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Ashley Eckstein reveals her favorite Star Wars things - Exclusive

As the voice of Ahsoka Tano – Anakin Skywalker's one-time apprentice and one of the most popular characters in a galaxy far, far away — actress Ashley Eckstein has become a very important part of the Star Wars Universe. Before she was cast in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, however, Eckstein was a fan just like the rest of us — and like every member of the fan community, she knows exactly what that means.

"The Star Wars community is truly a beautiful thing, and I think to understand it, you have to understand what it means to be a Star Wars fan, because being a Star Wars fan is not just a trend," Eckstein explains in an exclusive interview with Looper. "It's not something that you're into for one moment because a movie's out, and then you've moved on. To be a Star Wars fan, it's literally a part of your soul. It's a part of who you are. It's a part of your identity."

And, like any fan, Eckstein has her favorites. When Looper asks her who her favorite Star Wars character is — besides Ahsoka, of course — Eckstein doesn't hesitate for even a second before answering.

"I would say my favorite character in all of Star Wars is R2-D2," she shares. "I've always loved R2. I call him my hero, because if you think about it, R2 is always there to save the day. Star Wars wouldn't be what it is without R2-D2."

Coming from the person who plays Ahsoka — who, like R2-D2, also always seems to show up when she's needed most — that's not entirely surprising. But Eckstein has other favorites, too. "The Siege of Mandalore arc, the finale to The Clone Wars [...] it's truly, in my opinion, some of the best of Star Wars," she says. "I wish there was a word bigger than 'epic,' because that's what it is."

However, when it comes to Eckstein's absolute most favorite thing about the series, it's not a character. It's not a particular storyline, or moment, or quote. It's not something you'll ever see on the big or small screen. It's the fans.

Why Star Wars fans are Eckstein's favorite thing about the franchise

"My favorite thing about Star Wars is the fans," Eckstein says, putting it plainly. "The fans of Star Wars have changed my life, truly. I have so many lifelong friends now that I met because they were Star Wars fans."

Eckstein admits that there's a side of the Star Wars community that can be undeniably toxic, she dismisses it as a small, albeit vocal, minority. "The majority of fans are wonderful. The majority of fans are just making this world a better place," she says. Eckstein cites groups like the 501st Legion, the Droid Builders, and the Mando Mercs – who build their own screen-accurate costumes and props and spend plenty of time volunteering for charity — as an example.

"I've been the benefactor of some of that help, me and my family," Eckstein continues. "I mean, I had a nephew in the hospital and it was his birthday. The 501st showed up and made his birthday special while he was in the hospital. That's who Star Wars fans are. They're people that just give, and selflessly give."

According to Eckstein, fans like those aren't just giving back to the community — they're also honoring the spirit of Star Wars itself. "Dave Filoni taught me that the sign of a true Jedi is someone who is selfless," she says, before adding, "It's something I'm grateful for because they have truly changed my life."

"I'm forever a different person because I became the voice of Ahsoka Tano," she concludes. "Star Wars fans make my life that more special, and I'm forever grateful to our Star Wars community."