Updated: Jun 10, 2022
When George Lucas first told Dave Filoni that he wanted to create a brand new character for the Clone Wars series, he wasn't sure if that was a good idea. He quickly came on board with the idea, and decided to give Anakin a young padawan that the audience could relate to. A character that could act as an avatar and relation point for the audience to experience both the Clone Wars and the story of Anakin Skywalker. With that Ahsoka Tano was born.
Universally hated by everyone at first, Ahsoka would eventually grow to become arguably one of the most beloved Star Wars characters of all time. She is the perfect example of a fully fleshed out and realized character. Everything she has and everything she becomes feels earned and real. She is inserted into a story that already exists, with characters that are well known and loved and becomes as integral a part of the story as the original characters.
She is a strong female character that manages to be powerful without sacrificing femininity. She is vulnerable and shows the love of friendship and companionship that only a woman can. She does this while also allowing Anakin and the other male characters around her such as, Rex and Obi wan, to be men without making them feel like they are toxic or lesser.
She is so realized and secure in her femininity that men don't have to be put down in her presence in order for her to be elevated. She is quite capable of being powerful as a women and allowing men to be powerful as men. For example: Anakin can be an over protective master and brother to her, but she is also strong enough to save him when he needs saving. Their relationship encompasses both vulnerability and strength. They complement each other the way men and women are designed to.
Ahsoka is what Rey should have been and a perfect example that Star Wars fans don't hate female characters. The apposite of a Mary Sure, we see Ahsoka go through literal war and hell in order to earn the powers she has. She learns from her mistakes, which are so bad at times that her friends literally die, and rises above them to become better and stronger. Never once do we look at something she does and think, "Really? where did that come from?" Even when she defeats Maul at the battle of Mandalor, it feels like the natural progression of her power.
She survives order 66 and during Star Wars Rebels we get to see her finally face Anakin as Darth Vader and it breaks our hearts when she say, "I won't leave you master. Not this time." Sadly, Anakin was too far gone that only his children could truly bring him back. But for the briefest of moments we see Anakin struggling behind the mask. Perhaps if she had not left when she was younger she could have prevented him from falling. This is how much of an impact the character has come to have on the Star Wars universe.
I am not going to go through her entire story the way I did with some of the others, since I would rather you go and experience her story for yourself. I will, however, go over the reasons why I love her so much. It's really simple. I fell in love with her character during clone wars season 2 and it only grew from there. If she were a real person I would be in love with her for real.
Now don't laugh at me or judge me. The truth is that if a creator can make you truly fall in love with their characters as if they are real people, then they have done what they set out to do. A good character should make you feel like they are alive and Filoni does this with Ahsoka. At least for me anyway. This is why she is one of my favorite animated characters of all time.
It is hard to find a supporting character in any medium that is added to an already existing story that actual makes the story and all of the characters in it better. Ahsoka, however, is one of these characters. She absolutely and unequivocally made the prequals and the story of Anakin, Padma and Obi wan better. She made the entire Star Wars universe better. How many expanded universe characters can say that?
I went back after finishing the clone wars and re-watched the prequals and actually had a greater appreciation for the movies and the story than I did before. In fact, even the redemption of Darth Vader in the original trilogy is made more impactful from experiencing Ahsoka's part in the story. Through the relationship Ahsoka had with the others, I was able to see just how deep all of the prequal characters really were. If all you watch are the three prequal movies, you never truly understand that. Through the Clone Wars and the eyes of Ahsoka we understand just how heartbreaking Anakin's fall really is. Just how terrible war is and just how devastating the fall of the republic and the Jedi is to the universe. We truly understand what Obi Wan is feeling when he says, "Anakin you were my brother! I loved you."
I encourage you to go and watch Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels and experience her story for yourself. If you do, I will guarantee that you will find that your appreciation for the Star Wars you already know will grow stronger and more deep. Even if you don't care about the Star Wars universe, you will at least find a story and a character worth knowing and experiencing. In the words of Lavar Burton, "Don't take my word for it." Go and experience it for yourself. I assure you, you won't regret it.