Ahsoka Tano has been front and center in the finale season of The Clone Wars, but her origin is an interesting one. Especially the notion that she was almost called Ashla, the young Togruta girl seen briefly in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.
According to a Vanity Fair (opens in new tab) piece highlighting Ahsoka Tano's history, she was always going to be a Togruta, a member of the orange-skinned, blue-and-white head tailed alien race. But Dave Filoni, supervising director of both The Clone Wars and Rebels, drops a very interesting fact about her origins - interesting in that she was almost an entirely different character: "We called her Ashla in the beginning...I think it was the name given to one of the [young Jedis Yoda was training] in Attack of the Clones. There was a little Togruta girl."
However, it turned out that Ashla was a bit too young to end up becoming Anakin Skywalker's apprentice. From the above picture, she can't be older than four or five, and Ahsoka Tano becomes a Padawan at 14-years-old. Since The Clone Wars takes place in the three years between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, Ashla would have been far too young for the role. And so, Ahsoka was born. Side Note: Does this mean that Ashla was almost one of the most iconic Star Wars women of all time but died in the Jedi Temple slayings? Eeeessh.
But once Ahsoka became Ahsoka, her background story shifted slightly. According to Filoni, she "was more involved in the black market world and working with a Jedi in a way that was not really involved in the day-to-day big battles of the war." After Ahsoka leaves the Jedi order and returns to the screen in Clone Wars Season 7, she ends up involved with those kinds of people, specifically the Pykes and their illegal spice trade.
Considering how fantastic this final season of The Clone Wars has been, it's great to get some insight into the creation of my favorite Star Wars character. I can't wait to see how her role in The Clone Wars ends, and how she'll factor into The Mandalorian season 2. (opens in new tab)
If you're interested in catching up, check out my review of the latest Clone Wars episode, "The Phantom Apprentice" (opens in new tab).