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Why Ahsoka Tano's appearance was changed in The Mandalorian

Star Wars concept designer explains why the look of the animated version of Ahsoka Tano was altered for Rosario Dawson's more realistic portrayal on The Mandalorian.

Ahsoka Tano, played by Rosario Dawson, looks a bit different than the animated Star Wars character.
Lucasfilm/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

Beloved Star Wars character Ahsoka Tano, from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, finally showed up on The Mandalorian on Disney Plus during the new season. 

Played by actor Rosario Dawson, Ahsoka made her live-action debut in The Mandalorian episode titled The Jedi. Dawson's portrayal of the animated character meant some changes needed to be made to Ahsoka's appearance for the transition to a live-action format.

One major cosmetic change included smaller head-tails, also called montrals and lekku. Ahsoka had short lekku at the beginning of Star Wars: The Clone Wars but much longer lekku in Star Wars Rebels and later episodes of The Clone Wars to show they grew as she aged. 

However, in The Mandalorian, Ahsoka's lekku head tails are short once again, which confused fans who were used to seeing her longer lekku in Rebels.

Star Wars character concept designer Brian Matyas addressed fan questions on Twitter on Nov. 27 about Ahsoka's new look. He explained that one factor in the change had to do with the weight of the head tails. If the head tails were kept long, it would most likely make stunt fighting more difficult.

"Can you share at all the conversations you had regarding the size of her montrals/lekku?" Star Wars fan Jack Kennedy tweeted. "There's some confusion among fans as they were much bigger in Rebels around this same time period. Figured it was just impractical for the actors but wondering if there's anything else to it."

"That was the chief concern," Matyas answered. "From animation to live-action I did a ton of design exploration for her and their appropriate size for the actor with consideration for stunts and movement. I'm sure I'll get to discuss at greater length in the near future."

Not all fans were happy with the changes to Ahsoka's appearance in The Mandalorian. 

"Sadly, I think this was a bad call," Star Wars fan Logan Harrington tweeted. "Biggest complaint with the show so far but man, it's not cool to see the continuity messed with. Found this rendition posted earlier and it looks so much better following Ahsoka's age relative to others of her species and following Rebels."

Other fans suggested CGI for a quick fix to Ahsoka's head tails length.


Ahsoka's lekku head tails are much longer when she was an animated character.


"The krayt dragon in the first episode looked very real and detailed, the frog lady in the following episodes, also great and realistic," fan HousePanther tweeted. "Both those creatures are involved in action scenes so I'm still scratching my head as to why they both look better than Ahsoka freaking Tano."

"While I do see the complaints people have, I'm actually pretty happy with what we got," fan Sean Merchant tweeted. "I do have a question. Do you think in the future they might use digital effects to make her lekkus longer or no?"

See Ahsoka's new look in The Mandalorian, which debuts new episodes every Friday on Disney Plus. Be sure to also read our episode recaps to make sure you don't miss a thing.