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The Ahsoka Tano Phenomenon

Fandoms are some of the most passionate groups of people on the internet today, and no fandom is quite as powerful as Star Wars. 


The fans of this multimillion-dollar franchise range from young kids to the elderly, as the movies have spanned generations with no signs of stopping.


In 2008, an animated series that took place during the second and third movies of the Star Wars prequels premiered with a feature-length film. Star Wars: The Clone Wars introduced a brand new character who would soon be integral to the plot of the Skywalker Saga. This character was none other than Ahsoka Tano, a 14-year-old Jedi padawan who served as an interesting foil to her master, protagonist Anakin Skywalker.


The movie was met with mixed opinions of Tano herself, many fans believing she was “too whiny and bratty” to ever be considered a real Jedi.


However, when the series came to a close with its 7th season in May 2020, nearly every Star Wars fan admired Ahsoka for her skills and strong set of morals.


So, how did a fandom go from hating a character to loving her?


Well, the answer lies in one man: the creator of the Clone Wars series, Dave Filoni.


Filoni said himself that the intentions were to make her bratty and impulsive at the beginning in order to make her growth that much more fascinating.


In the first few episodes of the series, Ahsoka finds herself struggling to lead a battalion of clones and makes rash decisions that end up being at the cost of some of those men’s lives. After learning to have patience and collaborate with the men she’s leading, her missions end up more successful.


And it’s clear that she takes these lessons to heart, as by the end of the series, the clones are willing to follow her every order, knowing she will make the right decision. Though Tano ends up leaving the Jedi order due to being framed for a murder she didn’t commit, she decides to help the clones one last time in the final season, despite not being considered an actual Jedi.


Ahsoka does what she believes is the right thing to do despite her titles (or lack thereof). Though she is no longer a “Jedi”, she still helps wherever she can, and that is what a true Jedi does. 


And fans love her for it. 


Many people believe that she was the best part of the series finale, and her appearance in the second season of The Mandalorian was widely celebrated. Because of this recent approval of this character, Ahsoka is even slated to have her own show within the coming years!


Personally, I love Ahsoka because she was the first female Jedi who had an important role in the Star Wars story. She was witty and fun, and even though she made mistakes, she was able to learn from them and grow as a person because of it. Plus, her character was the only reason I would watch the Clone Wars series with my brother as a kid. I loved seeing her work so well with Anakin and the rest of the cast, it inspired me to watch the rest of the movies and inspired my love for Star Wars to this day.


So thank you to Dave Filoni, who was able to create a character that gave me and so many other girls a great role model to look up to.


And watch The Clone Wars if you get a chance! It’s definitely worth it to see all these amazing characters in action.

Hannah Hodgdon is a third-year Illustration major at Rochester Institute of Technology and the vice president of HerCampus RIT. She enjoys art, baking, and writing. In her free time, Hannah can be found drawing or watching YouTube.
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