Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who portrays General Hera Syndulla in Disney+’s upcoming live-action Star Wars series Ahsoka, has opened up about how the character has grown and changed since the events of the animated series Star Wars Rebels.
“When we find her, she is a general and she has become some kind of a legend just from all the work she’s done fighting on behalf of the Rebellion,” Winstead told ComicBook.com. “She’s still the maternal figure she’s always been, but I think she’s carrying the weight of her past with everything we’ve seen her go through in Rebels. She’s affected by that in various ways, but she’s still the strong badass mother figure people came to love.”
Who Is Star Wars’ Hera Syndulla?
Hera Syndulla was originally voiced by Vanessa Marshall. The fan-favorite Twi’lek made her debut as one of the main characters of Rebels, which aired on Disney XD for four seasons from 2014 to 2018, taking place between the events of the 2005 film Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and the original Star Wars film from 1977. As pilot of the Ghost, Hera was an early key player in what would become the Rebel Alliance, eventually being given the rank of General within the movement.
Rebels Season 1 begins about five years before the events of 1977’s Star Wars, while Season 4 ends just before the events of the film. The series finale also includes an epilogue set about one year after the events of 1983’s Return of the Jedi, by which point Hera had given birth to her son, Jacen Syndulla, who was fathered by late Jedi Knight and fellow Ghost crew member Kanan Jarrus. Marshall later voiced Hera in the 2020 canon video game Star Wars: Squadrons, the bulk of which takes place immediately after Return of the Jedi. She also voiced a younger Hera in the animated series Star Wars: The Bad Batch, which premiered in 2021 and takes place immediately after Revenge of the Sith.
Hera Syndulla Makes the Jump to Live-Action
In January 2022, it came to light that Winstead had been cast in the live-action Ahsoka series, a spinoff of Disney+’s The Mandalorian set about five years after the events of Return of the Jedi. In December 2022, it was reported that the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World alum would be playing a live-action version of Hera. This was recently confirmed at Star Wars Celebration, which debuted an Ahsoka teaser trailer featuring Winstead’s General Syndulla.
Ahsoka is expected to feature the live-action debuts of a number of other Rebels characters, including Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren and Jedi Padawan Ezra Bridger, both of whom served aboard the Ghost. The series will also mark the live-action debut of the villainous Grand Admiral Thrawn, who originally appeared in the 1991 novel Heir to the Empire and its sequels before joining the modern Star Wars canon in Rebels. Meanwhile, fellow Rebels character Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios, another member of the Ghost crew, recently made his own live-action debut as part of Season 3 of The Mandalorian.
Interestingly, the Star Wars franchise has seemingly been heralding Hera’s live-action debut for some time. While she did not physically appear in the film, Hera was name-dropped in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, with the character being paged over the intercom at the Rebel base on Yavin 4. Rogue One also features blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearances by the Ghost itself, as well as Hera’s trusty droid companion, Chopper.
Ahsoka premieres in August 2023 on Disney+.