I dedicate this article to Ilona Molnar,
Hungarian voice of Ashoka Tano.
Ahsoka Tano is a brand new character in the Star Wars Universe. She is a main character in
Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which depicts her adventures with Anakin Skywalker. She was first seen in the Clone Wars animated cartoon in the movies, which was the pilot episode of the new great TV series, which was already broadcasted in the US, and the Clone Wars second season is again going to be aired earlier in the States then in our country, but hopefully we will also see it soon.
The origin of the name Ahsoka
When I first heard there will be a new character in the Clone Wars called Ashoka I searched for the name at the Internet.
didn't have a clue how to write it, so I wrote Ashoka. For my biggest surprise almost all found articles mentioned an Indian emperor, called Asoka, or Ashoka. I found it interesting. They say in the reign of Asoka (273-232 B.C.), this great Indian Emperor made Buddhism the state religion nearly all India and also engraved on rocks and pillars a long series of his edicts. So it became clear again, as so often, that George Lucas's dream factory uses a real historical, sacral, or
mythological facts or names to create Star Wars characters. But keep in mind, the correct name is Ahsoka Tano, not Ashoka, or Asoka, but since the readers often search for this weird names, I must use them
occasionally too, so that these fans also could find their favourite.
Conception of Ahsoka
Lucas told that the character of Ahsoka was developed for the series to illustrate how Anakin Skywalker changed from the brash, undisciplined Padawan in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones to the more reserved Jedi Knight in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Giving Anakin his own Padawan would place his character into a paternal role where he would be forced to become more cautious. It would also give Anakin new insight into his relationship with his own mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi and explain how their relationship matured. Lucas stated that having raised two daughters, he "knew something about the subject", and decided to make Anakin's Padawan a young female.
Past of Ahsoka Tano
Ahsoka was discovered by Plo Koon.
She graduated to Padawan at an early age. Master Yoda and Master Kenobi wanted to teach her new Master Anakin a greater sense of responsibility, but it was also necessary because of the Clone Wars as new Jedi knights, Padawans, and masters were needed. The Jedi were relied on changing Anakin, like the parents rely on changing their slipshod child giving him a pet animal which the child must feed, look after, clean, etc. It can change the child, teaching him to care for the animal, to be responsible for it, and hopefully the child soon starts to clean up his room too, not only the pet's place. However a pet animal and a child are totally different. Especially that Ahsoka is quite problematic.
It is weird, how could a so stubborn, sassy, ill-bred student from the authoritarian Jedi Order. Anakin were over-aged, and had a hard childhood, but Ahsoka were raised as a Jedi student from a very early age, and despite she is quite a problem child, a doomed personality. Regardless the reason for her advancement Ahsoka remained eager, stubborn, and contrary, to prove herself worthy of her Padawan status. The Jedi planned Ahsoka will change Anakin, teaching him for care, showing him a mirror, to study his past, his mistakes, and learn from those, but I fear Ahsoka will be changed under the passionate, impulsive, excentric Anakin Skywalker. For example in the second chapter of the series Anakin sets an example for Ahsoka disobeying the order of the Jedi, for a noble aim,
searching and rescuing a survivor, but anyway, he does the opposite he was ordered to do. In my opinion a wiser, stricter, more authoritarian teacher would be a better choice for her. We don't know her fate yet, but I afraid there will be an other lost Jedi.
