Kanan Jarrus gave his life to save his loves ones during Star Wars Rebels fourth season. It was one of the animated show’s seminal moments. The Jedi’s final act of heroism also served as Kanan’s last, and arguably most important, lesson for his Padawan. Ezra Bridger followed his Master’s lead and made a tremendous sacrifice to protect his loved ones in the series’ finale. He willingly vanished into the galaxy’s Unknown Regions to ensure he took Grand Admiral Thrawn with him. Ezra is still missing ahead of Ahsoka on Disney+, which will take place many years after Star Wars Rebels. But that doesn’t mean Kanan Jarrus won’t also get to also make his live-action debut on the show just as other members of the Ghost will. And not just because he might appear in a flashback.
The World Between Worlds means Kanan is always alive somewhere.
Could Kanan Jarrus Appear in a Flashback on Ahsoka?
“No one’s ever really gone” in Star Wars. Force ghosts, mod doctors, and cloned Emperors show characters have all sorts of ways of coming back from certain death. But the franchise could always let Kanan Jarrus make his live-action debut on Ahsoka the old-fashioned way. It’s one that doesn’t involve retcons or resurrections: a flashback.
That’s how two recent live-action Star Wars shows featured famous Jedi. Hayden Christensen didn’t just play Darth Vader on Obi-Wan Kenobi, he also reprised his role as Anakin Skywalker in a flashback. That old training sequence between Padawan and Master was more than just a nod to the prequels or a way to show Christensen’s face, either. It proved important in the show’s present day timeline, when the two former friends fought once more.
The Mandalorian also let another legendary Star Wars alum return to the screen via flashbacks in 2023. During season three Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best played Jedi Master Kelleran Beq, a character he’d only played on a kid’s gameshow. This time we learned he was the Jedi who saved Grogu during Order 66.
So while Kanan Jarrus, whose real name was Caleb Dume, might be long gone by the New Republic era, that doesn’t mean he can’t still appear on Ahsoka. In fact, he doesn’t even need a flashback to do that. A character could see Kanan alive thanks to a realm that exists at the nexus of space and time.
Could Kanan Jarrus Appear in the World Between Worlds on Ahsoka?
Star Wars Rebels‘ final season introduced one of the most unique and important places in the franchise’s history, a dimension unlike any other. The World Between Worlds exists outside the normal universe. It consists of pathways and portals that sit between time and space.
It’s a hard realm to fully understand. Whether you’ve seen the animated show or not you should read our exhaustive primer on that dimension to prepare for Ahsoka. The World Between Worlds played a major role in Ahsoka Tano’s past and seems poised to play a major role in her future.
It’s also where we last saw Kanan Jarrus. When Ezra Bridger journeyed to the World Between Worlds, he saw Ahsoka through a doorway. It was the moment Ezra believed Ahsoka had died years earlier fighting Darth Vader. Only she didn’t actually meet her end that day. Ezra instinctively reached through the portal and pulled her into the World Between Worlds before Vader could kill her. He saved her life thanks to that dimension.
As the two then explored that strange realm they came across another door that showed a painful moment in Ezra’s past. They watched as Kanan sacrificed himself. Ezra wanted to pull Kanan through the door just as he had with Ahsoka, but she pointed out Kanan died saving them. If Ezra changed that moment he might have doomed them all. So as hard as it was, Ezra watched his Master die once more.
But when you’re inside the World Between Worlds no one is ever dead. Kanan is always alive on the other side of a doorway if you look. And whether someone uses the World Between Worlds to enter a point in the past or simply sees him through a portal, the late Jedi can make his live-action debut on the show without a traditional flashback. Unlike a flashback, he’d really be there in that moment.
If he does appear in that manner his scene will likely be important to the show’s story, same as Obi-Wan and Anakin’s old training session proved important on Obi-Wan Kenobi. And it will also be espcially meaningful if Lucasfilm casts the voice of Kanan to reprise the role in person.
Who Would Play a Live-Action Kanan Jarrus?
Some Star Wars‘ voice actors have made the transition to live-action with their animated characters. Among those who have stayed in the role across mediums is Katee Sackhoff. She played Bo-Katan Kryze on The Clone Wars and Rebels before joining The Mandalorian. David Tennant will also once again voice the Jedi lightsaber building droid Huyang on Ahsoka. And Lars Mikkelsen will be Grand Admiral Thrawn on the show, same as he was on the animated series.
Not every Rebels star was given that opportunity. Just as Rosario Dawson took over the role of Ahsoka from Ashley Eckstein, fellow Rebels‘ characters Hera Syndulla, Sabine Wren, and Ezra Bridger are all getting new performers for their live-action debuts.
Clearly Lucasfilm does not feel beholden to every voice actor. They do not all get an opportunity to play their character in live-action, no matter how important they were to an animated show. And yet, it feels like only one person could play Kanan Jarrus in live-action, the performer who voiced him on Star Wars Rebels – Freddie Prinze Jr.
Not only does Prinze Jr. look like Kanan, he obviously has plenty of on-screen experience. He also loves the franchise and has been vocal in protecting it from some of its worst elements. He wouldn’t just be the best option to bring Kanan (back) to life, he’s the only one we want to see get the chance.
Star Wars has the perfect opportunity to do just that. The World Between Worlds exists outside of time. Every character from the galaxy far, far away, including one of its bravest Jedi, is always alive when you’re inside it.
Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.