When it was announced that Anakin Skywalker would have a Padawan, most people found the idea to be ridiculous. To me, it was a stroke of genius. It gave Anakin another relationship to latch onto and an added layer of emotional depth that rounded out his character, but Ahsoka Tano became more than that. We became invested in her journey, and though it took time, Ahsoka won the hearts of fans everywhere.
In 2008, I had just graduated from Cornell University, where I had earned a bachelor’s degree in archaeology. Needless to say, I had a tough time finding work, so I kept to myself at home to save up on expenses. Taking a break from job searching, I remember stumbling upon news online about a new Star Wars movie, and by chance, I caught the trailer on television one random day. I fangirled and yelled out to my brother, “Anakin has a Padawan!” Without hesitation, I made note of the day of its release because I wanted to find out more about this new character. I went to the movie theater alone because nobody else I knew had expressed interest, but it didn’t matter because I was going to watch a new Star Wars movie! And it was everything I wanted.
Ahsoka was someone with who I easily connected because she was striving to prove herself in a universe that was bigger than her. She didn’t back down from a challenge and confidently made her thoughts known when no one had asked for her opinion. Even in her early days, when many found her qualities to be annoying, I found that I wanted to be Ahsoka, and my adoration and respect for her only grew stronger over time.
Ahsoka continues to be an inspiration for me, so when she appeared in Star Wars Rebels, I just remember feeling pure and utter joy.
With that joy, however, came some trepidation.
When Dave Filoni and Ashley Eckstein attended the fan-made event #AhsokaLives Day at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, Dave made the crowd laugh when he said, “Pressure, pressure,” in response to the fans yelling out Ahsoka Lives. It still makes me laugh when I think about it, but he was right. There is a lot of pressure about how this character will be handled now that she has re-entered the stage.
I don’t know what Dave Filoni and the crew have planned for Ahsoka and what her ultimate fate will be as the Star Wars Rebels series continues. I just know that whatever happens to her, she will continue to be a source of inspiration for me and many other fans who grew up with her. Because of Ahsoka, I learned to never give up hope, no matter how dark things seem.
Read more about Dave and Ashley’s discussion regarding Ahsoka over at USA Today.