Senator Xiono’s Live-Action Debut on AHSOKA Makes His STAR WARS Story More Tragic

Spoiler Alert

Ahsoka’s third episode marked the franchise’s first-ever live-action appearance of an original Star Wars Resistance character, Senator Hamato Xiono. Senator Xiono (played by Nelson Lee) debuted on the sequel trilogy-era animated series via hologram. He’s the father of Star Wars Resistance‘s main character and hero, Kazuda Xiono. Senator Xiono’s tense meeting with General Hera Syndulla on Ahsoka wasn’t just a fun crossover, though. It showed how Xiono’s refusal to take Hera’s warnings seriously will one day lead to his home world’s destruction in The Force Awakens. And Ahsoka further underscored this point by having Xiono appear again in its seventh episode, bringing with him much the same foolishness. Let’s dive into Senator Xiono’s role in Ahsoka, his Star Wars history, and his ultimately tragic story.

Who Is Ahsoka‘s Senator Xiono?

The mustachioed Senator Xiono in hologram on Ahsoka, the Star Wars series

New Republic Senator Hamato Xiono represented Hosnian Prime, a major Core Worlds planet. Ahsoka revealed the wealthy, well-connected, regal politician also held an even higher position in the fledgling government. Senator Xiono was part of a small group of influential Senators who worked as both advisors and decision-makers alongside Star Wars‘ Chancellor Mon Mothma during the New Republic’s early years.

Ahsoka carefully notes that Xiono attained his spot in Mothma’s inner circle despite not having fought against the Empire during the Galactic Civil War. Hera Syndulla accused him of sitting out the conflict to see who won, but it’s not clear why Senator Xiono didn’t rebel against Palpatine. Hosnian Prime was close to Coruscant, the seat of the Emperor’s power. It might have been all but impossible for Hosnian Prime to rise up without causing its own destruction.

That danger might explain Senator Xiono’s past inaction in the Star Wars world, which would have seemed prudent to him once the Empire collapsed. It clearly did not prevent his people from electing him to serve as Hosnian Prime’s Senator for decades. But it did prove a harbinger of how Xiono would serve his New Republic.

When Did Senator Hamato Xiono Make His Star Wars Debut?

Senator Xiono appears in hologram form on Star Wars Resistance before his live-action appearance on Ahsoka

Senator Xiono first appeared in the Star Wars universe on the animated series Star Wars Resistance, which took place 25 years after Ahsoka. Xiono (voiced by Tzi Ma) originally appeared via a scrambled hologram during the show’s first season. While we couldn’t see his face during that call, we could hear him scolding his son for working with the “extremist” Resistance group. Senator Xiono had previously secured a position for his son in the New Republic Defense Force Academy. That resulted in Kazuda joining the government’s Starfighter Corps.

Star Wars Resistance made it clear that Senator Xiono wanted his son to serve the New Republic, which he hoped to keep out of a war with the First Order. Only war—and worse—would ultimately find Senator Xiono in Star Wars‘ world.

What Happened to Hosnian Prime in The Force Awakens?

Scared citizens look on in terror as Starkiller Base destroys their planet in red light in The Force Awakens

Senator Hamato Xiono’s Hosnian Prime was so important in Star Wars, it ultimately became the capital of the New Republic. It was also part of the rotation of planets that temporarily hosted the Galactic Senate. All of which made it a primary target of the First Order. The fascist group took aim at Hosnian Prime and four other planets in the Hosnian System when it used Starkiller Base. That fatal blast, seen across the galaxy, destroyed all five planets along with the New Republic’s Fleet that had been based on Hosnian Prime.

Hamato Xiono and his family only survived because they’d been off-world during the attack. And yet, despite the annihilation of his planet and his people, mirroring the moment in Ahsoka, Xiono still could not bring himself to fight. When he contacted his son to let him know he was alive, Xiono implored his son to run rather than fight with Star Wars‘ Resistance. He even blamed Kazuda for making his family a target.

Ahsoka Reveals The Tragedy of Senator Xiono’s Own Failures

Mon Mothma and other New Republic officials including Senator Xiono in hologram form on the Star Wars series Ahsoka

Now, thanks to Ahsoka, we know Senator Xiono’s failures were not just limited to later in life. Nor was his cowardly response to Hosnian Prime’s destruction a single dereliction of duty. He was never capable of doing the job the galaxy and his people needed him to do when it needed Xiono most. He always failed to see the danger posed by Imperial loyalists and the First Order that sprung from them. The Senator was so desperate to avoid war that he helped usher in its arrival.

In Ahsoka‘s seventh episode, Senator Xiono recounts Hera’s story of Morgan Elsbeth, Seatos, and Ahsoka as if it is a fairy tale and accuses Hera of acting selfishly. Xiono refuses to even consider that General Thrawn could return. Xiono even seeks to rid Hera of her command, but luckily Leia interferes via a well-timed interjection from C-3PO.

Star Wars Senator Xiono in Ahsoka

If Senator Xiono had taken General Syndulla’s warnings seriously during the time of Ahsoka, he might have saved his home and millions of lives. If he hadn’t been so intent on punishing Hera for trying to disrupt his presumed peace, maybe he could have helped ushered in a different fate. Instead, he helped ensure its destruction and an era of death in the galaxy far, far away. It’s a sad end for a Senator who could never recognize what so many others desperately tried to make him see.

Originally published on August 30, 2023.

Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on   Twitter and   Bluesky at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.

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