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The Real Reason Ahsoka Tano Didn't Appear In The Mandalorian Sooner

As The Mandalorian continues its hugely successful run on Disney+, it keeps rewarding patient fans with parts of the Star Wars mythology they know and love. In the first season, the show was dedicated to introducing viewers to various new characters and locations. Season 2 focused on more established characters within the Star Wars universe, including Bo-Katan Kryze, Boba Fett, and Luke Skywalker. But Ahsoka Tano's (Rosario Dawson) appearance in "Chapter 13: The Jedi" marked a monumental arrival and provided previously unknown information to fans. So why did the show wait until the second season to introduce this Clone Wars hero?

The Mandalorian executive producer Dave Filoni (who also served as writer and director of Chapter 13) revealed in the documentary Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian – The Making of Season 2 that the primary reason he waited to introduce fans to the live-action version of Ahsoka was simply that he wanted to get it right. As Anakin Skywalker's apprentice during the time of the Clone Wars, Ahsoka had already been through an engrossing character arc that made her a fan favorite.

"I intentionally did not do anything with her in season 1 because I didn't want to mess it up," said Filoni, who had been a key part of the character's development as the creative force behind The Clone Wars. Filoni knew how much the audience who grew up watching Ahsoka in the Clone Wars respected her, and he wanted to make sure the live-action version lived up to their expectations. "People know this character," he said. "They've watched her grow up. And the challenge was to take all of the elements we had and evolve them into this live-action version."

What convinced Dave Filoni to finally write Ahsoka Tano into The Mandalorian?

So, what made season 2 the perfect time to bring Ahsoka onto the show? In a word: Grogu.

"I don't like bringing characters in unless there's a real value to it," Filoni said. "So when I wrote the episode with her in it this year it really was about, how can we learn this child's name? Who would know these things?"

Ahsoka is crucial because she's the first character in the series to know of Yoda. She immediately recognizes the Child's resemblance to the Force-sensitive Jedi Master and is the first to communicate directly with and understand him. She's also the one who reveals to both Din Djarin and the audience that the Child is actually named Grogu.

After making the decision to put Ahsoka in the show, Filoni decided to cast Dawson after fans tweeted that the actress should portray Ahsoka. Dawson agreed and was a perfect addition to the show's cast. "There are moments when I just stare at her and I'm just like, 'Wow, she just looks like this thing I've drawn,'" Filoni said.

And it looks like waiting to put Ahsoka on the show paid off, as fans loved her entrance and she's now set for her own spin-off series on Disney+.