Star Wars: Ahsoka had 2 surprise Rebels cameos — here’s who showed up

Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano, holding two lightsabers, in the Ahsoka trailer
(Image credit: Lucasfilm via YouTube)

Since her appearances in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, fans suspected that Ahsoka Tano’s adventures from the acclaimed animated series Star Wars Rebels would spill into the live-action corner of a galaxy far far away. 

This was confirmed in December 2020 when Lucasfilm announced the former Jedi Padawan’s own spinoff starring Rosario Dawson and developed by Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni. 

And when promotional material finally started to emerge from Ahsoka, long-time fans of The Ghost crew were stoked to see Ezra Bridger, Sabine Wren, Hera Syndulla, and Chopper in the flesh. However, they weren’t the only characters from Star Wars Rebels to pop up in the highly anticipated two-episode series premiere. 

Warning: This article contains spoilers for “Ahsoka.” Proceed with caution.

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Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) and Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) in Lucasfilm's STAR WARS: AHSOKA

(Image credit: Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM)

In Ahsoka episode 2, two politicians make brief, but notable appearances.

At the end of the first episode, Ahsoka arrives to the planet of Lothal, whose people are commeorating the battle that freed them from the Empire. Ahsoka's estranged friend Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) is being honored alongside her allies, but she is seen fleeing on a speeder bike to avoid the spotlight. While she does that, two familiar faces are left high and dry to stall the ceremony.

The government officials in charge of the proceedings are Governor Ryder Azadi and Senator Jai Kell. Both characters were introduced in Rebels and have been integrated into Star Wars lore since then. Now, they make their live-action debuts in Ahsoka. So, who are they?

Azadi served as the governor of Lothal during the Galactic Empire’s early years. Due to his support of revolutionaries like Ephraim and Mira Bridger, he was arrested and imprisoned. But thanks to their son Ezra and company, he was rescued and subsequently joined the New Republic as the leader of the planet's resistance cell. Despite his reluctance to follow the young Bridger’s leadership in later years, Azadi played an important role in liberating Lothal alongside Sabine.

Kell was a cadet at the Academy for Young Imperials when he met Ezra, who was undercover as Dev Morgan to thwart a sinister plan. After learning the true purpose of Project Harvester, Ezra convinced his new friend to leave with him and receive the protection of the Resistance. Years later, Kell became a prominent member of Azadi’s group and played a part in saving Lothal as well. 

Clancy Brown is reprising his animated role by portraying Governor Azadi in live-action as well. But Vinny Thomas has stepped into the role of Kell in Ahsoka, replacing Dante Basco (best known as Rufio from “Hook” and Zuko from “Avatar: The Last Airbender). 

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Ben F. Silverio

Ben F. Silverio is a pop culture enthusiast originally from Philadelphia, PA who loves storytelling in all forms. For over a decade, he has worked as a journalist, critic, editor, and social media ninja for outlets such as /Film, Wrestling Inc,, the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, and Ben is also a fan of professional wrestling, superheroes, Disney theme parks, and representation in media.