Did Dave Filoni realize his vision?
One of the more interesting additions Dave Filoni made to Star Wars canon was the inclusion of a new character and padawan for Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen/Matt Lanter). Though she never showed up in the Prequel Trilogy, fans were made aware that Skywalker (Lanter) had a Togruta apprentice named Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein). Though fans were aware from the get-go of the Master/Apprentice dynamic, voice actress Ashley Eckstein has shed some new light on the duo.
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Introduced in the rough Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) animated film, the character was initially unpopular. More than anything, fans found her in both the film and early seasons of Star Wars: The Clone Wars series to be annoying and underdeveloped, an unnecessary addition to the canon. As time went on, and the character was more fleshed out and better developed, fans grew to not only abide her but really enjoy the character!
Ahsoka (Eckstein) became such a key part of the mythos, and such a cherished character, that eventually, she was brought to live-action. Despite some pushback over casting, fans were thrilled to see Ahsoka Tano in live-action brought to life by Rosario Dawson. The new Ahsoka (Dawson) was very in line with the later animated depictions, serious and somber, with an underlying sadness about everything she had lost during the Prequel Era and immediately following.
Fans now have a greater insight into the relationship between Ahsoka (Eckstein) and Anakin (Lanter) during the clone wars, thanks to recent comments from Ashley Eckstein. In the comments covered by The Direct, Eckstein revealed what director Dave Filoni told her about both her character, as well as Anakin (Lanter) and their real relationship:
“Dave [Filoni] had hammered in my head, ‘Well the fans are gonna want something to be between Anakin and Ahsoka, but there’s nothing there. It’s like [a] brother and sister relationship.’”
Fortunately, this is something that came across very clearly in the Clone Wars series, despite Filoni being correct that fans wanted there to be more between the two. In addition to their age difference, Anakin (Lanter) was already married to Padme (Catherine Taber), a relationship he was trying to keep secret from Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor) and the Jedi Council, and entire Jedi Order, of which Tano (Eckstein) was a part! By all accounts, it simply wouldn’t have worked.
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The brother/sister relationship, which was portrayed in The Clone Wars, also adds nicely to Ahsoka’s (Eckstein/Dawson) character development in the later seasons, as well as her live-action portrayal. Though it wasn’t a romantic love, there was a familial love that Ahsoka (Dawson) felt for Anakin (Christensen), which makes his fall to the dark side and becoming Darth Vader all the more difficult for her in later years. It will be interesting for fans to see how that relationship informs the character in her own solo series, Ahsoka on Disney+, which has confirmed an appearance by Hayden Christensen in the first season, reprising his role as Anakin.
What do you think about Eckstein/Filoni’s comments? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments below!