Actress Ashley Eckstein recently was seen in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie as well as The Clone Wars series as the new character of Ahsoka Tano, the Jedi apprentice of Anakin Skywalker. Mrs. Eckstein recently sat down with Andrew L. to discuss everything Clone Wars– the movie, series, and more!
EU Cantina (EUC): Ashley, welcome to EUC and thanks so much for joining me in this interview!
Ashley Eckstein (AE): Thank you so much for having me!
EUC: So, let’s start off with the basics: How did you land the job as Ahsoka Tano and were you a SW fan before getting it?
AE: I got a call from my agent telling me that I had an audition for the new Star Wars cartoon. I initially went in to audition for Padme, but they thought that my voice was too high for Padme. They then ask me to read for a new character. They didn’t tell me anything about the character except that she was new. I ended up getting the part but I didn’t find out exactly who I was playing until my first day of work.
I was a Star Wars fan before I got the part, but there is still so much I don’t know about this universe. I’m learning more and more every day!
EUC: Moving from the movie itself, the series started on the 3 with two episodes, in which the second episode was the series introduction of your character.
How did it feel to learn that those episodes were the most watched series premiere on Cartoon Network?
AE: We were very excited to find out that so many people tuned in to watch our series premiere! I just really hope that the fans liked it and hope that everyone continues to watch every Friday night! There are a lot of
great episodes coming up. The series only gets better.
EUC: Sticking with the series, in “Rising Malevolence” we saw the relationship between Anakin and Ahsoka start to form even more. When do you feel the relationship will start getting even stronger and what will it be like?
AE: Let me set the record straight! Anakin and Ahsoka have a strictly platonic relationship. They are like brother and sister. Their friendship continues to grow as the series progresses. Even though Ahsoka may question Anakin from time to time, she is in complete awe of Anakin and is very honored to be his padawan. As Ahsoka continues to prove herself, she begins to gain Anakin’s respect. It develops into a mutual “platonic” admiration.
EUC: We’ve heard from Dave Filoni that Anakin will start to train Ashoka not to use that lightsaber style, but will visibly train her more in combat and with the lightsaber as the episodes go on?
AE: I’ve heard that too, but we do not get to see any of the animation when we are recording. So, I don’t know at what point she begins to change her fighting style.
EUC: Beyond lightsaber combat, Ahsoka also seems to be a great pilot and will get to show it off. Would you say her piloting gift is Anakin or a nature talent?
AE: I’m sure it’s a little bit of both. Ahsoka learns a lot from Anakin. However, we don’t know much about her past yet or about all of her strengths and weaknesses.
We will learn a more and more about Ahsoka throughout the series and in no particular chronological order.
EUC: Do you feel that she (Ahsoka) will start maturing soon and through the Clone Wars?
AE: Absolutely! I ask the fans to be patient with Ahsoka and to go along
this journey with her. She has to have room to grow. If she was perfect right off the bat, that would not be very interesting. I really believe that the fans will like the direction Ahsoka is heading. Ahsoka will prove to be one tough cookie!
EUC: In terms of character, many people say that Ahsoka is exactly like the typical American girl. Coming from Disney and Ahsoka being a new character, what’s your response to her being the perhaps the Hannah Montana of SW?
AE: I hope that kids today can relate to her feelings and emotions. Ahsoka is young, spunky, confident, passionate and she always tries to do the right thing. I really feel that she fits in with the overall theme of Star Wars. She definitely is a positive character for kids, just like Disney creates positive characters for kids (i.e. Hannah Montana).
However, I think that’s where the comparison ends, and I challenge the fans to get to know Ahsoka. She’s a much more complex character than people think and she was not created just for kids.
EUC: Speaking of Ahsoka character, do you feel that it’s a positive influence to have for little girls?
AE: I hope that Ahsoka will be a positive influence on girls. I hope she proves that girls can do the same things that boys can do and she shows that if you work hard and never give up there’s nothing you can’t achieve. She is very positive and the cup is always half full in Ahsoka’s world. Ahsoka never gives up. I think these traits definitely make her a positive character for girls but I hope she becomes a positive character for fans of all ages.
EUC: Getting of the series itself, were you involved at all in The Clone Wars video games, “Lightsaber Duels” and “Jedi Alliance?”
AE: Yes I was! I provided the voice for Ahsoka in both games. I got the play the Lightsaber Duels game the other day. Matt Lanter and I were up at the Ranch and we played each other. He beat me but I challenged him to a rematch. My husband is really good at video games and he is going to train me. Matt better watch out!
We’d like to thank Josh Kushins at Lucasfilm for setting up the interview and Ashley for joining us in this interview.