Young Padawan

Star Wars fans were excited to learn today that a new animated film based on the the Star Wars Universe will be released this August:

Star Wars: The Clone Wars makes its theatrical debut as an all-new, computer-generated feature film in August 2008, followed by a television series in the fall.

The new adventures in a galaxy far, far away apparently take place between the second and third Star Wars prequel films, similar to the Clone War series of the same name that ran between 2003 and 2005. Returning characters include Anakin Skywalker – who later becomes Darth Vader – along with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Padme Amidala. New heroes also join to battle familiar villains from the Star Wars prequels, such as Darth Sidious, Count Dooku, and General Grievous.

“I felt there were a lot more Star Wars stories left to tell,” said George Lucas, Star Wars creator and executive producer of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. “I was eager to start telling some of them through animation and, at the same time, push the art of animation forward…” [Link]

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p>One of the major points covered in the press release is that a new female Jedi character will be introduced. She will serve as Anakin’s padawan (the way Anakin was Obi-wan’s padawan). The name of this young Jedi (who will of course eventually be hunted down and killed by Vader) is Ahsoka Tano:

… among the familiar characters like Obi-Wan, Anakin and Yoda is a mysterious new Padawan named Ahsoka Tano.

This young Togruta is eager to prove herself as a worthy Padawan to her bold Master, Anakin Skywalker. Able to wield a lightsaber and pilot a spacecraft with great talent, Ahsoka promises to become a worthy Jedi. [Link]

Tano joins a long list of other sci-fi desi characters. Mysterious is right though, because I can’t find much of a backstory on her yet. The name Ahsoka makes it seem like she is Indian (dot not feather) but the name Tano makes it seem like she is Indian (feather not dot). Or maybe, since this all happened a long long time ago, and in a considerably far off galaxy, ethnically ambiguous is ok. For those of you who like bad-ass ambiguously desi chicks, get your tee-shirt here. For those of you who like your animated warriors more traditional, there is always this.

26 thoughts on “Young Padawan

  1. That Hanuman cartoon is filled with white people, there is no way those are supposed to be Indians.

    Star Wars is filled with Indian-esque themes. I am still convinced that Jedi’s are based on Sikh’s.

  2. Ahsoka Tano sounds Japanese, dunnit? Some samurai connection, maybe? Btw, Hayden ‘Anakin’ Christiansen’s new movie was also released today – Jumper. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a movie about woolies. Since the reviews have been so bad, perhaps they can add a Casanova-ish storyline & call it Humper. Now that would be some movie.

  3. Star Wars is filled with Indian-esque themes. I am still convinced that Jedi’s are based on Sikh’s.

    I thought Klingons in Star Trek were based on Sikhs? Something to do with the brave warrior thing.

  4. Btw, Hayden ‘Anakin’ Christiansen’s new movie was also released today – Jumper.

    95% of the people who are going to that movie are Star Wars fans are hoping for some part in the movie in which Samuel L.Jackson[Mace Windu] gets his revenge on Hayden Christiansen[Anakin Skywalker]for turning on the Jedi and joining the Sith.

  5. Spoiler Alert. If you have not seen Star Wars skip the next comment.

    Returning characters include Anakin Skywalker – who later becomes Darth Vader

  6. Part of me is all ‘yay, desi girl in Star Wars’ (I totally wanted to be one growing … well still – I’m hanging my head in shame …) but an even bigger part is very much ‘Stop Lucas, he’s killing my childhood’. The prequels were so bad. So very, very bad. Vader was awesome until the prequels …

  7. this is a muddled plot point, You can’t really take on a Padawan until you’ve joined the council. According to Mace Windu, Anakin was put on the council, but not given the rank of Jedi Master.

    Plus Anakin himself more or less switched from being Obi Wans padawan to Darth Sidius (Palpatine’s) padawan. I wonder where in the prequel story line this will fit in.

    Of course, you have Ayesha Dharker who plays the queen of naboo, after Padme Amidala became a senator.

  8. this is a muddled plot point, You can’t really take on a Padawan until you’ve joined the council.

