With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on the horizon, Star Wars fans are about to experience the second female lead in a row in the much-beloved franchise. Many women are excited to meet Jyn Erso, played by Felicity Jones, and are gearing up for another badass heroine to join the universe. But just because we've gotten Leia, Rey, and Jyn in our Star Wars movies, don't think that women are content to let the rest of the franchise be predominantly male. We expect the current female visibility in Star Wars films to continue with the introduction of other interesting on-screen women — like, say, fan favorite Ahsoka Tano, who I believe would be an excellent addition to the Star Wars universe.
Ahsoka Tano is a character who was introduced in the 2008 film Star Wars: The Clone Wars as a 14-year-old Jedi student, then seen in the animated series of the same name, and currently is in the series Star Wars Rebels as an adult. She's a female Jedi, leader of the Rebel Alliance, and an all around badass character. She fights with two lightsabers, and is just sassy as all hell. Much like Rey, Ahsoka makes mistakes, is impulsive, and has a real problem with the whole "no attachments" thing about being a Jedi.
Her personality, in turn, is what makes Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader himself) way more of an interesting character in these series. As his Padawan (a young Jedi trainee), Ahsoka has the same, dangerous nature Anakin does, and while she doesn't turn to the dark side, she does bring out some of troubling nature Anakin holds inside. Lots of movie-only watchers found that Anakin's jump from slightly bratty student in Attack of the Clones to full-on Sith sympathizer in Revenge of the Sith to be somewhat of a huge, unexplained leap. Much more explanation comes in the animated series, and much of it has to do with Anakin's inability to rein in Ahsoka. Ahsoka ultimately ends up leaving the Jedi, which contributes to Anakin's demise. And when Ahsoka faces Vader in an epic battle in Rebels, it's reminiscent of Obi-Wan's battle with Anakin from both Sith and the original Star Wars: a student facing their former master. Only this time, it makes for an inspiring change that one of them is a woman.
So with the Star Wars universe now incorporating more female characters into their sequels or anthology films, it's definitely possible that Ahsoka could be included, although there are a few issues. When Disney acquired the Star Wars universe, the studio left out much of the "Extended Universe," which included books, comics, and other independent media. This included Luke Skywalker's EU wife, the smuggler Mara Jade. But Clone Wars and Rebels are still considered canon within the main storyline, which means that including her could be possible.
Ahsoka's inclusion in any live-action films could also be another opportunity to incorporate some more diversity into the franchise. Her species is a Togruta from the planet Shili, and any human actor playing her could easily be a woman of color. Though The Force Awakens saw John Boyega added to the universe, and Rogue One will have several Asian actors taking on roles, Star Wars has had very few women of color overall. People were overjoyed when Lupita Nyong'o was cast as Maz Kanata in Force, but having so much of her hidden via CGI was disappointing. Ahsoka would have prosthetics, no doubt, but an inclusive casting would mean more diversity for the movie, and more aliens in a franchise where most of its heroes are human.
And if the franchise was going to add her to the films, there are a few options for how she could be included. If we're talking the Rogue One era, she's left the Jedi at that point, after having had her epic battle with Vader, perhaps in hiding, perhaps still a rebellion leader. Moving forward in time, however, would be a bit more interesting. If Ahsoka appears in the Force Awakens era, she'd not only be older than Luke, but the idea of him being "the last Jedi left" wouldn't be wholly accurate. Ahsoka officially leaves the Jedi order, but she's still incredibly strong with the Force. The Jedi are essentially a religion; they study the Force and learn to manipulate it, but there are Force users who aren't Jedi or Sith, and that's always been true. Wouldn't it be neat to add an older, wiser, female Jedi whose loyalty is a mystery to the film universe? In any case, Star Wars seems thankfully intent on adding more women to the fold, and Ahsoka might just make a perfect addition to the movies.
Images: Lucasfilm Animation, Giphy