Friday 19 January 2018

Ahsoka Tano: this is going to hurt, isn't it?

One of the best ideas that The Clone Wars has, by far, is Ahsoka Tano. Giving Anakin a padawan of his very own does a lot for the characters. In the prequels I never felt like Anakin was ever a Jedi Knight. In Episode I he's a child, in Episode II he's Obi-Wan's padawan and then, in Episode III when he's meant to be a fully qualified knight and general, he's still basically Obi-Wan's sidekick.

Watching this series I finally have a feel for Anakin Skywalker the legendary general, the great Jedi, the man whose friendship Old Ben Kenobi still goes misty eyed thinking about in Episode IV. I've seen him fly with Shadow Squadron and Gold Squadron, displaying the prowess he was supposedly famous for but got to demonstrate only rarely in the films.

And I'm getting to see him with his student, a young woman he calls Snips and who calls him Skyguy. I've seen her light up when he praises her and get frustrated when he tells her off. The very first episode they appear in together he tells her off for mouthing off at Mace Windu and Palpatine and then, a couple of scenes later, gives her a very different lesson in how to disobey orders only once your superiors are no longer looking.

For her part, Ahsoka is very much Anakin's student by which I mean she every bit of the flare for the over-dramatic that he does, not to mention a lot of repressed anger and an insubordinate streak a mile wide. I adore her.

And that's why ehat Anakin is going to do one day will hurt more.

Before I knew about Ahsoka I could see where Anakin was coming from betraying the Jedi: their rules cost him his mother, forced him to marry in secret and (as far as he knows) the restraint of the Light Side will cost him the life of his wife and children. Furthermore, they have repeatedly lied to him, refused to trust him, and been unduly harsh on him because of his supposed destiny as the Chosen One (which I'm not even sure he knows about). He was inducted as a child into an order supposedly dedicated to justice that nonetheless refuses to quash the slavery he was brought up in (and that he dreamt as a child of destroying).

The fact that he was sometimes a bit fond of Obi-Wan just didn't cut it in the tragic stakes.

Now Anakin's decision means betraying Ahsoka. He obviously cares for her and tries very hard not to repeat the mistakes Obi-Wan made with him. He values her input and makes an effort to let her know this. She clearly operates on a longer leash than Obi-Wan allowed Anakin and is more in touch with her emotions than he was at that relative age.

I have over five and a half seasons of this brilliant, doomed dynamic ahead of me.

This is really going to hurt. Well done, Lucasfilm!

No comments: