‘Star Wars’: Eman Esfandi Joins ‘Ahsoka’ as Fan Favorite Ezra Bridger

Rosario Dawson leads the Disney+ series.

Ezra Bridger is officially headed to live-action, with Eman Esfandi playing the Star Wars animated character in Ahsoka, the Disney+ series toplined by Rosario Dawson.

Esfandi’s credits include the Robert Rodriguez horror film Red 11, which screened at Cannes in 2019, as well as a small role in best picture nominee King Richard. He also appears in the upcoming gay military drama The Inspection, which is getting strong early reviews out of the Toronto Film Festival this week.

Ezra Bridger debuted in 2014 in the animated Star Wars Rebels, where he was voiced by actor Taylor Gray. The character grew from an orphan with a knack for the Force into a Rebel who trained in the ways of the Jedi. The geek culture-focused site Cinelinx first reported the news.

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The Disney+ series stars Dawson as titular Jedi Ahsoka Tano, who first jumped to live action in season two of The Mandalorian and also appeared in The Book of Boba Fett. Other stars include Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ukrainian actress Ivanna Sakhno and Australian thespian Natasha Liu Bordizzo. Hayden Christensen reprises his role as Anakin Skywalker and Ray Stevenson plays a mystery villain.

Plot details are not known, but the setup includes Tano journeying from one end of the galaxy to the other in search of Grand Admiral Thrawn, a former commander in the Empire. Star Wars Rebels ended with both Thrawn and Ezra disappearing into space.

Ahsoka hails from Star Wars Rebels co-creator Dave Filoni, who is writing the series and will also executive produce with fellow Star Wars mastermind Jon Favreau. Peter Ramsey, the Oscar-winning co-director of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, is helming at least one episode of the series, currently nearing the end of filming on season one.

The casting comes a day before Saturday’s D23 panel, which is expected to include a first look at a number of projects from the Star Wars galaxy.

For months, rumors have swirled about who would play Ezra in the series, with Aladdin star Mena Massoud’s name surfacing online as a fancasting possibility. Massoud made peace with those rumors ending on Friday.

“Glad the rumors will stop now. Never really had a fair shot at it unfortunately (1 self-tape months ago) but just wasn’t meant for me I guess,” wrote Massoud on Twitter Friday. “Can’t deny the dude looks exactly like Ezra. Hope it’s done justice!”

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Updated to include Mena Massoud’s statement.