Addidional informations on
Ahsoka is a fourteen years old Togruta female. (She is of the same species as this dedicated Shaak Ti figure illustrates. This was autographed by Orli Shoshan, many thanks for my US friend for his help, I am very happy with this item.) Ahsoka first appears in the movie as a messenger sent by Yoda to Anakin and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Anakin initially believes that Ahsoka is to be Obi-Wan's new Padawan, but Ahsoka insists that she has been assigned to Anakin himself. However first he protested to be her master by the end of the film after the initial conflicts the two similar minded get closer each other, and they get thick as thieves in some matters. Ahsoka is very initiative, often decides very quickly, without thinking too much, and she often forces her master to follow her plans and ideas. Also, she is saucy,
talks back to Anakin. Anakin called her Snips. Of course Ahsoka well before started to call Anakin Sky Guy which is an adage by now. Ahsoka Tano tends to address other individuals by nicknames, she
labelled the infant pollywog like Rotta the Huttlet Stinky, and R2-D2 is referred to as Artooey, and Goldie for an other astromech droid. It is interesting that Ahsoka uses a reversed saber grip behind her torso while in combat, which is similar to some Far Eastern martial arts. Anakin will attempt to break her of this habit in the series and to teach her to use an other lightsaber form with a standard grip in front of her body.
Characteristics of Ahsoka Tano
Ahsoka is a short and thinnish girl. Her
opponents are often much more stronger, so she hasn't got to much chance of success against
General Grievous, or
Asajj Ventress one on one. But the Togruta little girl is very fast, and
skilful with the dexterity of a cat. General Grievous is as strong as an ox, sometimes almost puns
Ahsoka into the ground, but she always effective against him, because she jumps, leans, moves away from him all the time. Her repertoire contains wall-run,
somersaulting, and all kinds of acrobatic moves, which are always executed with great motion coordination, thanks for Ahsoka Tano's
superb reflexes. Even the
Vulture droids cannot follow the fast movement of the girlie. And despite all of this Ahsoka would get in trouble, she can retreat very quickly, and can hide into very small places, as she is very small, and the larger opponents wouldn't be able to follow her. She is very similar to Newt, known from Alien 2 movie, who found a safe place in one of the
ventilation shafts, where the large and strong Alien warriors couldn't follow her, so she became the last survivor of the planet LV-426. Once Ahsoka had to hid into a similar vent, so to escape the raging general Grievous, who angrily sabered the bottom of the shaft, but luckily Ahsoka remained unhurt, and managed to flee, and she will probably overmaneuver the Separatist general many other times in the future, too.
The connection between Ahsoka Tano and Anakin Skywalker
The seemingly headstrong, usually back-talk young girl however loves Anakin at the same time. When Anakin was sad because R2-D2 got lost,
Ahsoka was very cute when she tried to gladden her master, and presented the gold droid for the gold leader of the gold
squadron. And they got closer and closer during their adventures, and shook together. Since Ahsoka is a young girl after all, her character is developing and shaping, so her acts and thoughts mirror Anakin's acts and thoughts in some aspects. For instance Ahsoka
does not stand if her troopers or pilots die because of her, she is mentally worn out after each and every lost lives, she
doesn't want to live anybody behind, and if needed, she would give her life for others - just like Anakin. For example when
captain Rex was unconscious, Ahsoka performed a giant leap in front of general Grievous to protect the helpless clone commander, deflecting the powerful strike which was intended to finish off the unconscious opponent of General Grievous without mercy. Rex and Ahsoka became pretty good friends, Rex calls her
Kid, and relies on her perfectly, like Ahsoka would also give her life for his clone friend. Anakin likes captain Rex, too, so this is a quite strong emotional
triangle between the three. The other important thing is that just like Anakin, Ahsoka is ready to accept criticism based upon goodwill, however neither of them likes intrigue and superior "do as I say" instructions. They both tend to subtract themselves from the effect of these orders and instructions and do their task or accomplish their mission according to their own "certain point of view". Since they both are of the same attitude of mind, but Anakin is the Master, sometimes they get confronted with each other, because
