Diana Lee Inosanto jokes that she's sort of been training for her Star Wars role all her life. The daughter of martial arts legend Dan Inosanto and goddaughter of Bruce Lee, the actress now stars as Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth, one of the menacing villains of Ahsoka. Inosanto first appeared in a single episode of The Mandalorian, facing off against Rosario Dawson's former Jedi, and now, she steps into the spotlight on Ahsoka — where she'll soon get to show off even more of her skills.
In an interview conducted prior to the start of the SAG-AFTRA strike, Inosanto told EW that she and her father bonded over their love of the original Star Wars trilogy. As a young girl her dad took her and a group of his martial arts students to see the original film in theaters. When they returned home, he immediately ran out to buy some plastic lightsabers to use for training.
Lucasfilm Ltd. Diana Lee Inosanto as Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth in 'Ahsoka'
"I love the irony that he was training me with these double-staff, plastic lightsabers, and who knew that down the road, I would actually be doing this fight scene with Rosario?" Inosanto, 57, says with a laugh. "Maybe the Force is really out there."
Inosanto explains she was first hired for The Mandalorian for her extensive martial arts background, which was on full display in the fight between Morgan and Ahsoka. Still, she knew little about Morgan's history — and for a while, she didn't even know her character's name. Ahsoka takes a deeper dive into who Morgan is, revealing that she has ties to the Nightsisters of Dathomir, a group of powerful witches. The character is currently working with mercenaries Baylan Skoll (the late Ray Stevenson) and his apprentice Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno), searching for the whereabouts of the nefarious Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen).
Inosanto teases that Morgan is driven by her "unwavering allegiance to Thrawn," adding that "she's definitely somebody who's very faithful to his causes and ideals." She also found inspiration for Morgan's imposing stature in powerful leaders throughout history, including Julius Caesar and Catherine the Great.
And, she adds, Ahsoka required her to train even harder than The Mandalorian. "There's a long, involved fight scene," she teases with a smile. "It's pretty intense."
To hear our entire interview with Inosanto — as well as episode recaps of Ahsoka — check out the latest episode of EW's Star Wars podcastDagobah Dispatch.