According to a 2013 interview with IGN, “Clone Wars” and “Ahsoka” creator Dave Filoni — who was recently promoted to chief creative officer at Lucasfilm — discovered the magic that is David Tennant because his wife was having him watch “Doctor Who.” He loved the Rose and Doctor arc, and once he found out that Tennant was a “Star Wars” fan, the pieces fell into place. He told the site:
” … I thought, ‘Well, this will be a great merging of the fan world if I could get him interested in this.’ I only like to offer those roles if it’s going to be a really good role, and I thought Huyang was going to be a really interesting robot. I was basing him on a lot of old Ralph McQuarrie designs for robots and droids.
“Luckily, we tracked David down, and he was gracious enough to take the role. It was fantastic just getting to talk with him and his enthusiasm for the project, so I just really appreciated it. And you know, he just nailed it. George [Lucas] even really loved the tandem of him and Artoo. I thought that they were a great match.”
That wasn’t the only thing he’s said about Tennant as Huyang. He also spoke about it in a video from The RaeSide published in August 2023, where he praised the actor’s “Doctor Who” work. “There was such a quizzical nature to the character, a sense of whimsy, but he could still get very powerful emotion out of the character, a lot of intensity, a lot of anger,” he said. “It’s just a great display of range. I thought, ‘Man, I’d love to get this guy on ‘Clone Wars’ somehow.'”