Megan shares her appreciation for The Clone Wars movie incarnation of Ahsoka Tano
Ahsoka, Ahsoka, Ahsoka. For those lucky few in the United States and around the world able to access the new Disney+ streaming service, her return in the final season of Star Wars The Clone Wars, beginning on this day, February 21st is one of great anticipation. With the return of her character in just a few episodes down the line, the question is, how did she get to this level? As many Clone Wars fans understand far too well, she certainly did not begin that way. In order to understand why, we must travel back to the year 2008 when we were first introduced to her in Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie, originally released in theaters. While the movie was panned by critics, it was a commercial success. Well, for the most part.
By this point, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith had already come out and there was no sight or mention of Ahsoka Tano. Being Anakin Skywalker‘s padawan (or apprentice) throughout much of the show, it was logical to believe that being as close to him as she was, she should have shown up in Episodes II and III in some form. Being as she didn’t, many Star Wars fans couldn’t help but wonder what her point was if she didn’t affect the prequel movies or larger Star Wars story overall? According to said movies, aka the main canon (determiner true Star Wars history), Anakin Skywalker did not have a padawan at any point in time. It simply wasn’t part of his story and didn’t make sense with his general character arc. Little did viewers know then just how important her character would become to the larger Star Wars universe.
For many fans of the show, it’s now difficult if not impossible to imagine Clone Wars without her in it. Chances are, fans would not have come to love her as much as they have if not for how snippy, sarcastic and brash she began.
In the beginning, she not only had to overcome being Anakin Skywalker‘s Jedi Apprentice but also being seen as snippy, sarcastic and brash, aka the perfect recipe for a generally unlikeable character. The word ‘generally’ is used here as simply because so many dislike her in the movie doesn’t mean there can’t be those who enjoy her in it. Look at any child around her age and it’s fairly easy to see that she is an accurate depiction of someone her age (roughly 12-14 years). At this stage in life, (pre)teens are finally old enough to begin making their own decisions, but not yet emotionally mature enough to completely be on their own. There are still plenty of lessons to be learned (like emotional and physical self-control for instance) before essentially being released into the chaos and insanity that is the real world.
More to the point, she wouldn’t have had as much room to grow and mature as a character if she hadn’t started in the way she had. It can be argued that if she hadn’t begun as cocky and annoying as she had, she might not have nearly as much fan support today as she does. The amount she went through in her young life following this movie as seen in the animated series, is beyond incredible. As many heroes’ stories go, the lower the low, the higher the high. In this case, her low is how she began in the movie.
Looking back now, if Dave Filoni hadn’t believed in her character as much as he had, chances are, she would have gone the way of Jar Jar Binks in the prequels, getting smaller and smaller parts before being written out entirely for non-plot related reasons. To fans of her now, can you imagine not just this series, but also the subsequent show Rebels without her in it? Recall how excited were you to have even a hint of her being in this follow up show. Enough to run her modulated voice through various programs in order to decrypt it before the show eventually revealed her presence. When looking at it as a whole, it seems pretty safe to say that she more than Padmé (as beloved as she is in the show), changed the landscape of female heroines in the animated then larger Star Wars universe. By acting like a real (pre) teen girl, she gave them someone real to look up to.
When looking at the character of Ahsoka Tano in The Clone Wars theatrical movie released back in 2008, one’s opinion of her comes down to what they want out of her. Do they want a realistic depiction of a young girl thrown into the middle of a war or someone who’s already larger than life with less room to grow over the course of the series?
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Megan Rickards is a prolific Staff Writer for Future of the Force. Aside from being extremely passionate about Star Wars, Batman: The Animated Series and the Arrowverse, Megan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature and Writing. Follow her on Twitter @FindingHerSpot where she channels the Force frequently!