×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Star Wars animated characters we want to see in live-action

In 2008, Star Wars: The Clone Wars arrived to break open a whole new frontier of canonical Star Wars storytelling. Since then, animation has remained a key part of the Star Wars universe, introducing new planets, storylines, and characters across several different eras of galactic history. Even among all those new creations over dozens of hours of television, some characters have risen so high in the esteem of Star Wars fans that it doesn't feel like animation is enough to contain them anymore.

Numerous Star Wars characters, including Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, have leaped from live-action to animation over the years, and it's high time that more animated characters got the live-action treatment, particularly the stars and standout supporting characters that made those animated series so vital. From renegade Jedi to bounty hunters to the most honorable Clone Trooper ever, here are some Star Wars animated characters we'd love to see in live-action.

Ahsoka Tano

Take a poll among Star Wars fans asking which animated character they'd most like to see make the leap to live-action, and odds are good that Ahsoka Tano would be right at the top of the list. The young Force user we first met as a Padawan in The Clone Wars has led a rich life in animation over the course of more than a decade, and while her adventures there might not yet be done, live-action seems to be calling with increasing force.

Much like Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka is a character viewers have seen grow up before their eyes as she evolved from snippy young apprentice to Jedi commander to rogue Force user who denounced her Jedi ties and became an ally of the Rebel Alliance. We've seen so much of her early life in such detail that sometimes it seems like a live-action version might have nothing new to say. That's not true, though, because we still don't know much about Ahsoka's life during the time of the original trilogy and beyond. Perhaps an appearance in the second or third season of The Mandalorian could shed some light on that.

Cad Bane

Bounty hunters have always been welcome in live-action Star Wars storytelling, and audiences have come to revere the really interesting ones, even if they're only interesting because of their looks. Boba Fett and IG-88 became fan favorites after the original trilogy, and Fett's popularity in particular helped spur the growth of Mandalorian mythology in Star Wars canon, which has now led to the live-action series The Mandalorian.

Thanks to that show's success, it stands to reason that we could be seeing more bounty hunters pop up in live-action soon, and if that's the case, Cad Bane is a very solid candidate to make the jump. For one thing, his look — from the hat to the guns to the tubes connected to his face — is spectacular, and would allow him to fit right in with the space-western aesthetic of The Mandalorian. For another, his time on The Clone Wars means that he's had a good bit more color added to him than many of the more one-dimensional bounty hunter characters. That said, there's still more about Cad to explore, and live-action could be the place to do it.

Captain Rex

If we want to be really technical about it, Captain Rex has been a part of live-action Star Wars continuity since 1983, thanks to a fan-driven retcon that now places him at the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi. That said, even if we do count that, it's a background appearance at best, and Captain Rex is such a fascinating figure in the animated part of the universe that he really deserves some more fully-realized live-action fun.

Rex is, like every other clone trooper, a clone of Jango Fett, but unlike many of those troopers he rises above his intended destiny to become something so much more. A trusted comrade in arms to Anakin Skywalker and other Jedi in The Clone Wars, Rex's moral conflict over his place in the Republic made him a fascinating character, and his journey after the Clone Wars is even more fascinating. If he really did fight in the Battle of Endor, then that gives him a lot of time in galactic history that live-action hasn't explored yet. All he needs is the right writer to put him there.

Asajj Ventress

Asajj Ventress debuted (canonically, anyway) in The Clone Wars feature film as the apprentice and resident assassin working under the leadership of Count Dooku, and she soon went on to become one of the most beloved and compelling characters in the animated series. Ventress' complexity quickly became evident as her role on the show evolved, and we got to watch her go from assassin to disgraced apprentice to bounty hunter, with a detour to her home planet of Dathomir in between. As a result, we've seen quite a bit of her life play out already, but that doesn't mean she couldn't have some fun in live-action.

After the Clone Wars series concluded, Ventress' final days were described in the novel Dark Disciple, so we already know how her path ends. That said, an adaptation of elements of that book wouldn't be out of the question, and neither would a story exploring Ventress' life in the days before the Clone Wars. The path to her dual lightsaber-wielding self could be just as interesting as her time as an assassin.

