January 30, 2017 Leave a comment
Apparently, yesterday, January 29th, was Ahsoka Tano day as celebrated on Twitter (#AhsokaTanoDay). Nine years ago yesterday, in 2008, the cartoon movie Star Wars The Clone Wars debuted in theaters, and with it was the first appearance of Anakin Skywalker’s padawan, Ahsoka Tano.
My children were young when Star Wars: The Clone Wars the movie was in theaters, so we waited to see it when it was on DVD. They immediately loved it. They were instantly huge fans of Anakin, Ahsoka and Jabba the Hut’s baby son, Rotta (whom Ahsoka called “Stinky”). We watched it over and over, and they watched it even more in the car on our drive to/from school.
I didn’t read much social media back then, and didn’t really pay attention to whether other Star Wars fans liked the new movie or the new characters. All I did know is that I was a fan, of all of them. Most of all, I loved Ahsoka. She was spunky and smart. She was a bit bratty but brave, and there was something about her. Something that said she had a journey to take and some life lessons to learn. The dynamic between her and Anakin did for that character what the live action Anakin and Padme were never able to do – it humanized him and made us realize how much was lost when he turned to the dark side.
It was only much after Clone Wars cartoon series was well in to its third season that I realized that some of the fans found Ahsoka less than wonderful during that first movie. They compared her to Jar Jar in their pantheon of hated Star Wars characters. I will break here in my Ahsoka narrative to say that I have no hatred for Jar Jar. I actually quite liked him and The Phantom Menace. That was the first of the Star Wars films that my children asked to repeat view. It was probably their favorite followed by Return of the Jedi and the Ewoks. Say what you will about the childish nature of those characters, but that was exactly the audience George Lucas was going for when he introduced them.
I watched only one season of Star Wars:The Clone Wars the TV series when it was originally broadcast. I had been watching it with my children, and some of the action was a bit too heavy for them. The loss of the Clones was often too upsetting for them and they found the Night Sisters really creepy, so we stopped watching as a family. I have since watched the series in it’s entirety on Netflix, and absolutely loved the arc they gave Ahsoka. My children are starting to watch it now that they are older, and they agree that Ahsoka and Captain Rex are their two favorite characters. They are easily mine as well.
In honor of Ahsoka Tano day, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to George Lucas, David Filoni and Ashley Eckstein for bringing me Ahsoka, in all of her layered brilliance. I never thought I’d love a Star Wars character the way I love Luke, Han and Leia. Ahsoka proved me wrong. I can’t imagine the Star Wars universe without her.
…and I hope I never have to…do you hear that Mr. Filoni. 🙂