After the positive response to Ahsoka Tano on The Mandalorian, announcements of her standalone series on Disney+ were expected. However, the YouTube channel, Kessel Run Transmissions reported that the series is looking to cannibalize the Star Wars: Rebels sequel.

Forever Rebel

During the series finale of Rebels, the epilogue had Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) make a short cameo. She’s seen ready to set off with a young Mandalorian, Sabine Wren (Tiya Sircar). It immediately implied that they’ll continue their search to find team member, Ezra Bridger (Taylor Gray), and villain, Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen). The rumor of the Rebels sequel was that it would follow directly after that epilogue around November 2020. However, plans began to take a halt to make way for season two of The Mandalorian.

Going Live

The speculations were coming from all sides once Rosario Dawson debut as the live-action version of Ahsoka on the fifth episode of The Mandalorian. After her fight with The Magistrate (Diana Lee Inosanto), she asked her for the whereabouts of Thrawn. This implied that she has yet to find him and save Ezra within the unknown region of the galaxy. With her successful debut, Filoni still found ways to keep fans guessing.

A Certain Point of View

Fans probably believed that the Rebels’ epilogue would be before The Mandalorian’s second season, based on when both shows chronologically aired. However, Filoni confused fans when he spoke with Vanity Fair. “So in the vein of that history, when you look at the epilogue of Rebels you don’t really know how much time has passed. So, it’s possible that the story I’m telling in The Mandalorian actually takes place prior to that,” Filoni teased. Kessel Run Transmissions’ was able to decode Filoni’s Ahsoka comment. However, they must have not expected the answer to scrap an anticipated show.

The Secret Debate

According to their sources, The Mandalorian’s executive producers, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni started discussing changes. Both debated if the potential Rebels sequel would remain animated or change to live-action. This debate went on until Dawson made her debut. Favreau then convinced Filoni to at least have Ahsoka’s next journey told in live-action. With, as a somewhat compromise, have this story tie in with the event in Rebels.

Final Decision

Comicbook Movie also confirmed that the Rebels sequel will be absorbed into the announced Ahsoka standalone series. According to their sources, “…it’s suggested that scripts from the scrapped animated sequel series to Star Wars Rebels are being used for the show, with the plan reportedly for ‘[Ahsoka] [to] lead into spin-offs like an Ezra and Thrawn show. Ahsoka will be the story that the successor was supposed to be.”

The Force is Strong

Despite the confusion and changeups, count on Filoni to still keep her animated. More from Kessel Run Transmissions’ sources confirmed that Filoni intends to finish her story in animation. He recognizes that she was adored mainly in animation, it’s where she started and that’s where her journey will end. So in time, he and Ahsoka voice actress, Ashley Eckstein, will reunite. It would also be fitting continuity wise as Eckstein’s version of the character is the one Rey hears in The Rise of Skywalker.

Just Business

Even if finding the logical connections to the Star Wars TV shows and films, there’s still disappointment from Rebels fans. However, it looks like Disney and Lucasfilm continue to prioritize live-action films and shows at the moment. Fans should be able to understand the business aspects as well. The animation is said to be just as expensive as live-action. So, if Disney looks to have more content, live-action is the way to go.  Scrapped projects aren’t new for Star Wars.

A Series Far, Far Away

Before Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, George Lucas tried to develop the first live-action Star Wars show. Set before A New Hope, Star Wars: Underworld centered around the dark trades between bounty hunters, pirates, and even rogue Jedi. Scripts were written to be dark and complex. However, according to the producer, Rick McCallum, the project was impossible. Back in 2012, he spoke to IGN’s Scott Collura on the series’ complications. “…right now, technologically, there’s no way we can do [the episodes]. For the kind of $5 million [an episode] mark – which would be the max we could do,” McCallum admitted. Some elements of the potential series could currently be found on The Mandalorian.

“In Filoni We Trust.”

There’s no doubt that the Ahsoka series will be able to fulfill some aspects of what the Rebels sequel would’ve been. With today’s Star Wars fans, their motto is, “In Filoni we trust. So far, he’s been the guy who has been able to collaborate with Favreau to create a successful Star Wars live-action series. At the same time, he’s able to connect elements of the TV spin-off shows with the original Star Wars film saga. With that talent and trust from the fans, it’s highly anticipated that Ahsoka will do justice to the Rebels sequel.  

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