Hera Syndulla

Hera Syndulla has never appeared in live-action herself, but her presence has been felt there more than once. The character first appeared as one of the heroes of Star Wars Rebels, as the owner and pilot of the Rebel ship known as the Ghost, and while we haven't seen a lot of her life beyond that series, her presence has been hinted at many times. In Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the Ghost appears during the Battle of Scarif, and an announcement at the rebel base refers to "General Syndulla." We also know that Hera saw combat at the Battle of Endor, and the Ghost reappears in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker during the Battle of Exegol.

All of this suggests that Hera Syndulla led a rich, eventful life beyond the boundaries of her first animated appearances, which leaves a lot of room for live-action filmmakers to take up her story and run with it. She could appear in a new live-action series, make an appearance in a film, or even become the main character in another Star Wars Story set in the midst of the Galactic Civil War. Whatever the case, Hera deserves to make the jump.

Kanan Jarrus

The Star Wars animated series are an opportunity to create rich, diverse casts of characters across dozens of hours of television, and as a result a great many interesting personalities emerge who are only glimpsed for a matter of minutes. Then there are those characters who seem to live their entire lives before our eyes, including their deaths.

That seems to be the case with Kanan Jarrus, the Jedi Padawan who managed to survive Order 66 and live to join the resistance against the Empire in Star Wars Rebels. When we first meet Kanan, he's a Force user who's re-emerging as a potential rebuilder of the Jedi Order by agreeing to train Ezra. Over the course of the series we see Kanan's maturity as a master, his struggle with the Rebellion, and even his blindness. Thanks to tie-in media like comics and novels, we've also seen a great deal of his time before Rebels play out, including flashbacks to his years as a Padawan.

So, at first glance it might seem like there's nothing like for Kanan to offer Star Wars in live-action, but live-action appearances don't have to be leading roles. Seeing Kanan emerge in a supporting role, or even a cameo appearance would be a thrill for Rebels fans.

Ezra Bridger

Ezra Bridger is one of the lead characters of Star Wars Rebels, and much of the meat of that series involves him struggling to come into his own as a Rebel leader and as a Jedi. His relationship with Sabine Wren adds a lot of chemistry to the series, and his relationship with his master Kanan Jarrus infuses the series with a number of new perspectives on the Force. As a result, Ezra has a major role to play in Galactic events, and it might not be something he's done with yet.

The series finale of Rebels leaves Ezra's future uncertain, after he selflessly allows himself to be taken away alongside the villainous Thrawn in an effort to save his friends. That said, Sabine and Ahsoka do begin searching for him, and perhaps whatever happens next could have a place in live-action someday. There are any number of ways for Ezra to reappear.

Sabine Wren

Sabine Wren is one of those characters with a ton of storytelling potential in no small part because of the slightly different point of view she managed to inject when she first appeared in Star Wars Rebels. For one thing, she's a Mandalorian, and until recently she was one of the most prominent ones in canon. For another, she's a street artist and gifted inventor, which gives her the kind of creative perspective that a great many other Star Wars characters have just never had. As a result, she leads a fascinating life with a rich history over the course of Rebels, and ends that series with lots of potential for new adventures.

As for how she could pop up in live-action... well, Sabine could join another famous Mandalorian on the TV show he's starring in, particularly since she has a clear connection to the Darksaber that wound up in The Mandalorian's first season finale. She could also simply pop up in any number of stories that are woven into the original trilogy in some way, and even have a life after that. The future feels wide open for her in a lot of ways.

Thrawn

With the possible exception of Ahsoka Tano, Thrawn might be the most enduringly popular Star Wars character to never appear in live-action to date. He's certainly been around quite a bit longer than Ahsoka, even though his earliest stories are no longer canonical, and that's given him plenty of time to build such a devoted following that he was re-introduced to Star Wars canon when Star Wars Rebels rolled around.

A Chiss warrior with an eye for art and an even better eye for tactics, Thrawn emerged as a leader of the Imperial Remnant in the Heir to the Empire novel trilogy, and quickly became one of the most popular Star Wars villains ever. He then re-emerged in the Disney era thanks to Rebels and a new series of books by his creator, Timothy Zahn, which laid out his origins as an Imperial commander. His fate in Rebels is left a mystery after the series finale, but Zahn is already launching a second Thrawn trilogy of books, so the character lives on in some form. After nearly three decades as part of Star Wars, maybe it's also time for him to make the leap to live-action for the first time.