With the series ending of Star Wars Rebels, Kendall Schroeder takes a closer look at Ahsoka Tano’s transformation in this installment of the RetroZap Artist Series.
Ahsoka Tano came onto the Star Wars scene as Anakin Skywalker’s apprentice 10 years ago, but surprisingly, she wasn’t widely accepted. Anakin Skywalker didn’t have a Padawan! However, it didn’t take long for her master and the world to grow in appreciation for her. Primarily, the change was due to Dave Filoni’s treatment of the character and Ashley Eckstein’s portrayal of the young Jedi apprentice. Soon, Ahsoka became a favorite of many Star Wars fans and had carved out a special place among the original Star Wars characters.
The Fate of Ahsoka
As Star Wars The Clone Wars came to an abrupt end, Ahsoka’s fate was left to question. The last thing the audience saw was Ahsoka walking away from her master. Walking away from the Jedi Order. Walking away from all that she had known. What would become of her?
Ahsoka the Rebel
In a way, Ahsoka’s fate mirrored the fate of Star Wars itself. Shortly after the final episode of The Clone Wars, George Lucas sold the franchise to Disney. Now, the fate of Star Wars was in question, too. Fortunately, Filoni had more stories and plans for Ahsoka Tano. His next animated series, Star Wars Rebels, would address Ahsoka’s fate and introduce the Star Wars community to new characters. For four seasons, Rebels has made a lasting mark in Star Wars canon. Albeit, in surprising ways.
Where did the inspiration for Ahsoka come from? The Japanese film, Princess Mononoke, by legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki served as an influence for Dave Filoni and his team. At Star Wars Celebration Europe in 2016, Filoni, Pablo Hildalgo, and Eckstein spoke with David W. Collins about this specifically. Filoni said, “Ahsoka’s inspiration came from Mononoke, from the character San.” Much like how San was taken from her parents at an early age, Ahsoka had the same experience as she was discovered by Jedi Master Plo Koon when she was a very young girl. In Princess Mononoke, San is trained in the mystical ways of the natural world and is befriended by wolves. Sound familiar? The entire video has wonderful stories that Filoni shares with the audience. Check it out here: https://youtu.be/lS4sclln5J4.
Ahsoka the White
Recently, the final episode of Star Wars Rebels showed us what became of Ahsoka after the famed dual between her and Darth Vader from the Season 2 finale. In the epilogue of the final episode, Sabine Wren is seen joining Ahsoka to begin their search for Ezra, flying off together. Ahsoka is adorned in a white robe, instantly reminding the viewer of another mystical character, Gandalf the White.
Ahsoka The Wise
I love the imagery of Princess Mononoke and the thought that Ahsoka has now transcended to Ahsoka the Wise. I wanted to blend these images together. First, I sketched it out on paper and uploaded the drawing into the Procreate app on the iPad Pro. From there, I began to add hatching and cross-hatching to build layers of shading.
Ahsoka and the Wolf
And, of course, I had to add the Loth-Wolf. I eagerly anticipate the continuing adventures of Ahsoka. I’m sure Dave Filoni will continue writing amazing stories for this beloved character. Ahsoka lives!
Kendall Schroeder saw the original Star Wars in a small theater in the summer of his 10th birthday and immediately fell in love with the Far Away Galaxy. Pretending to be either Jedi Luke Skywalker or Colonel Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man, Kendall always believed he had special powers. Maybe that’s why he truly believes there is good in all people. And, he will stop at nothing to help rid the world of evil. When Kendall is not creating art, he is leading educators as the head of an online school. Kendall lives in West Michigan with his wife and two kids.