so the above bothers me for very complex reasons:
for starters, it’s derailing the original tweet. the conversation around female characters in Star Wars has been non-intersectional for far too long, but especially the last few years. Kathy Kennedy avoiding conversations about race while pointing at the 500 white women she’s cast doesn’t help either. having vast swathes of the fandom excited about the idea of a beloved character being played by an Afrolatina woman means something.
Ashley has actually liked tweets about Rosario playing Ahsoka in the past. however, the phrase “I could” (in addition to responding to a derailing tweet in the first place) gives me pause. no one has suggested that Ashley could not play Ahsoka in live action; the push for an actress of color is not a dig at Ashley’s skills nor erasure of what she’s done for female fandom. (and I love Ashley, source is me breaking down after meeting her again this year at SWCO.) but this conversation about diversity–about reflecting all of humanity in our most fantastic stories, about Star Wars’ potential for true change–is larger than her. if her mission is uplifting female Star Wars fans, then that category includes more than just white women.
furthermore, Ahsoka is read as black or brown by thousands of fans of all races. not only is she the first female Jedi with a major role in the canon, there is an entire generation of girls of color who look at her and see themselves: their own independence, their own snippiness, their own strength to walk away from the institutions that reject them, even how quick the world around them is to sexualize their bodies. Ahsoka set a precedent for female characters in Star Wars in general, yes. but she started off on an animated show targeted at the then-incoming generation of Star Wars fans. therefore, who is Ahsoka’s spiritual successor–who did she truly chart a course for? who is a teenage girl on an animated Star Wars show targeted at young children, who is complex and multilayered? who wrestles with questions of family and choice and trust, with her own personal flair and sense of style?
Sabine Wren. an explicitly Asian character.
Ahsoka already symbolizes so much. but she has the potential to symbolize so much more.