Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Star Wars Rant (A Defense of Ahsoka)

I got into an argument with Harold about the Clone Wars TV show and the character of Ahsoka Tano in particular. (She's Anakin's Padawan, for those unfamiliar with the series.) Harold was saying that she's another attempt to appeal to kids and makes no sense in the continuity of the movies since she's never mentioned. Now, Harold's dislike for anything Prequel is old hat with me. He doesn't like the Prequels and I love 'em. Now I won't lie--although I really enjoy the prequels, I think they were sorely missing a brash, Han Solo character and all of the banter between heroes. Clone Wars is a return to all of that, and to the fun adventure of the original trilogy so I thought Harold would like the show too. Well, he does, for the most part. However, he's constantly bashing Ahsoka, and I've had enough.

So I'm here to set the record straight.

As I said, in tone and banter, Clone Wars is a return to the original trilogy--and Ahsoka is a big part of that. The friendly banter is there between Obi-Wan and Anakin, but Ahsoka's hard-headed nature and the way she constantly challenges Anakin is a lot of fun to watch. Plus it's important for Anakin, since he's basically forced to look into a mirror every time she mouths off, since she's so much like him. Also, I think her fate may very well play a part in Anakin's downfall. Last episode already had him going Vader on a prisoner when he knew Ahsoka was in trouble, and Yoda has expressed concern about Anakin being able to let go of Ahsoka from day 1 (The Clone Wars movie).

And just because she's not mentioned in Episode III doesn't make her a flaw in continuity. There are 3 things that I can think of off-hand that would make sense.

1) She died during the Clone Wars (before Episode III). Perhaps she was a Jedi or, hopefully, still Anakin's Padawan, and that led to Anakin doing some awful, un-Jedi things. This would lead to Anakin having to cover up what he did, and thus not wanting to talk about Ahsoka again, or to the Jedi knowing what he did and either turning a blind eye to it or reprimanding Anakin and agreeing never to speak of it again.

2) She's killed during Order 66's execution. Anakin probably wouldn't have time to think about what happened to her during the time frame of Episode III, and that conversation between him and the Emperor would be for another time. If Ahsoka made it to full Jedi Knight before Episode III, she would be on her own missions and Anakin would probably have no idea where she was or what she was doing at the time of Order 66. Maybe a Special Edition of Episode III would contain a clip of her death during the Order 66 montage.

3) What number 2 said, only she survives Order 66 and goes into hiding. If the live-action TV series is gonna fill in between Episodes III and IV and will feature the Empire and bounty hunters hunting down the last of the Jedi, how awesome would it be to have Vader sent out to hunt down Ahsoka? If that were to happen, I'd hope that some of Anakin would shine through and he'd allow her to escape in secret, but I guess it'd be more poignant to have Vader kill his old Padawan. (Or it'd be really cool to have Ahsoka die to save Vader, even after he tried to kill her--maybe have the Emperor electrocute her like Luke in Jedi. That'd be some good food-for-thought for the Dark Lord.)

Either way, these are 3 ways that Ahsoka could easily fit into continuity (and I'm sure other writers could come up with a dozen more), but to say she's a kick in the balls to continuity is a statement that lacks sense or imagination.

That said (and on an unrelated note), Ahsoka's name reminds me of the movie "The Private Eyes" with Don Knotts and Tim Conway. There's a part where Inspector Winship (Knotts) and Dr. Tart (Conway) are interviewing the Japanese cook at a large estate where the owner has been murdered. The cook, in stereotypical Asian speak (and--believe me--being Cambodian, I've heard my share of stereotypical Asian speak), starts out by saying, "Ah, so!" to which Inspector Winship says, "Whatchu call me?" Ahhh! I love that movie!

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