Clone Wars-era Ahsoka Tano made her triumphant return to our screens earlier this week in her very own episode of Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, ‘The Padawan Path’.
The episode sees our plucky heroine on her way to a special ceremony at the Jedi Temple before she gets side-tracked by a malfunctioning droid. Never one to shy away from danger, even when she’s running late, Ahsoka leaps into action to save a mother and child from the deadly droid, putting the safety of others before her own interests (and punctuality).
Ahsoka eventually arrives at the Jedi Temple looking a little worse for wear and finds Master Yoda and an exasperated Anakin Skywalker waiting for her by the ancient Force-sensitive tree. Sensing that there’s a good reason for Ahsoka’s tardiness, Yoda commends the Padawan on her humility and bravery and bestows a new set of silka beads. Under the gaze of her proud master, Ahsoka accepts Yoda’s gift and attaches the new beads to her Padawan braid, bringing her one step closer to becoming a fully fledged Jedi Knight.
‘The Padawan Path’ is my favourite animated short to date (update: never mind, there is another), but I admit I may be biased. From its captivating score, stunning Coruscant vistas, and prequel era aesthetic to its outstanding voice acting from Clone Wars veterans Ashley Eckstein, Matt Lanter, and Tom Kane, this 3-minute short is a welcome – but bittersweet – return to the Clone Wars era.
As well as being an emotional roller-coaster for long-time fans of TCW and Star Wars Rebels, the episode also offered some new lore regarding Ahsoka’s apprenticeship and her Padawan braid. The purpose of the ceremony isn’t really addressed in any great detail, but we can assume that the new set of silka beads represents Ahsoka’s growth on both a personal and professional level.
Fellow Star Wars fan Andy Peachey of Rebels Transmission speculated that the ceremony granted Ahsoka a higher level of responsibility, perhaps a promotion to Senior Padawan (if such a position exists). He pointed to the season 5 Younglings story arc as an example of Ahsoka’s new responsibilities; in this arc, the Padawan is tasked with escorting a group of Jedi younglings to Ilum. In the later seasons of TCW, we do see Ahsoka lead a number of other missions with little (or no) help from Anakin or the other Jedi knights, so this is a perfectly plausible explanation.
My only major gripe with the episode is Anakin’s character model, which caused quite a stir among the fanbase. While minor details like his missing scar can be chalked up to the limitations of Forces of Destiny’s animation style, there’s no logical explanation for his too-light hair or his pouty, shiny lips. To say his appearance in ‘The Padawan Path’ was a little distracting (and bordering on the absurd) would be an understatement.
But, hey, hearing him say “I’m proud of you, Snips” more than made up for it.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I have something in my eye…
About Star Wars: Forces of Destiny
Star Wars: Forces of Destiny was first announced back in April 2017 and is a series of animated shorts written by Jennifer Muro which offers bite-sized glimpses into the lives and adventures of some of our favourite female Star Wars characters.
The series kicked off with two episodes starring Rey and the adorable BB-8 (‘Sands of Jakku’ and ‘BB-8 Bandits’), followed by a Princess Leia-centric episode set on Endor (‘Ewok Escape’) which finally answers the decades-old question, “How did Leia get that dress?”
Future episodes will star Padmé Amidala, Sabine Wren, Hera Syndulla, and Ketsu Onyo (Sabine’s bounty hunter friend from Star Wars Rebels) and will feature cameos by other much-loved characters.
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- Ahsoka Tano to Appear in ‘Star Wars: Forces of Destiny’ Animated Series