    This is because George Lucas is an script idiot (but a shrewd businessman) – he and his writers couldn’t remember plot threads from the original trilogy (I had to stop myself from throwing things at the screen during Revenge of the Sith), don’t expect them to pay attention to anything they set up with his second trilogy like (at the risk of embarrassingly outing my geekiness) the whole discussion with the Jedi Council that Obi Wan wasn’t even ready to have a Padawan at the end of Phantom Menace

    KILLING my childhood! KILLING any coherent plot!

  9. This actually makes me really sad. I don’t want some crap cartoon to ruin the movies the same way those crap prequels ruined the original movies. I wish I had a blanket — I would crawl up in it, so deep is my ire.

    Star Wars is filled with Indian-esque themes. I am still convinced that Jedi’s are based on Sikh’s. I thought Klingons in Star Trek were based on Sikhs? Something to do with the brave warrior thing.

    There’s a strong argument for the use of Khalsa/Sikh-esque themes in Star Wars (esp. around the Jedi, although I think you can argue that Lucas borrows heavily from “Eastern religious thought” in general on that front), and using Punjabis as a framework for the Klingons in Star Trek. We’re not the sole inspiration, but apparently our small corner of holy barbarism has cornered the “Star ____” world :P

  10. 1 · ShallowThinker said

    Star Wars is filled with Indian-esque themes. I am still convinced that Jedi’s are based on Sikh’s.

    Lucas ripped off Kurosawa in so many ways. ‘Kakushi-toride no san-akunin’ also known as ‘The Hidden Fortress’ is one of the main inspirations for the first Star Wars film.

  11. the whole discussion with the Jedi Council that Obi Wan wasn’t even ready to have a Padawan at the end of Phantom Menace …

    Well, I was ok with this, because it was really at Qui Gon’s behest that Obi Wan took on Anakin, as Obi Wan didn’t truly believe it. I’m giving the benefit of the doubt that Obi Wan and the council had a meeting of the minds between phantom menace and attack of the clones.

    As for holes from trilogy 4,5,6 to prequels, the big holes are yoda & anakin’s/palpatine close connection in the prequels, and almost no mention of their connetion in the main trilogy.

    For example, Vader takes out obi wan at the end of A new hope, and says “he feels something he hasn’t felt since…” but no mention of Yoda, or Qui Gon for that matter.

  12. but apparently our small corner of holy barbarism has cornered the “Star ____” world

    This is why I was completely pissed when they actually had Yoda engage in a lightsaber duel in Clones. The entire ethos of Yoda’s strength is through mind power, or “soul force” as it were. He was an inspiration to those of us who didn’t posess physical superiority growing up, but knew we had mental superiority.

  13. This is why I was completely pissed when they actually had Yoda engage in a lightsaber duel in Clones.

    Dude, me too! I thought I was the only one who hated it …

    As for plot holes from the originals – uh, how come Uncle Owen doesn’t recognise the droids when they finally catch up with him on Tatooine? For that matter why doesn’t Ben or Vader recognise them too? When did the Imperial Army decide that it was better to do away with the robot and multi alien army entirely and replace them with a, mostly white, male and British armed force (including generals and the like)? Why, in the new release of Return of the Jedi, are Ben and Yoda old in their ghostly form and freakin Anakin is a young man? How can Leia recount her mother to Luke when she was seconds old before she died and didn’t really see her? And why the hell is Leia a princess?!

    I’m going to go and cry now …

  14. uh, how come Uncle Owen doesn’t recognise the droids when they finally catch up with him on Tatooine?

    Why would he? The only one he’d potentially recognize is threepio.

    For that matter why doesn’t Ben or Vader recognise them too?

    Well, in ben’s case, he says, “I dont ever remember owning a droid” in ANH. I think here it’s just been so long, that he forgot. The key question is, why doesnt threepio remember all these other people, after all he’s a machine. but they had his mind wiped, which was a bit of a copout I think, but there was no other way.

    Why, in the new release of Return of the Jedi, are Ben and Yoda old in their ghostly form and freakin Anakin is a young man?

