Ahsoka Tano has become my favorite character in the Star Wars universe. First introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, she is a rich, realized character who has taken control and held onto her agency again and again over the years. She’s one of few characters in Star Wars we’ve watched grow from an impetuous kid to an adult with wisdom beyond her years. What we’ve seen and read of Ahsoka’s story so far has been by turns fun, enlightening, and emotional… but I want more and I’m not alone.
Marvel Comics wrapped their panel at Star Wars Celebration with an informal audience poll. As far as I could tell, the questions about what sort of stories fans want to see in future comics were more for fun and less for serious market research. But when Ahsoka Tano came up, she received deafening applause. When it came to a question of Ahsoka vs. any other comic, the Ahsoka supporters won, hands-down.
— Amy Ratcliffe (@amy_geek) April 15, 2017
The Ahsoka love was evident throughout the recent convention with a massive turnout for the Ahsoka Lives Day photo (even if Dave Filoni was in the picture shrugging his shoulders, as if to say, “Ahsoka Lives?”) and thunderous clapping for the character whenever she appeared in a sizzle reel or video clip.
Obviously, just because fans adore and support a character isn’t a strong enough reason to keep telling stories with said character. However, the fact that Marvel Comics artist Phil Noto can churn out a “quick iPad sketch” of Ahsoka is definitely enough reason to bring her into a comic stat:
Quick iPad sketch before I get on the plane. Folks REALLY seem to like her, apparently 🙂 pic.twitter.com/cjDMhXjxpE
— Phil Noto (@philnoto) April 17, 2017
No, Ahsoka deserves her own comic because we still have interesting pockets of her life to explore. If you look at the stars of Star Wars comics miniseries so far—Leia, Lando, Chewbacca, Han Solo, Kanan—it’s true Ahsoka’s had as much or more screen time than all of them. With five seasons of The Clone Wars and her time in Star Wars Rebels, we’ve had hours with the character. Fans aren’t tired of her despite all those hours, and their enthusiasm speaks volumes.
We saw many of her adventures in the years between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith in The Clone Wars and followed along during some of her time running from the Empire after Order 66 in the novel Ahsoka. Star Wars Rebels has shown us a little of Ahsoka’s work with the burgeoning Rebellion and her possible end after encountering Darth Vader. Does the timeline leave a million gaps for storytelling? No, but it leaves some.
One of the great joys of comics is that a five-issue miniseries doesn’t need to cover a huge swath of time. It could focus on a single mission. There are still unproduced Clone Wars scripts to pull from, and we know Ahsoka kept in touch with Anakin at least through the early part of Revenge of the Sith. She worked with Captain Rex during that time to siege Mandalore and stop Darth Maul and Death Watch. What I would give to see the battle play out. We could also drop into Ahsoka’s early days as Fulcrum.
Then there’s the representation aspect. Marvel’s Star Wars comics have had female lead characters, but of all their miniseries and ongoing series, Princess Leia, Doctor Aphra, and the upcoming Captain Phasma are the only ones featuring female character names in the title (to be honest, Marvel hasn’t been doing so hot with the number of female creators behind the scenes of Star Wars comics either). Since Disney and Lucasfilm have been making a push for more representation and inclusivity on screen, it seems silly for the comics to not do the same.
It doesn’t need to and shouldn’t be about ticking off boxes to make things equal, but the Star Wars galaxy doesn’t lack for female characters to take the spotlight: Ahsoka, Padmé, Padmé’s handmaidens (think about what their training must be like!), Zam Wesell, Asajj Ventress, Mon Mothma—the list goes on.
If we got a comic starring Ahsoka Tano, what would you want to see? More Clone Wars era stories? Something else? Head to the comments and tell me what you want to read.
What does Luke’s “end” mean for The Last Jedi?