Both actors had some interesting insight to add to Episode III and how their respective Star Wars projects built on the backbone of the prequel trilogy. If you missed this WFH Theater, you can still watch the stream at this link or above. But if you just want the juiciest moments, read on to learn fascinating details like whether Ahsoka could have saved Anakin from his descent into darkness and if Ahsoka and Cal Kestis might team up in a Fallen Order sequel.
Beware of some spoilers ahead for Jedi: Fallen Order and the final episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars!
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Could Ahsoka Have Saved Anakin?
Because the final story arc in Star Wars: The Clone Wars takes place concurrently with the events of Revenge of the Sith, those episodes are able to show us that story from the point of view of characters like Ahsoka, Captain Rex and Darth Maul. The episode “Old Friends Not Forgotten” shows fans a short-lived and bittersweet reunion between Ahsoka and her former master Anakin, one that proves to be their final encounter until a much older Ahsoka battles Darth Vader in Star Wars Rebels. The followup episode, “The Phantom Apprentice,” features an especially tragic moment where Ahsoka narrowly misses reconnecting with Anakin just before that fateful battle between the Jedi and Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.
That episode leaves fans to wonder – could Ahsoka have done anything to help Anakin in his moment of despair? If she had chosen to give Obi-Wan a message to pass onto Anakin, could Ahsoka have changed Anakin’s fate? Or was Anakin too far gone by that point?
When posed those questions, Eckstein said that Ahsoka would certainly have tried to save Anakin had she known the dark fate awaiting him. “Obviously, we see in Siege of Mandalore, Ahsoka wants to talk to Anakin,” she said. “But she kind of refuses to tell Obi-Wan and Master Yoda. That shows her trust level. She just doesn’t trust anyone anymore, anyone except Anakin. There’s so much Ahsoka doesn’t know, but I do think Ahsoka – and this is just my opinion – would think she could have helped, that she could have stopped him, that she could have maybe helped save him, and obviously would have had a lot of regret there. But they never get that moment.”
Eckstein also said watching Anakin’s downfall in Episode III is a much more powerful experience after having completed work on The Clone Wars. “It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “I really got to know the hero Anakin Skywalker. I do recommend that people watch The Clone Wars between Episode II and Episode III, because it makes the fall of Anakin Skywalker so much more heartbreaking.”
Will Ahsoka Be in Jedi: Fallen Order 2?
At several points the conversation turned to Jedi: Fallen Order, which is set years after the events of Episode III and chronicles Cal Kestis’ journey as he emerges from hiding to help stop the Sith Inquistorius from tracking down a map to the galaxy’s Force-sensitive children. While EA has yet to officially announce a sequel, CEO Andrew Wilson did refer to the game as the “first title in an entirely new franchise.”
Naturally, the subject was raised of Ahsoka potentially appearing in the sequel. Might we see Ahsoka and Cal join forces and light the way for the fledgling Rebel Alliance?
Eckstein is certainly game for that idea, saying she hopes future Star Wars projects will flesh out more of Ahsoka’s story in between The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. “That’s a time period I would love more Ahsoka stories. We get a little bit in the Ahsoka novel, but don’t know what happens to her between Order 66 and when she shows up in Rebels. But we do see in Rebels that she’s been working with Bail Organa and helping start the Rebellion. As she says in Season 7, ‘When I see people in need, I have to help them, no matter what. I guess that’s just who I am.’ I think that’s just in her nature.”
But as for whether Ahsoka might have a place in Fallen Order 2, Eckstein seems unsure. “I get that question at least once a day: Is Ahsoka going to be in Jedi: Fallen Order 2? I’ve gotten it several times today. I can tell you I haven’t recorded anything, but I would always be up for it, that’s for sure,” said Eckstein.
According to Monaghan, Ahsoka and Cal would probably strike up a friendship if they ever do meet. “They have a lot in common,” he said. “They both aren’t tied to Jedi belief systems. They both bend the rules and walk to the beat of their own drums.”
