Thursday, February 28, 2013

Full Ashley Eckstein Facebook Q & A

By: Benjamin Hart

Just recently Ashley Eckstein, voice of Ahsoka Tano on the Clone Wars and founder of Her Universe, took some time to hang out on the Star Wars Books Facebook page and answer questions from fans. There were a lot of good questions and Ashley gave some very insightful answers. If you don't feel like scrolling through the mile long thread we have assembled all the questions here for your reading pleasure. Questions are italicized and Ashley's words are in Bold:

Sean Smith: Ashley, my question is simple - do you ever feel like you are bringing in a wider audience to Star Wars with how you have HerUniverse and such a powerful character in Clone Wars? Adding a breath of fresh air to the fanbase so to say?

Hi Sean Smith, I do believe that The Clone Wars has introduced Star Wars to a new generation of fans. I also think having a female Jedi like Ahsoka has brought a lot more girls into the franchise. I think Her Universe has made it a lot easier for female fans to be vocal about the fact that they like Star Wars. 

Lauren OwenWill you be making any more Star Wars shirts for Her Universe this year? 

Hi Lauren! YES! We are designing Several NEW Star Wars designs this year. Everything will be debuting in May. We are making shirts, dresses, jewelry...We have Rogue Sqaudron designs AND I am SO excited to announce that Lucasfilm has given us the rights to design shirts for the women in the EU, so expect more Mara Jade and Jaina Solo designs!

Spencer Kirby: What's your favorite thing about Star Wars? 

Hi Spencer Kirby! My favorite thing about Star Wars is the story. To me, it's a story of hope and a story or good overcoming evil. I never get tired of stories told in the Star Wars Universe.

Vader Mike: Hi! I was wondering what is your favorite part about playing Ahsoka? 

Hi Vader Mike! I love playing Ahsoka because she is such a strong and positive character in the Star Wars Universe. She's a great role model for girls and boys. I'm also a big time Star Wars fan, so I love creating a new character in this Universe and discovering her story and path along with everyone else! Plus getting to go to events like Disney's Star Wars Weekends is a nice perk :o)

George Derieg: What is your favorite expanded universe novel?

Hi Greg Derieg! I must admit, I am just getting started with the novels. I just started Scoundrels and I am so excited to dive right in to these amazing stories!

Many of you are asking about the future of Ahsoka....I honestly don't know Ahsoka's eventual fate. I encourage you to watch the Season 5 finale on Saturday because there are some surprises. You will get some answers and then you will also probably have a lot more questions...You must tune in and bring some tissues...

Jeremiah Michael Stewart: Hey Ashley, while talking with Anna Graves last week, we thought of a shirt you could come out with having "The Doctor" save Ahsoka at the end of Star Wars the Clone Wars, think we could get a "tardis rescues Ahsoka" shirt?

Hi Jeremiah! I TARDIS saves Ahsoka shirt would be hilarious! I think Ahsoka would make a great companion to the Doctor!

Jennifer Winslow: Huge fan here. Of The Clone Wars and of Her Universe. Being a creative force, have you ever thought of authoring a book, or story, set in this grand universe? 

Hi Jennifer Winslow! I would love to author a book and it's something that we've talked a lot about. We've been asking girls for the past three years about the stories and characters they would like to read about. My dream is to create a strong female character in the Sci-Fi universe. I think we could certainly use more of them.

Marc Morrell: Ashley - is it true that your character, Ahsoka Tano, and her current trials and tribulations, is the reason why Anakin falls a little farther from grace, and more toward the Dark Side?

Hi Marc Morrell! Thanks for joining the chat. I think the events from this Saturday's episode affect Anakin in a big way. You have to tune in the see what happens.

Kenny Kraly Jr: Ashley , Would you like to be in a Star Wars live action film if you where asked to be in one?

Hi Kenny Kraly Jr! Yes, if I ever had the opportunity to do anything live action, I would be honored. My background is mostly in on camera work prior to my work on The Clone Wars.

Julie DuvallAside from Ahsoka, who is your favorite Star Wars character?

Hi Julie Duvall! My favorite Star Wars character is R2-D2! He is definitely my hero and he alway's seems to save the day! He just saved Anakin's life in The Clone Wars 3 episodes ago.

Émile Naudé: Why do girls pretend to like Star Wars?

Hi Emile, Girls definitely do not pretend to like Star Wars. It's a fact that close to half of all Star Wars fans are girls. There may be some girls and boys that pretend to know more about Star Wars than they really do, but I would encourage you to talk about Star Wars with them and teach them more. Sometimes people may pretend to know more than they really do because they want to fit in. But even if there is a seed of interest in Star Wars, it's our job as fans to welcome NEW fans into this Universe. Especially during this exciting time! We are about to get more movies!

Chad McAlpin: Did you think after That's so Raven(my oldest loved that show when she was younger) that you'd be working with Disney when you took the role of Ahsoka Tano?

Hi Chad McAlpin, I am a HUGE Disney fan and you could say that I "grew up Disney." My dad worked for Disney, my very first job was at the Disney parks and it was a dream come true to work for Disney on That's So Raven. I am very excited about Disney taking over Star Wars. I think we have some very exciting times ahead as Star Wars fans!

