Home Entertainment Wait, what? It’s “possible” The Mandalorian is set before the Star Wars Rebels epilogue

Wait, what? It’s “possible” The Mandalorian is set before the Star Wars Rebels epilogue

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For the longest time, Ahsoka Tano had been arguably the most popular Star Wars character out there, but an entire segment of Star Wars fans had never met her before as Anakin Skywalker’s rebellious young padawan existed only in animated form in Star Wars Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Last Friday though, The Mandalorian dropped arguably its biggest episode to date and changed all of that.

Titled “The Jedi”, the fifth episode in season two finally pulled back the curtain on Grogu. That, by the way, is the real name of “Baby Yoda” whose backstory is finally revealed in one of the episode’s two massive bombs. The first being that we learn all of this from an incredible source: Ahsoka Tano played in live-action by Rosario Dawson!

The last time we had seen Ahsoka had been the epilogue of Rebels’ epic series finale. As a quick recap, that final episode saw young Jedi Ezra Bridger and the rest of his crew battling the Imperial forces of Grand Admiral Thrawn. The battle ends when Ezra manages to hold Thrawn on the bridge of his star destroyer as purrgils (essentially space whales capable of natural hyperspace travel) drag the star destroyer off through hyperspace into the unknown reaches of the galaxy. An epilogue then cuts ahead an undetermined number of years and we see a much older Ahsoka meeting up with Ezra’s Mandalorian friend/crewmate Sabine Wren and setting off to track down the still-missing Ezra.

When Ahsoka showed up in The Mandalorian, laying siege to a local outpost to force the evil Magistrate inside to PLOT TWIST! reveal the location of Grand Admiral Thrawn, it looked like The Mandalorian would just be following on from the events of Rebels’ epilogue. But what if we got that chronology backwards?

That appears to be the possibility being teased by Clone Wars and Rebels creator Dave Filoni, the man who also co-produced The Mandalorian with creator Jon Favreau and wrote/directed this latest episode. In an extensive interview with Vanity Fair about Ahsoka’s live-action debut, Filoni was asked how the Rebels finale lined up with The Mandalorian on the timeline and gave a surprising answer.

Right. But no, it’s an interesting one… That’s not necessarily chronological. I think the thing that people will most not understand is they want to go in a linear fashion, but as I learned as a kid, nothing in Star Wars really works in a linear fashion. You do [Episodes] Four, Five and Six and then One, Two, and Three. 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. Possible. I’m saying it’s possible.

Say whaaaaat?!

This may actually explain away a nitpick some hardcore fans had about Dawson’s portrayal of Ashoka. The character is a member of the togruta species whose biggest identifying feature are their lekku, i.e. their head tails. These grow longer the older the togruta get which is why when we first meet Ahsoka in Clone Wars as a young girl, they barely reach her shoulders. Over time they get longer so that when we eventually see her in that Rebels finale, her lekku are down to her waistline. In The Mandalorian though, Ahsoka’s lekku are back to only being partly down her chest.

We’ve seen it explained by Lucasfilm character concept designer Brian Matyas that the lekku on Dawson’s prosthetics were shortened in live-action to assist with movement and stunts, but could it also be that she’s just still younger here? If that is the case, it ties into Filoni’s tease and opens up so many possibilities. Rumours persist that Dawson’s appearance here in The Mandalorian is setting up a spinoff show focused on her and this gives it the narrative it needs. We would follow Ahsoka as she travels the galaxy in search of Ezra, with the series building to the live-action version of the Rebels finale epilogue and beyond, bringing Sabine, Ezra, and who knows who else into the live-action version of the Star Wars universe. I would watch the hell out of that!

Last Updated: December 1, 2020

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