With Star Wars Celebration 2023 now officially over, a new interview with Mary and the cast of Ahsoka has come out. In a brand new podcast for Entertainment Weekly, Mary details how she feels playing the character of Hera Syndulla, the Twi’lek resistance leader turned general.
“Having a character who’s already existed and has such a rich history on something like Rebels, as an actor, it’s incredible,” Winstead told Dagobah Dispatch. “Because sometimes we’re tasked with creating our own backstories or trying to flesh out a character that doesn’t really have that much on the page. And so to play a character that has season after season of storylines and complex histories with everyone in their life and relationships and experiences was really something I’ve never experienced quite like that.”
It was a resource Winstead took advantage of throughout filming on Ahsoka. “To have Rebels to refer to, and to have [Rebels and Ahsoka creator Dave Filoni] to speak to about it every day on set, was a real luxury for sure.”
Mary also continued to elaborate on her character by describing her as someone who “is incredibly strong but complicated person. She is very maternal, but also she’s this leader of this crew. And as we see, she continues and becomes a general. And so she’s leading quite a lot of people and she’s become something of a legend in her own right.”
Winstead is also careful to point out how that military leadership and expertise are just one facet of the character. “She’s also very soft and warm, and people come to her for advice and solace and comfort,” Winstead explains. “Seeing those things combined is very unusual, and something that I really wanted to play on screen, because that’s such a aspirational thing, I think, as a woman — or just a person — to be able to be all of those things in one.”
However, that doesn’t mean Hera doesn’t have any flaws or is not subject to the occasional mistake, says the woman playing her: “She’s certainly not perfect, but she does have all of those qualities that make her somebody that you can really look up to in a way. And I like to try to be that on film. I don’t know that I quite live up to it in reality, but it’s someone to try and try and reach for.”
You can listen to Mary and Rosario Dawson as well as Natasha Liu Bordizzo talk about the show and see a clip by using the link above. The podcast can be heard here and begins around the :58 min mark.
Ahsoka will begin streaming on Disney+ this August.