, fans also remember that the role was originated by Star Wars vet Ashley Eckstein, and she’s taken to social media to share her thoughts on Ahsoka’s Mandalorian debut.

Ashley Eckstein originally voiced Ahsoka Tano on both Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Rebels. In a sweet Instagram post, she expressed her excitement about the love her character is receiving. She also hopes fans will now be encouraged to check out her prior appearances if they haven’t already:

Millions of people are meeting Ahsoka for the first time after watching her in The Mandalorian and I’m excited for them to hopefully go back and watch her journey in The Clone Wars and Rebels. Millions of fans already know Ahsoka and her presence has come to mean more to them than words in a script.

When Ahsoka Tano first debuted in 2008’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars film, audiences had mixed to negative thoughts about her. But in time, they began to warm up to the character and, as Ashley Eckstein explains in her post, this is partially due to the fact that she became the audience’s eyes. This made her a more relatable character and, as a result, she became something much more to the fans around the world:

In turn, Ahsoka has become a beacon of hope, light and genuine goodness. Everyone’s relationship with Ahsoka is very different because she triggers the memory of a certain point in a person’s life where she’s inspired them. Even in the darkest of times, Ahsoka brings people joy and that’s what truly matters.

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Eckstein went onto thank the fans for the kind messages and emails she’s received during this time. It’s also her hope that Ahsoka will continue to inspire people around the world as time goes on:

It’s my wish that Ahsoka continues to bring people joy, light and most importantly hope. This is the way of Ahsoka Tano.

Rosario Dawson’s pitch-perfect performance as Ahsoka on The Mandalorian is taking the character to an entirely new level of recognition. However, let’s also not forget that Ashley Eckstein helped to lay the groundwork for how passionate the fans have been about seeing Ahsoka enter the live-action medium. Eckstein truly loves the character and, while she couldn’t previously speak to Dawson’s casting, she’s stated that she only wants for the character to live on. And the actress also wouldn’t mind playing Tano again at some point herself.

It’s hard not to get excited when you see the love Ahsoka Tano is being shown, especially when you consider how far she’s come. All in all, let’s take the time to celebrate both Ashley Eckstein and Rosario Dawson (and producer Dave Filoni) for helping to develop one of Star Wars’ greatest characters and hope that both get to play the Jedi in different capacities down the line.

Check out new episodes of The Mandalorian Season 2 every Friday on Disney+, and you can stream Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Rebels on the service as well.

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