But only a few weeks back, the season finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars aired across American and, let's say, changed things a bit. With the galaxy far, far away barreling toward the fall of the Republic and the events of Revenge of the Sith, dark times are on their way. This said, Ashley Eckstein -- voice of Ahsoka Tano -- was in high spirits when we spoke to her about seeing her and her fangirl-focused clothing company, Her Universe, at C2E2 on April 26-28.
Read on as Ashley shares her take on what it's like being a guest at a con...
C2E2: You travel quite a bit for conventions, and we have to imagine you've got packing your suitcase down to a science. With packing for C2E2 looming on the horizon, what's the first item you pack or the one item you can't leave home without?
Ashley: I never leave home before an event without a Her Universe outfit for every day of the convention! I started my company, Her Universe, because I'm a big time fangirl, and I wanted more merchandise made for women so I could show off my love for my favorite properties. I quickly realized that I wasn't alone and that there were a ton of other female fans that were tired of wearing boxy tee's made for men. I am proud that we now have merchandise options made for women!
C2E2: What are the best and worst things about traveling for a convention?
Ashley: The best things are getting to go to new cities (or returning to some of my favorite cities) and having the opportunity to meet new people and see friends. I feel like I have friends all over the nation now thanks to my convention traveling! The worst thing would probably be the lack to sleep! It's so exciting to see everyone, and I usually don't get as much sleep as I would like. After a couple days of less than eight hours of sleep, I usually turn into Grumpy Cat.
C2E2: Fans rush about C2E2 and Chicago as if it's nerd Mardi Gras, but what's a convention like as a guest?
Ashley: Conventions are usually all about work for me. By the end of the day, I grab a quick bite to eat with friends and then head back to the hotel. However, I LOVE Chicago and I have a lot of friends in town. My husband and sister are also coming to Chicago with me and we love Gino's East Pizza. So hopefully, we'll mix a little bit of work and play!
C2E2: Are there any specific Chicago sights, experiences, restaurants, or museums you hope to check out while at C2E2?
Ashley: Gino's East Pizza is my favorite, and I also love the Hershey's Chocolate Store. You can decorate your own chocolate cupcakes! My husband calls me "The Cupcake Lady" because whenever I see a cupcake shop, I have to try it. I don't think we'll have time for a baseball game, but Wrigley Field has the BEST hot dogs!
C2E2: While you're probably most known for The Clone Wars, what other projects of yours do you encourage fans to check out?
Ashley: Many fans know me from my past on-camera work on That's So Raven, Drake and Josh, Sydney White, and Blue Collar TV, and I'm thrilled to be doing a new animated show for Disney called Sofia the First. I'm the voice of Mia the Bluebird. It's a great show for kids! However, like you said, most people know me as the voice of Ahsoka Tano from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and that's what I am most proud of. She is an incredible character and it has been an honor to help bring her to life.
C2E2: What are your upcoming projects? Will you be talking about any at C2E2?
Ashley: I am thrilled to be returning as co-host for Disney's Star Wars Weekends! This will be my fifth year co-hosting the event, and it's truly one of my favorite times of the year. It's every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from May 17th to June 9th. My two favorite things are Disney and Star Wars and now they have become one. Having the opportunity to play at Disney for an entire month is like a dream come true! I also have a very busy summer coming up with several fun events! I'll be working with my friends at The Nerdist again, and Her Universe has some exciting things planned for San Diego Comic-Con! Her Universe has declared that 2013 is "The Year of the Fangirl", and we are highlighting a different fangirl on our website every day. You can check out all of the amazing ladies we've been highlighting on our blog and you can also nominate a fangirl you know!
C2E2: Approaching a guest of your caliber can be a daunting thing. Any recommendations or words of advice for a sheepish fan nervous about seeing you at C2E2?
Ashley: First of all, I feel just as shy being a guest! I don't feel like I am above anyone else and I am so honored that people would come to see me! So, if you are coming and would like to say "hi", please don't feel shy because I would love to say "hello"! I am so thankful for all of my fans and I love meeting new people.
C2E2: What's the most rewarding thing for you about interacting with fans at a con?
Ashley: Probably the most rewarding thing for me is meeting the young fans! The Clone Wars has kind of been Star Wars for this new generation, and I love meeting the young fans who are just discovering Star Wars for the first time. I also love meeting girls who like Ahsoka Tano because she is such a strong and positive role model for female fans, and it's truly an honor for me to be associated with this character.
For more on Ashley, you can follow her on Twitter and Facebook, as well as www.heruniverse.com! And, when you see her at C2E2, be sure to thank her for creating Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar, and Doctor Who apparel (finally) flattering to the female fan!
About The Author:
Peter Tatara is the International Director of Content and Marketing for ReedPOP. During his time at Reed, he's planned on-air contests with Cartoon Network, hosted Twitter scavenger hunts around New York City, and bought Joss Whedon a sandwich. In his spare time, he runs a calendar of geeky New York City events called Nerd York City. Follow him at @petertatara and @nerdyorkcity.