Vanity Fair spoke with the masterminds behind Ahsoka Tano about her journey through The Clone Wars. Tano was created by Dave Filoni specifically for The Clone Wars, but she has become so much more.
“Ahsoka was one of the first characters that I ever drew when I was working here at Lucasfilm. I have a little sketch of her, and she’s come so far,” Filoni told Vanity Fair.
According to Ashley Eckstein, she was always going to be an alien. “Ahsoka being a Togruta, Ahsoka having orange skin, Ahsoka having the blue and white head tails. She has always been an alien, at least from when I was cast and entered the scene.”
This may not seem important, but until The Clone Wars came on the scene, no alien had ever had such a prominent role in the Star Wars universe.
George Lucas actually named Ahsoka.
According to Filoni, “We called her Ashla in the beginning…I think it was the name given to one of the [young Jedis Yoda was training] in Attack of the Clones. There was a little Togruta girl. We kicked around the idea that maybe that was Ahsoka but then we thought the age didn’t really work out for it to be the same character. She was too young in the film.”
In E.K. Johnston’s Ahsoka novel, Ashla is the fake name she gives to strangers when she goes incognito. Johnston weighed in on her importance to the universe as well.
“When I think about Ahsoka and The Clone Wars, it is this really deep and thoughtful show, but it’s so highly accessible. And Ahsoka really makes it something that kids can watch for fun and then be like, Wait…is war-profiteering tearing the world apart?”
Eckstein reflects on just how impactful Ahsoka is to women in the fandom. “I mean, it was groundbreaking to have Ahsoka Tano. It’s so easy to forget, because now we live in a time where we have Rey. The lead of the last three Star Wars films in the Skywalker saga, was a girl…But at the time, that was not the case.”
George Lucas dreamed up the idea of Anakin having a padawan. According to Filoni, his thought process was, “People don’t expect that and it will add a way to give him somebody to teach, and it creates a great dynamic between him and Obi-Wan and her.”
“That’s why George is George,” Filoni says. “He just perceives things and trusts his instincts and goes for it and ends up creating a character that now is beloved.”
You can check out the full interview on Vanity Fair’s website!