'Ahsoka': the best 'Star Wars' Easter eggs and references you may have missed

How the show subtly nods to 'The Phantom Menace,' 'The Clone Wars' and more

Ahsoka
Rosario Dawson stars as Ahsoka Tano in the 'Star Wars' spin-off series
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

It wouldn't be a Dave Filoni "Star Wars" show without a cavalcade of Easter eggs and deep cuts. "Ahsoka" season 1 was stuffed with "Star Wars" references to delight franchise nerds, from a few surprise "Rebels" cameos to "Knights of the Old Republic" tie-ins and a visual allusion to "The Phantom Menace." These are the best Easter eggs and references you might have missed in "Ahsoka":

Try spinning, that's a good trick!

While Ahsoka is searching for the map to Thrawn at the start of "Master and Apprentice," she spins her lightsabers into the ground to create a hole that she can drop through. Ahsoka previously performed this neat trick in the "Clone Wars" series finale, "Victory and Death," while fleeing during Order 66.

Fulcrum

Huyang responds to communications from Home One using the call sign Fulcrum, the alias Ahsoka used while aiding the rebellion in "Star Wars Rebels."

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1974

Ahsoka's ship is identified as the T-6 One-Nine-Seven-Four, likely a reference to the fact that "Ahsoka" creator Dave Filoni was born in June 1974.

Home One

Ahsoka meets up with Hera Syndulla on the Home One, which the Rebel Alliance and Admiral Ackbar used as a command ship in "Return of the Jedi." Hera subsequently briefs Ahsoka in the same room from the briefing scene in "Jedi" where the rebels prepare to take out the second Death Star.

Ryder Azadi

Clancy Brown makes a surprise appearance as Lothal Governor Ryder Azadi, who delivers a speech paying tribute to Ezra Bridger. Azadi appeared in many episodes of "Rebels," where he was also voiced by Brown, making the actor one of the few to play the same character in live-action and animation.

During "Rebels," we learned that Ryder was arrested for treason after supporting messages against the Empire that were broadcast by Ezra's parents, and he was sent to prison with them. Ezra's parents were subsequently killed during a prison break, though Ryder survived, and he has now become governor again following the end of the war.

Jai Kell

When Sabine is a no-show for the Lothal ceremony, Ryder introduces Jai Kell, another character from "Rebels" who's making the jump to live-action. Jai was introduced in the episode "Breaking Ranks" as an Imperial cadet who becomes friends with Ezra while the young Jedi is undercover, and he ultimately flees the Imperial Academy. This is the first we're learning that he has become a senator since the events of "Rebels."

E-wings

During Sabine's introduction scene, she's surrounded by a pair of E-wings. This type of escort starfighter was introduced in the 1990s comic "Dark Empire," but "Ahsoka" marks its long-awaited live-action debut.

Ezra's stormtroopers helmets

Sabine is staying in the same communications tower on Lothal that served as her friend Ezra Bridger's home at the start of "Rebels." Various stormtrooper helmets can be seen in the background inside this tower, a nod to the fact that Ezra collected them in that show.

Nightsisters

Morgan Elsbeth is revealed to be a Nightsister, a kind of witch that uses the dark side and previously appeared in "The Clone Wars" and recently the "Star Wars Jedi" video games. The Nightsisters are from Dathomir, Darth Maul's homeworld, and Maul's mother, Mother Talzin, was once their leader.

Huyang

The droid Huyang is another somewhat lesser-known animated character making his live-action debut. He was introduced in the "Clone Wars" episode "A Test of Strength" as a droid who helps younglings build their lightsabers, a backstory he references in "Ahsoka." Huyang is also meant to be about 25,000 years old. David Tennant returns to voice the character, as he did in "The Clone Wars."

A 'Phantom Menace' nod

A shot in "Master and Apprentice" where a probe droid returns to Shin Hati while she's tracking Sabine is almost an exact recreation of a shot in "The Phantom Menace" where a droid returns to Darth Maul on Tatooine.

Familiar musical motifs

Keep an ear open for some recognizable musical motifs, especially during the closing credits, which highlights themes from "Rebels" associated with Sabine and Hera.

Corellia

In the episode "Toil and Trouble," Ahsoka and Hera visit a shipyard on Corellia, the planet Han Solo is from, as depicted in "Solo: A Star Wars Story."

HK-class assassin droids

At the shipyard, Ahsoka asks Myn Weaver if he has any HK-class assassin droids. This type of droid, which Ahsoka also faces off against throughout the first two episodes, originated in "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic." The 2003 video game features a Jedi hunter droid called HK-47.

