Why Star Wars Fans Didn’t Like Ahsoka Tano At First (& What Changed)

Summary

  • Ahsoka Tano started off as an unpopular character but grew to become one of the most beloved in Star Wars.
  • She evolved and matured throughout The Clone Wars, gaining fan love along the way.
  • Ahsoka’s journey proves that intentional writing and character development can turn initial negativity into overwhelming excitement.

Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan Ahsoka Tano was initially disliked by the fanbase after her debut in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but she’s since become one of Star Wars‘ most popular characters. Ahsoka began her Jedi training viewed as the next Jar Jar Binks, with many viewing her as naive, brash, and generally annoying. However, something changed as the animated series went on – as proven when Ahsoka left the Jedi Order at the end of The Clone Wars season 5.

Originally voiced by Ashley Eckstein, Ahsoka is now played in live-action by Rosario Dawson. The Order 66 survivor has proved to have a surprising longevity, even starring in her own Disney+ TV show – with Ahsoka season 2 recently greenlit. Lucasfilm’s Dave Filoni even has plans to bring her to the big screen.

Related How To Watch Star Wars Movies In Order Here is how to watch all Star Wars movies and TV shows chronologically and in order of release, and how each fits into the Star Wars timeline.

How Ahsoka Tano Grew Up Through The Clone Wars

Ahsoka Tano and Anakin Skywalker in The Clone Wars movie.

Ahsoka Tano was essentially a surprise addition to Star Wars lore when she made her debut in 2008’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie; there hadn’t previously been a hint Anakin Skywalker had a Padawan. The change to canon immediately irritated some viewers, and her often bratty nature and ignorance was generally seen as off-putting by the majority. Many viewers complained that episodes featuring her were less satisfying than others.

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Something changed by The Clone Wars season 3; Ahsoka started growing up. The character began to learn from her failures, gaining more maturity and experience with the addition of more complex narrative arcs. Over time, she became a capable Jedi in her own right, having become a solid reflection of the best parts of Anakin Skywalker (including teachings the Jedi Order didn’t necessarily approve of).

Ahsoka left the Jedi in The Clone Wars season 5, by which time the fan love for Ahsoka was strong. Dave Filoni brought her back in Star Wars Rebels, revealing more about Ahsoka’s Star Wars timeline – and setting her up as a key member of the Rebel Alliance. Her confrontation with Darth Vader was an unforgettable moment, cementing Ahsoka’s position as a firm fan favorite. Lucasfilm eventually stepped back in the timeline to show Ahsoka’s role at the end of the Clone Wars, in The Clone Wars season 7, proving how iconic she had become.

Star Wars Played The Long Game With Ahsoka Tano

Ahsoka fakes her death and drops her lightsaber in The Clone Wars season 7 finale

George Lucas and Clone Wars writer/producer Dave Filoni were playing the long game with Ahsoka. By debuting Ahsoka in her youth with a logically naive personality, they were then able to evolve her character as the series went on, allowing Star Wars fans to see her become who many now see as one of the best characters in the entire franchise. That sort of evolution doesn’t come without some incredibly intentional and dynamic writing, despite the poor reception she had right at the very beginning, culminating in her epic live-action debut in The Mandalorian season 2.

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It’s an incredible journey for a character who likewise became incredible, though it’s one that Lucasfilm could have easily abandoned or diminished due to Ahsoka’s initially poor reception. Now, Ahsoka Tano has succcessfully made the transition to live-action, and viewers couldn’t be more excited. It’s amazing how far she’s come since that first chapter of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

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