Thursday, December 03, 2020

Who's Ahsoka Tano?

Last week was her much lauded live action debut on The Mandalorian but maybe there's a few of you who never or barely heard of her. Maybe you don't like cgi cartoons. Well, if you're going to watch one, Clone Wars is certainly among the best. And there's a reason why Ahsoka Tano gets so much love. Created by George Lucas, who wanted a character that reflected his experience raising his daughters, Ahsoka's character was developed extensively over the series' seven season run by a variety of talented writers--including Katie Lucas, one of George's daughters.

Like most good shows, a few episodes are duds but, on the whole, I recommend it. But for those of you who just want to get to know Ahsoka, I've compiled a list of episodes that will give you the crash course.

"Cloak of Darkness" Season One, Episode Nine
Written by Paul Dini

Although she was introduced in the Clone Wars movie, this was Ahsoka's first interesting episode. Written by Harley Quinn creator Paul Dini, it also features a very nice lightsaber fight.

"Jedi Crash" Season One, Episode Thirteen
Written by Katie Lucas

The first episode to be written by George's daughter, this one finds Ahsoka bonding with the famous Twi'Lek Jedi, Aayla Secura.

"Storm Over Ryloth" Season One, Episode Nineteen
Written by George Krstic, Scott Murphy, and Henry Gilroy

One of the nice things about Ahsoka's character is that, like a real young person, she makes mistakes. And a mistake in war can have terrible consequences.

"Lightsaber Lost" Season Two, Episode Eleven
Written by Drew Z. Greenberg

This is another great example of Ahsoka having to learn lessons the hard way. Written by Buffy the Vampire Slayer writer Drew Z. Greenburg, this homage to Kurosawa's Stray Dog (my favourite summer movie) finds Ahsoka in the Toshiro Mifune role--a rookie desperately trying to track down her lightsaber, stolen by a pickpocket.

"Sphere of Influence" Season Three, Episode Four
Written by Katie Lucas and Steven Melching

Ahsoka learns lessons about politics, too, and this one has some nice, tense scenes of subterfuge.

"Assassin" Season Three, Episode Seven
Written by Katie Lucas

A decent episode where Ahsoka plays bodyguard to Padme.

"Heroes on Both Sides" Season Three, Episode Ten
Written by Daniel Arkin

One of the best episodes of the entire series, this one ages up Ahsoka a bit and gives her a teenage love interest. But the great thing about this episode is the nuance it gives to the conflict between the Republic and the Separatists. Ahsoka begins the episode thinking all Separatists are evil but by the end she sees that life just isn't that simple.

"A War on Two Fronts", "Front Runners", "The Soft War", "Tipping Points" Season Five, Episodes Two through Five
Written by Chris Collins

This one has complicated politics and nice action sequences. You might expect no less from the story that introduces Saw Gerrera.

"Sabotage", "The Jedi Who Knew Too Much", "To Catch a Jedi", "The Wrong Jedi" Season Five, Episodes Seventeen through Twenty
Written by Charles Murray

The Alfred Hitchcock references in these titles should give you the right impression. Ahsoka finds herself at the centre of sinister intrigue that works as a nice prelude to Revenge of the Sith.

The final season of Clone Wars aired only recently and features some exciting action sequences and visuals. Mostly written by Dave Filoni, it falls well short of the best episodes of the series but you might want to watch it if you want to see how things finally turn out for Ahsoka.

Clone Wars is available on Disney+.

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