    Yes this is true. a fake reconnection to the prequels.

    How can Leia recount her mother to Luke when she was seconds old before she died and didn’t really see her?

    Another good point. Although you’re referring to the scene in Jedi where Leia recounts the stories, Here I’d just say she was going on intuition, as her descriptions were vague, they werent of the sort, “oh she had a gap in the middle of her tooth,” etc…

    And why the hell is Leia a princess?!

    Not really explained. My guess is Bail Organa is some kind of royalty.

    When did the Imperial Army decide that it was better to do away with the robot and multi alien army entirely and replace them with a, mostly white, male and British armed force (including generals and the like)?

    Replacing the leadership doesn’t make sense I agree, The droid army was part of “the trade federation”, and I think Palpatine wanted some kind of clean slate (sort of like Michael taking out the heads of the 5 families, mo green, barzini, tattaglia, stracchi..) The eventual storm troopers are all clones of Jango Fett.

  15. 2 · Abhi said

    That Hanuman cartoon is filled with white people
    Have you watched Indian TV lately? Everyone is bleached white.

    Hmm, kinda like Univision, where 99.9% of Latinos are depicted as white.

  16. 3 · Tipu said

    Ahsoka Tano sounds Japanese, dunnit? Some samurai connection, maybe? Btw, Hayden ‘Anakin’ Christiansen’s new movie was also released today – Jumper. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a movie about woolies. Since the reviews have been so bad, perhaps they can add a Casanova-ish storyline & call it Humper. Now that would be some movie.

    Although Ahsoka has an Indian (South Asian) first name and a so-called “Indian” (Native American) last name, I have to give George Lucas credit for doing something that Christopher Columbus couldn’t do in over 500 years.

  17. Star Wars is filled with Indian-esque themes. I am still convinced that Jedi’s are based on Sikh’s.

    Here, I traced the connections:

    “In the writing of anthropologist Joseph Campbell, Lucas had learned about the myths that pervade many disparate cultures, and it is this mythology that gives Lucas’ space age epic its timeless resonance. Both of the sequels and the one prequel continued in the same vein and with equally successful.” – from a PBS documentary

    “Joseph Campbell defined the Hero cycle, a course of events that occurs as a rite of initiation in every myth, pinpointing the need for mentors, villains, elixirs and jesters along the way. Each step can be traced in the adventures of Star Wars hero Luke Skywalker.” *

    Joseph Campbell was a student of Heinrich Zimmer (1890 – 1943) **who was an Indologist and historian of South Asian art. Zimmer began his career studying Sanskrit and linguistics at the University of Berlin where he graduated in 1913. Between 1920-24 he lectured at the University of Greifswald, moving to Heidelberg to fill the Chair of Indian Philology.”

    *A quote by Steve Persall, Times Film Critic: ** From Wikipedia

  18. Joseph Campbell was a student of Heinrich Zimmer

    Joseph Campbell also met with and had a discussion with J. Krishnamurti about these issues. In looking at Lucas’s motivation, its tough, because actually he was a PA on one of Coppola’s films, and it was Coppola who encouraged him to write a script in the first place.

    Now, as for his writing influences, Kurosawa is probably his most stiking influence, the joseph campbell mythology stuff was actually a bit more cursory.

  19. lion,

    exactly right. Lucas borrowed from stole from Kurosawa. Not only that the clothes worn by the jedi and their light sabers reflect the samurai. The word “Jedi” itself is a mispronunciation of the Japanese word “jidai” …as in “jidai geki“, or period drama. and of course the Force is nothing else but prana or qi. watch The Hidden Fortress and you will see many similarities with Star Wars.

    May the Force Be With You Always…or Live Long and Prosper

  20. I can’t believe that people think that the Klingons are a front for Punjabis or Sikhs. The original Star Trek was explicitly a Cold War parable conceived at it’s height and both the episodes and scripts reflected the politics of it’s time. The Klingons were the Soviet Union, the Romulans Communist China, and the Federation represented the Nato alliance with the U.S. at it’s core.