SSD

Myn Weaver also mentions that his shipyard's hyperdrive core was "refurbished from an SSD," referring to a Super Star Destroyer. Darth Vader's ship, the Executor, was that kind of ship.

Sion

The starship used by Morgan Elsbeth is called the Eye of Sion, likely a reference to Darth Sion, a Sith Lord from the 2004 game "Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords." He's also known as the Lord of Pain.

Sabine's haircut

Near the end of "Toil and Trouble," Sabine uses a knife to cut her own hair, mirroring her friend Kanan Jarrus doing the same thing in the "Rebels" episode "Jedi Night" while preparing to rescue Hera.

A 'Rebels' recreation

"Toil and Trouble" concludes with Sabine visiting the mural of her friends and setting out on her mission with Ahsoka. This is almost an exact recreation of the final moments of "Rebels," although Ahsoka is wearing a different robe in the live-action version. Earlier, a moment where Sabine looks off the edge of her comms tower is also identical to a shot from the "Rebels" epilogue. So although "Ahsoka" was set up as a sequel to "Rebels," it appears the first two episodes were actually a sneaky prequel.

Zatoichi

In "Time to Fly," Ahsoka suggests Sabine be trained in Zatoichi, a technique likely named after the fictional blind swordsman Zatoichi, who has been depicted in a series of Japanese films and a television show. Zatoichi also bears similarity to Donnie Yen's character, Chirrut Îmwe, from "Rogue One."

Hamato Xiono

The senator who gives Hera Syndulla a hard time about her concerns regarding Thrawn's return is Hamato Xiono, father of "Star Wars Resistance" protagonist Kazuda Xiono.

Jacen Syndulla's pauldron

Hera's son, Jacen, makes a surprise live-action appearance after being introduced in the series finale of "Rebels," and fans noticed he's wearing what looks like a version of his father Kanan Jarrus' pauldron.

Kanan

Gizmodo also pointed out that in "Fallen Jedi," a photo of Kanan can be seen in the Ghost's cockpit.

Brendan Wayne

Brendan Wayne, who serves as a body double for Pedro Pascal on "The Mandalorian," gets a cameo in "Fallen Jedi" as a pilot. He's also the grandson of John Wayne.

Heir to the Empire

Ahsoka stresses the importance of stopping Thrawn's return as "heir to the Empire," the title of the 1991 Timothy Zahn novel where the villain originated.

Snips

When Anakin Skywalker appears in the World Between Worlds, he refers to Ahsoka as "Snips," his nickname for his snippy Padawan in "The Clone Wars."

Heard that before

In "Shadow Warrior," Ahsoka tells Anakin she "won't fight you," to which he responds, "I've heard that before." He's seemingly referring to Luke Skywalker saying the same thing about Anakin in "Return of the Jedi."

Far, far away

In the episode appropriately titled "Far, Far Away," Huyang starts a story with the phrase, "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away." It's the first time these words, which appear on screen at the beginning of every "Star Wars" film, have been spoken out loud in the franchise. This also implies the phrase derives from an in-universe series of stories about the history of the galaxy told to Jedi younglings. 

Asajj Ventress

In "Dreams and Madness," the hologram of Anakin mentions Asajj Ventress, a dark side villain from "The Clone Wars" and a Nightsister who became the apprentice of Count Dooku, played in the prequels by Christopher Lee.

The Blade of Talzin

At the start of the finale "The Jedi, the Witch, and the Warlord," Morgan Elsbeth receives the flaming green sword used by Mother Talzin, leader of the Nightsisters, in "The Clone Wars."

There is no try

Ahsoka asks Sabine if she has kept up with her training, to which she responds, "I try," before laughing and correcting herself to say, "I do." It's seemingly a reference to Yoda's famous declaration in "The Empire Strikes Back," "Do or do not. There is no try."

The Mortis gods

The statue Baylan reaches at the end of "The Jedi, the Witch, and the Warlord" depicts the Father, one of three Force wielders known as the Mortis gods from "The Clone Wars." To his left is a statue of the Son, and to his right appears to be a deteriorated statue of the Daughter, the two other Mortis gods. 

Morai

The bird Ahsoka sees at the end of "The Jedi, the Witch, and the Warlord" is Morai, a convor who has a connection to the Daughter and has often watched over Ahsoka going back to "Star Wars Rebels." And with that, the show practically screams that the hiatus between season 1 and 2 is the perfect time to catch up on the animated shows. 

Updated Oct. 6, 2023: This article has been updated to include new information.

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