Fifteen years after first playing the Jedi Padawan and friend to Ahsoka Tano, the actor returns to discover the next chapter in her story as an Inquisitor.

Meredith Salenger, like the rest of us, has been waiting a decade to find out what became of Barriss Offee. “I was left wondering forever just like the fans!” Salenger tells “Dave [Filoni] told me there were things to come for her, but he never said what.”

The actor stood in a line that wrapped around the block when she went to see Star Wars: A New Hope in theaters with her father the first time and her affinity for the galaxy far, far away only grew when she was first cast to voice Barriss in the second season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. “Just being in the booth with Dave Filoni is so special because he gives you such a great backstory on the character,” Salenger says. “After spending time with Dave and after becoming Barriss, I really became a much deeper fan.”

Over the course of four seasons, Salenger’s Barriss became a foil for Ashley Eckstein’s portrayal of Ahsoka Tano. The former ultimately framed Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan for a bombing at the Jedi Temple while lashing out at the Order for losing its way. “I think Barriss has been struggling with wanting to do the right thing and then truly going about it in the worst way,” Salenger says. “She was trying to fight to stop this violent military operation, and yet she used violence to make her point. Being thrown in jail gave her ample opportunity to sit and stew on her emotions and that’s where we find her at the beginning of Tales of the Empire.”

Salenger was elated to get the call to return to the role and finally experience her next chapter. “It was the most exciting thing ever to get the call to come back as Barriss. Honestly, I love playing her.”

The final three episodes of Star Wars: Tales of the Empire, the animated anthology arriving on Disney+ May 4, pick up soon after her story left off in the Season 5 finale of The Clone Wars. Serving a life sentence after Order 66, the Fourth Sister offers Barriss a choice: join the Empire as a member of the Inquisitorius or rot in a cell. “Tales of the Empire really begins her story again in such an interesting, conflicted place, and it’s just the best arc of a character I think I’ve ever had,” Salenger says. “To survive, she has to make a choice she doesn’t want to make. I think she still holds on to her moral convictions. She’s presented with a path she doesn’t particularly want to take, but she knows it’s the only way.”

Salenger hopes fans will be as overjoyed as she has been to discover Barriss’ next chapter. “She has been through so much,” she says.

But through it all, Barriss’ moral center has held true. “I just love her strength of conviction. I love that she has an intense feeling about what she thinks is right, even though she did what she did. She’s been under the tutelage of two very different kinds of people — the Grand Inquisitor and of course, her Jedi Master Luminara Unduli, — but the most important thing about Barriss is that she answers to her own moral compass.” 

Read about Diana Lee Inosanto’s evolution of Morgan Elsbeth and see the trailer for Star Wars: Tales of the Empire before it arrives on Disney+ this Star Wars Day, May the 4th.


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