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The Mandalorian's Rosario Dawson Has A Surprising Connection To Star Wars

Contains spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2, episode 5 — "Chapter 13: The Jedi"

One of the most highly anticipated episodes of The Mandalorian dropped on Disney+ on Friday, November 27. Entitled "Chapter 13: The Jedi," the story sees Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and the Child landing on a desolate planet, where Mando encounters a fan-favorite character from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels: Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson).

For the first time, Mando has met someone who can actually tell him about the precious cargo with which he's traveling across the galaxy. During their conversation, Ahsoka does indeed mention a wise Jedi master known as Yoda, whom she once knew. She's even able to communicate with the Child and inform Din that his real name is Grogu, and that he was brought up and trained at Coruscant's Jedi Temple. It's a game-changer of an episode that definitely lived up to the hype.

It's a big deal to enter the Star Wars universe, especially in a high-profile role with a ton of goodwill attached to it like Ahsoka. Rosario Dawson, along with executive producer Dave Filoni, recently sat down with Vanity Fair to discuss working on The Mandalorian. As it turns out, Dawson had a pretty cool connection to Star Wars before even being cast on the show. 

Rosario Dawson studied acting with Hayden Christensen

Ahsoka's presence in The Mandalorian connects the events of the Star Wars prequels to the aftermath of the fall of the Empire, as Ahsoka initially trains as a Jedi beneath Anakin Skywalker before he turns into Darth Vader. (She eventually leaves the Jedi Order but still aligns with the light side of the Force, which is the reason why her lightsabers are white.) Surprisingly, Dawson's casting as Ahsoka proved to be particularly prudent given she actually knew Hayden Christensen, the actor who played Anakin in the prequel movies, before either one of them really made it big in Hollywood.

In her Vanity Fair interview, Dawson shared, "I first started acting at 15. I did this movie, Kids, and I got paid like $1,000 to work on it. When the movie came out, I decided at 16 that I wanted to continue pursuing acting. My dad's mom said, 'Well, if you're going to do that, and you're 16 years old, then you need to study acting,' and put me in Strasberg. And it happened to be that summer when Hayden Christensen was in [it] — we had the same class."

That acting class at the Lee Strasberg Academy wouldn't be the last time the two saw each other, as Dawson and Christensen starred together in 2003's Shattered Glass

For Dawson, it really felt like some higher power was at play to get her the role of Ahsoka. As she told Vanity Fair, "I always just thought it was really cool that I knew someone who was not just in Star Wars but played Anakin Skywalker. Ahsoka was his Padawan, so when the fan-casting came out, I just thought it was pretty wild that I visually connected to this character from being this teenager who met this actor who ended up being this great character. I don't know, it just felt like the Force was at play."

Hopefully, this isn't the last time we see Dawson's Ahsoka in the Star Wars universe. We know she's out for blood, looking for Grand Admiral Thrawn, and although Din Djarin's busy being the galaxy's best adoptive father, we're thinking he'll lend her a hand with her overarching goals at some point. 

Keep tuning in as new episodes of The Mandalorian continue to air Fridays on Disney+.