Ahsoka asks back or talks back occasionally, and his master must realise that she made her decision on her own based on her best knowledge. However, with this she gives the reflection of Anakin, who did the same when being a Padawan and he still does several times. So Ahsoka really has the right to ask why she must do certain things Anakin does not do, and if Anakin can do something why cannot she. "Learn your place my young padawan" and "Do as I say" are not answers to this! Interestingly at present Anakin must face those sort of things as a master that he also did when being a Padawan, and he must realise, that one day everybody has to grow up, and being a wiser adult one will have difficulties getting back everything from the younger generation, the same he had done when he was immature. Ahsoka longs for Anakin's respect and praise, but she does not get any many times from her master even when she would deserve it. It is interesting that Anakin was in the same shoes when he was a youngling, getting only razz from Obi-wan Kenobi in many cases. So they are both hungry for success and appreciation, this has an influence on their performance and induces a continuous urge of proving in them. Although there is a time for education and there is a time for words of praise. Why cant a master say thank you, if his/her Padawan saves his/her life? Why they can't give full mark for somebody who has done a great work? Why did
Obi-wan Kenobi and Anakin tell that the cave wasn't come down on them, there weren't any Gundarks, and the poisonous gas was just fine for both of them? Why couldn't they just say, you came just in time Ahsoka, you saved our lives, thank you?! Maybe this kind of superiority, this sort of "blindness" was the reason (inter alia) of the fall of the Jedi Order, Master Yoda once spoke of it, mentioning that the Jedi became k blindfolded by their own power, and because of their belief of their infallibility. Luminara Unduli finally has realized this after she confronted Ventress alone and
didn't listen to Ahsoka, Master Yoda also tried to be shy and to learn always, but unfortunately for most of the Jedi this awakening hasn't been given before they were killed.
Strong points of Ahsoka
Ahsoka Tano is a great pilot. We often see her in the cockpit of the Twilight, she pilots that B-wing like ship very routinish by now. But when she had to bring their transport ship out from a large Sun's gravitation, after they got too close to it with lightspeed, that was not a routine work. Even though that ship damaged, and crash landed on the Nurman world, Ahsoka saved those lives who she were
responsible for, and did a great job in the cockpit, which was admitted by Aayla Secura Jedi master, too. Later on
Ahsoka Tano finally got her own, modified Starfighter, and she led her first fighter squadron in the space battle above Ryloth, so we can declare that Ahsoka Tano is a good pilot.
For his age, her Force Powers are pretty good, too. She is very good at Force Push, once she Force Pushed Asajj Ventress so powerful, that the Sith lady flew into a pipe, but we must admit the Sith woman was in the air at that moment, because she wanted to jump on Luminara. Ahsoka is also good at Force Pull, she pulled back her lost lightsaber several times, and
Ahsoka was able to pull down walls with Force Pull, once she saved Anakin's life with that! So she can use mostly these Padawan powers, and she is even developing in those. She needs 2-3 Force Jumps to get there, where an old, strong master (f.e. Luminara Unduli) can jump up with a single Jump, but from a young girlie that is not bad at all. Her kinetic Force Powers are not so strong yet, but once she was very
skilful when she hovered a bunker detonating bomb above the entrance hatch of Dr. Vindi's secret underground laboratory while the droid periscopes were always looking what was happening out on the surface of the Naboo swamp, so to
sum, Ahsoka is a stronger, and a more skilled Jedi Padawan than her contemporary.
Ahsoka Tano is voiced by Ashley Eckstein in the US, and by Ilona Molnar in Hungary. I met with Ilona Molnar in person, and I dedicate this article for her as a memory of that friendly conversation. I wish many more success for the actors and actresses who are working in the Clone Wars animated cartoon series, we hope their work will bring the world of Clone Wars closer to all of us. We hope the series will be popular. (It seems already popular, the new character Ahsoka for example so popular, that there is a LEGO Ahsoka, and there is an Ahsoka maquette with Stinky in her backpack, there is an Ahsoka figure in her everyday outfit and in that suit she wore in Naboo when trying to stop Dr Vindi's Blue Shadow virus, there are plastic Ahsoka gifts in the chocolate eggs that you can hang on your cell phone, there are Ahsoka Blix and Ahsoka stickers in the chips, and if you search the Internet for Ahsoka, you'll find many fans in
costume, dressed as Ahsoka.
for visiting the site CustomStarWars. Come back ASAP,
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written by: Norbert Rostas