The season finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars was a dramatic and emotional high point for the series, and if it ends there at least things are certainly set up appropriately for the tragic events of Episode III — Revenge of the Sith. (If you missed “The Wrong Jedi,” you can catch it online here.) Even if the show goes to a sixth season, the consequences of the Republic’s prosecution of Anakin’s apprentice for crimes she didn’t commit will continue to haunt the Jedi, who are more ineffectual and sadly deserving of their fate than ever.
Ashley Eckstein, whose voice gives life to Padawan Ahsoka Tano, was as profoundly affected as anyone by her character’s choices, and, professional that she is, wanted to explore Ahsoka’s motivations for such a radical change. Eckstein, who sought answers from series supervising director Dave Filoni, and she recently blogged about the experience at StarWars.com. (Spoilers follow!)
Imagine being in my position, having to keep this a secret for so long! The suspense has been killing me! We recorded these last four episodes a year ago and I was definitely shocked when Dave Filoni told me that Ahsoka was going to walk away from the Jedi Order. It took me awhile to digest this news and I clearly remember, like it was yesterday, when it finally hit me that Ahsoka’s life and my life was changing forever. Dave Filoni sent me an email about recording the final scene with Matt Lanter. The word “final” hit me like a ton of bricks. We’ve been recording The Clone Wars for seven years now. I’ve grown extremely fond of my time in the recording studio, especially getting to record the scenes between Anakin and Ahsoka with Matt. They had become routine, commonplace and when I realized that the final scene of the season was the final scene with Ahsoka and Anakin, it broke my heart. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that change.
I immediately emailed Dave back with several questions so I could understand WHY? In order to give the emotional performance needed for the final episode, I needed to get inside Ahsoka’s head. His answers were amazing and I wanted to share them with you just in case you have some of the same questions I did.
Ashley: Wow, she really is changing a lot. I knew this was coming but I think the change is hitting me now and I’m realizing it’s really moving forward and in a different direction, not just for one episode and then going back. It’s great! The story is fantastic and I am honored to be a part of it. I want to talk to you more about this next week. Why does she walk away again, versus go back?
Dave: Ahsoka walks away because she is conflicted. She is not mad at Anakin, she knows doing this will hurt him, but she hopes he understands. She is frustrated with the Jedi Council, there is a feeling of betrayal. Much of this has to do with Anakin’s training and attachment rubbing off on her. She also leaves because while she believes Barriss was wrong, she cannot deny that there is truth to what Barriss was saying, especially in light of her own recent experiences. She needs perspective.