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Lucasfilm's Ahsoka television series has finally found its Ezra Bridger. The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that up-and-comer Eman Esfandi will play the fan favorite Rebels character in the upcoming Star Wars project on Disney+. Cinelinx was first to report the news.
To date, Esfandi's other screen credits include Robert Rodriguez's Hostage 911 and Reinaldo Marcus Green's King Richard. Aladdin star Mena Massoud — who was heavily rumored to play Bridger for quite some time before this — addressed the news on Twitter. "Glad the rumors will stop now," he wrote in the caption. "Never really had a fair shot at it unfortunately (1 self-tape months ago) but just wasn’t meant for me I guess. Can’t deny the dude looks exactly like Ezra. Hope it’s done justice!"
With Clone Wars, Rebels, and Bad Batch mastermind Dave Filoni steering the ship alongside Jon Favreau, Ahsoka will spin out of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett by shining a light on what the titular ex-Jedi (played by Rosario Dawson in the realm of live-action) got up to after the fall of the Galactic Empire. Many speculate that the narrative will center around her search for Grand Admiral Thrawn.
As Rebels fans are well aware, that almost certainly means Ezra will be part of the equation. In fact, many will tell you that Ahsoka will, for all intents and purposes, essentially serve as the long-awaited fifth season of the animated show. Born on the very day that the Empire ascended to power, Bridger was a Force-sensitive Padawan trained by Kanan Jarrus a member of the growing resistance movement against Palpatine's tyrannical regime.
Hayden Christensen (Ahsoka's former Jedi teacher, Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader), Natasha Liu Bordizzo (Sabine Wren), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (TBD), Ivanna Sakhno (TBD), and Ray Stevenson (a currently-unnamed villain) are also expected to be part of the cast.
"I love that she is this wanderer character who is going to just do good in the universe," Dawson said of her protagonist during an interview with Vanity Fair. "The Jedi Order has disappeared in many ways, it’s so fractured, and so many people are targeted. She’s lost so much. She had left that Order under duress, and she’s just been finding her way. And since the very beginning, the way that has been pulling her is to be vigilant, and to be brave, and to be wise, and to always have her eye set on rooting out evil. And I think that’s one of the reasons why so many love her. It’s why I love her. She represents truly the best of the Jedi, you know?"
Disney and Lucasfilm have yet to announce a premiere date for Ahsoka, which kicked off production earlier this year. Esfandi's addition to the show, along with other galactic reveals, may be confirmed at the Lucasfilm D23 Expo presentation tomorrow — Saturday, Sep. 10. Lucasfilm's next big release is the Rogue One prequel, Andor, whose first three episodes premiere on Disney+ later this month. Several more titles like The Acolyte and The Skeleton Crew are currently in development.
Looking for more dark sci-fi space adventures? SYFY's acclaimed Battlestar Galactica adaptation is streaming now on Peacock.