Back in March 2016, I got the chance to visit the Star Wars: Identities exhibition in Vienna, where I spent a good couple of hours wandering from display case to display case, admiring the saga’s iconic costumes and props, and taking in the dozens of pieces of concept art and sketches on display.
The exhibition explored the theme of identity and was divided into three key sections: the characters’ origins, the influences and events that helped shape their personalities, and the personal choices they made.
Visitors were also invited to create their own Star Wars character by wearing a special smart-tech bracelet during their visit and answering a series of questions at each of the ten interactive character-design stations.
I ended up creating a Togruta Jedi Knight who had been raised on Coruscant, mentored by Qui-Gon Jinn, and was eventually seduced to the Dark Side, while my mother and my husband opted for an Ewok rebel pilot and Kel Dor Jedi Knight respectively.
Creating a Padawan for Anakin
As I’ve mentioned in other articles, I’ve often bemoaned the fact that so many Star Wars fans still seem to unaware of Ahsoka Tano’s existence as she has yet to appear in any of the saga (or anthology) films and the animated series are sometimes dismissed as childrens’ fare. She’s been mentioned in some of the more recent canon spin-off media but, on the whole, I still find it hard to discuss my favourite Star Wars character with friends who haven’t watched Clone Wars or Rebels as they know next to nothing about her.
So I was pleasantly surprised to see that an entire display case had been to devoted to Ahsoka Tano, an honour that was largely reserved for other arguably better-known characters from the saga movies. I guess I was foolish to underestimate Snips’ influence and standing within the Star Wars fanbase…
The items on display included a number of early character concept sketches for “Ashla”, the Togruta character who’d evolve into (and be renamed) Ahsoka Tano later in the pre-production process; a McQuarrie-style poster for Star Wars: The Clone Wars (where can I get that as a poster?); a couple of anime-style facial expression study pieces; and maquettes of the Padawan and her Jedi Master, Anakin Skywalker, created for the 2008 feature film.
I apologize for the less-than-stellar quality of the photos. Reflective glass cases, strategically-placed lighting fixtures, and bans on tripods and flash photography aren’t conducive to great photography…
The Star Wars: Identities travelling exhibition is currently on display at the O2 Arena in London. Please visit the official Star Wars: Identities website for more information.
- Ashley Eckstein: “Ahsoka Started a Movement”
- Ashley Eckstein Talks About Amusing Audition Process for Ahsoka Tano