The “Mandoverse” has been diving deep into the early years of the New Republic, exposing the stifling bureaucracy and deadlock that lurk behind its optimistic facade. Ahsoka Episode 3 showed this with a scene where General Hera Syndulla tries and fails to convince a senate committee to take Thrawn seriously.
One of these senators is actually a familiar face to hardcore Star Wars fans, and his appearance highlights what happens when the First Order inevitably rises in the future.
When Hera is told about her meeting, an aide warns her, “one of them is Xiono.” Sure enough, Senator Hamato Xiono from Hosnian chides Hera for supporting Ahsoka’s new mission, saying, “Isn’t this just another attempt to gain New Republic resources to aid in what has ultimately been your personal quest to find Ezra Bridger?”
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Xiono in canon. In the Disney Channel series Star Wars Resistance, Kaz Xiono serves as a pilot and Resistance spy during the rise of the First Order. We occasionally saw him interact with his father, Hamato Xiono, the Senator we see in Ahsoka. Apparently the New Republic Senate doesn’t have term limits, because he’d have been a senator for over two decades.
Intriguingly, while the Hamato Xiono of Resistance is a wise elder, the Xiono we see in Ahsoka is antagonistic and dismissive of Ahsoka’s search for Ezra and Thrawn. Xiono apparently learns from his mistakes, but it’s a fascinating choice to seed the failure of the New Republic and the rise of the First Order — a rise his son would see firsthand — with the internal struggle between Rebellion veterans and career politicians.
This is the first reference to Resistance we’ve seen in the live-action Mandoverse, but given how the New Republic is already struggling, it probably won’t be the last. Just like Resistance, these shows depict how even the best-laid plans and most well-intentioned governments can fall to authoritarianism scheming.