Many of you are asking if I know anything about the movies or if I would have a role in them. Honestly, I know just as much as you do. I WISH I knew more but everything is so top secret. I would be honored to be involved in them in any way but I have no involvement in the movies right now.

Chris Twiggy RogersThis is more a statement than a question, but anyway: Ashley, I will admit that when The Clone Wars first started I didn't really care for Ahsoka, she didn't for into the canon I imagined and didn't seem very necessary in the SW universe but over the past 5 years your portrayal of her and her maturing into a great character has really, in my mind, sealed her status as a great SW character that I now truly invest in when watching these episodes, and I'm actually quite sad that there will come a time (whether in this next episode or not remains to be seen) when she must leave the story. Thanks Ashley for not only making a minor character great but also for all the work you do in the wider fan community

Hi Chris Twiggy Rogers and Everyone else who is saying kind words about Ahsoka, I am very aware of how many people hated Ahsoka in the beginning. She came across really strong and very snippy. Dave Filoni and his crew have done an amazing job creating her character and story lines. I have become VERY attached to her and I think many people have become attached to her, as well, because we have been exploring the Clone Wars almost through her eyes. I asked fans for patience in the beginning with her character and I hope that over time, she's won all of the hater's over.

Knights Archive: Very important question: Who would win at bowling, Anakin or Ahsoka?

Knights Archive, Ahsoka would win at bowling but Ashley would definitely lose...I think we all witnessed that my bowling skills are pretty pathetic! LOL

Sam Whittaker: Would you like to do more Star Wars television or movies beyond Clone Wars? If so, what?

HI Sam Whittaker, I think we are going to see a lot more Star Wars on TV and in Movies now that Disney is involved. I hope to be involved in the Star Wars Universe for many years to come but I also have other jobs in the works. Some have to do with Sci-Fi and some not.

Teresa Delgado Lutha: Hi ashley I wanted to just commend you on the Fangirl of the Year campaign I think this will be great for fangirls of all ages and am so glad that you took this leap to do something like this

Thanks Teresa! I'm so glad everyone is so excited about The Year of the Fangirl! We have some amazing stories to share of some amazing women whose stories deserve to be told!

Michael Higginbotham: Hey, how do you feel about the darker tone the show has kind of taken the last few seasons, at least in comparison to the first two seasons. Its obviously working its way towards epIII and is still a kids show but it has had a more mature feel the last two seasons. Do you like the childish episodes or the more mature episodes more?

Hi Michael Higganbotham, The Clone Wars has definitely taken a darker tone because we are getting closer to Epiode III. I think it's integral to the time period to go in that direction. However, I think stories like the Youngling arc are important because we have a lot of young fans that want to know how lightsabers are made and how your lightsaber is designed....of wait...I'm 31 and I had those questions too! Sometimes the sweeter stories are a nice change of pace during these dark times.

Knights Archive: Hi Ashley! Loaded question here. What would you like to say to EU fans who are quite concerned about continuity issues the show sometimes presents? I know you personally have no control over that, but might you have any words of wisdom? We love you!

Hi Knights Archive, In terms of our show have continuity issues with the EU, I would say that The Clone Wars stories are directly from George Lucas. He has been integrally involved in the show from day 1 and he chooses the stories and the outcome. I think Dave Filoni has done a brilliant job at combining some EU characters into our show.

Brad Dovell: Favorite episode from TCW?

Hi Brad Dovell, I would say that my favorite Clone Wars episode(s) are the episodes that are airing now. This season finale is incredible and I particularly liked "The Jedi Who Knew Too Much" That chase scene was just beautiful and the sewer/tunnel scene broke my heart. I cried the first two times I watched it. The episode that airs this Saturday is one of my favorites too. The Mortis Trilogy is my second favorite arc.

Nicolas Rodrigues: Ashley, when the show started, have you ever imagined that it would have so much success, and that 6 years later you would be still doing it?

Hi Nicolas, Being the voice of Ahsoka has truly changed my life and I never imagines 6 years ago that I would still be doing this show and would have Her Universe and would be doing this chat today. I want to say a huge THANK YOU to all of the fans and to everyone on this chat today. I feel like I gained an entire family of Star Wars fans that I will remain friends with for the rest of my life. Thank you for everything you have done for me and my family. I am forever grateful!

To everyone asking about Ahsoka's future, I can't say much until this Saturday's episode airs. You will have many questions after that and hopefully we can have another chat then ;o)

Brandy Squires O'Shields: Is David super-jealous of your Ahsoka wood burning? and would he like one of himself playing ball? lol

Hi Brandy! Did your family give me the Wood burning? It's on my mantle! I LOVE it!

I'm so sorry that my typing has been so slow! I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone to joined this chat! I am excited to read more Star Wars novels and please let me know what female EU characters you want to see on some Her Universe shirts now that we have the rights to design them!

I'm so sorry if I didn't get to your question. Thank you for your support for The Clone Wars and Ahsoka. It honestly means the world to me!


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