Eckstein agreed, “I think it would be a positive meeting between them, whether they continued on together in some way I don’t know. I think it’s just in Ahsoka’s nature, it would be a positive thing.”
Monaghan also teased the possibility that Cal will grapple with his own darker tendencies in future Fallen Order games, saying, “I think that there is a temptation within every Jedi. I think there’s an inherent darkness to the universe and these stories. Cal specifically has experienced a fair amount of trauma from a young age. He flirts with [the Dark Side] in Fallen Order. I’m sure if we follow Cal more he’ll receive other temptations.”
Different Lives for Ahsoka and Cal
Watching Revenge of the Sith, it’s hard not to wonder how different the Star Wars universe might be if the Jedi weren’t wiped out by Order 66. What does the galaxy look like if Palpatine is unsuccessful in building his Empire atop the ashes of the Republic? Both actors offered their two cents for how their characters might have turned out were it not for Order 66.
According to Monaghan, Cal would probably have led a more peaceful and ordinary life, at least as much as any Jedi’s life can be considered ordinary. He said, “Cal was in training. He was a Padawan, so he would have led a normal Jedi life within the Republic. He would have had a traditional master/apprentice relationship.”
But as for Ahsoka, Eckstein doesn’t necessarily believe Order 66 changed the trajectory of Ahsoka’s life. After all, Ahsoka had already made her decision to leave the Jedi Order by that point. And as she pointed out, “[Ahsoka] actually put herself right back into the action by helping them find Darth Maul.”
Eckstein also reiterated the notion that Ahsoka no longer considers herself a Jedi by the end of the Clone Wars. “No. She walked away. She was very definitive about that choice. She will always represent the light side of the Force. I love that she gets the white lightsabers. She becomes her own thing.”
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How Much Did Eckstein Know About Ahsoka’s Voice in Rise of Skywalker?
Eckstein was able to lend a bit of insight into the last movie in the Skywalker Saga. As with several of her Clone Wars and Rebels colleagues, Eckstein was called upon to provide dialogue for the climactic scene where Rey confronts Emperor Palpatine while receiving moral support from the spirits of Jedi long gone.
According to Eckstein, director J.J. Abrams only revealed the bare minimum of plot information necessary when those lines were recorded. Eckstein didn’t even know to whom Ahsoka was speaking in that scene.
She said, “J.J. Abrams told me what I needed to know. ‘A lead character is looking up near death and the past Jedi are coming to give her advice.’ And that’s all I knew.”
Also on the subject of Ahsoka’s journey post-Rebels, an IGN viewer asked Eckstein whether we’ll ever see Ahsoka meet Luke Skywalker. She said, “I will say that’s a question for Dave Filoni, but that is a scene I’ve always wondered about. That is a scene that I personally, as a fan, I hope we get to find out that it happened. I’d love to see that scene play out.”
A Real-Life Order 66
One of the funnier moments of the stream came when Eckstein relayed an anecdote about how the cast of The Clone Wars coped with the series’ untimely (and thankfully, temporary) cancellation after Season 5.
Eckstein said, “Clone Wars was canceled at the end of Season 5. It wasn’t planned, obviously. We were still in the process of making more episodes, more seasons. It was a very sad thing for the cast and crew. We all went up to San Francisco for a series wrap party. At the end of the party we weren’t ready to go home, and we were hungry, so we decided to go to In-N-Out Burger. It was the cast and Dave Filoni. Dave said, ‘I’ve got this. I’ll pick up the bill.’ So we were all on one bill, and at In-N-Out they give you an order number. I kid you not – no one recognized us, but our cast order number was Order #66. That was our final meal as a cast before the series ended.”
Be sure to tune back in on Thursday, May 21 at 5pm PT for IGN’s rewatch of The Empire Strikes Back, which will include celebrity superfan Rahul Kohli. And until then, check out our review of the series finale of Clone Wars and our look at how the series managed to redeem the prequel trilogy.
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Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.