Ahsoka’s Untold Tales Panel Impressions (SWCE 2016)

Ahsoka's Untold Tales Panel PanelistsFor any fan of The Clone Wars breakout character Ahsoka Tano, her Untold Tales Panel was an absolutely must see. While panelists Dave Filoni (executive producer of Rebels), Pablo Hildalgo (Story Group), and Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano), didn’t clear up her fate after the Star Wars Rebels Season Two finale, they did a deep dive into some remaining unproduced TCW episodes which included her having a boyfriend (and Asain lead!), a journey into the Sith Temple below the Jedi Temple, and the Ahsoka Loyalist troops, while also revealing her novel’s cover art, vague and metaphorical Topps cards about her fate, and one giant promise about whether we’ll see her or not again.

Ahsoka's Untold Tales Panel LatransThe panel started out much the way it ended, in that Dave Filoni stayed mum on Ahsoka’s ultimate fate. His joke when just he and Pablo were brought out before Eckstein, was a sign of things to come as he said Eckstein not being out there yet was, “Symbolic,” for the entire panel. He followed that up with more teasing, as he said Pablo and Eckstein’s Ahsoka’s Journey shirts (based off her final scene in Rebels S2), “…won’t tell you,” if Ahsoka is alive or dead, but you all can hope. The opening remarks overall were short and we jumped right into the show shortly after it begun.

Ahsoka’s Untold Tales was chopped up into sections and it all started with the reveal of Filoni’s ideas for the tale of her discovery by the Jedi. We’ve see when Plo Koon arrives on Ahsoka’s planet and takes her away in a flashback for TCW S5 episode, “The Gathering,” but it wasn’t until now we learned there was much more to the story than that. Her village was excited to learn she was Force-sensitive, as it would put their village on the map, so they sent off a message to the Jedi for them to pick her up. Since they weren’t so wise to the world outside their village, a bounty hunter named Latrans disguises herself as a Jedi to pick up young Ahsoka (Latrans’ species would later become the Zygerrian slavers). Obviously Plo Koon stops all that nonsense, but it’s interesting to think she’s been living a life of trouble and conflict from a very young age.

Ahsoka's Untold Tales Panel Ahsoka and NixPart two followed her ‘walkabout’ after leaving the Jedi Order in TCW S5 finale and it was composed of three arcs. One was the start of her journeys alone, which was first seen in Celebration Anaheim 2015’s Untold Clone Wars Panel, another about how she almost went back to the Jedi, while the last one focused on her, as Pablo puts it, “…getting close,” with scoundrel Nix Okami while on Level 1313 of Coruscant. Nix would’ve been the first Asian lead for Star Wars and her relationship with him (Eckstein came out and said Nix was Ahsoka’s boyfriend, much to Filoni’s chagrin) would’ve been more about her just being a teenager, not some star-crossed lover. At the end of the panel, they revealed a unfinished animation clip of Nix and Ahsoka dealing with some gangsters he owes money to and needless to say, Ahsoka kicks some serious ass (and other parts, too)! Overall, the arc was supposed to highlight to young girls that they could do and be anything they want, with independence being a path anyone and everyone should follow.

Ahsoka's Untold Tales Panel Ahsoka v SidiousAnother intriguing arc put her in a mission with the Jedi, as Yoda is being threatened by nefarious underground beings (they wouldn’t elaborate) and Ahsoka’s knowledge of the underground and her loyal nature causes her help them out. What they find on their journey to assist Yoda is the much rumored Sith Temple hundreds of layers beneath the Jedi Temple, something teased at SWCA 2015 and has been mentioned in the novel Tarkin. You can kind of guess who these nefarious beings were when it was revealed Ahsoka battled Darth Sidious (!), but there was always some type of wall between them because Filoni admits there would be no way he’d be able to let Ahsoka live if the two came face to face (the picture attached here of her covered in blue lightning is actually Sidious’ Force lightning rolling over her as she locks the door with her lightsaber). It was also mentioned that she still trusts several Jedi, like Anakin and Obi-Wan, but Barriss Offee’s confession has sunk in and Ahsoka is certainly sure she’ll never go back to being a Jedi. I was happy to hear Barriss’s actions left such an impact on her, helping push her to be a Coruscant underground vigilante.

Ahsoka's Untold Tales Panel Rex and Ahsoka Loyalist TroopersIn what was to be one of, if not the final, arcs of TCW was the “Siege of Mandalore.” Clone Captain Rex mentions the event in the Rebels S2 episode, “Lost Commanders,” and we’ve been dying to hear more about it since. Filoni actually already discussed this one, though not in such detail, in some of his post-Rebels S2 finale interviews. In it, Ahsoka and new buddy Bo-Katan (Duchess Satine’s sister) learns that Maul is back on Mandalore to control as shadow governor. Ahsoka knows how much bringing Maul to justice means for her friend Obi-Wan (and therefore Anakin), so she calls them in with the info. They come out to assist, but they get the fateful call that Chancellor Palpatine has been captured on Coruscant and must return (aka the start of Revenge of the Sith). Before they leave, Anakin and Ahsoka have a great chat about how proud he is of her and that he wouldn’t leave without having her back: he presents to her Ahsoka Loyalist troopers (first teased at SWCA 2015 too), who are under the command of Captain Rex. It’s a big sweeping moment and gesture, just going to show how truly Anakin cared for her (like a daughter, one could say…), making it all the more sad about where they end up by the Rebels S2 finale. The whole moment, new to not only the fans but Eckstein, brought the actress to the tears (I’ll admit, I was getting there too), though Filoni didn’t understand her crying since the whole scenario’s supposed to be a happy moment.

Ahsoka's Untold Tales Panel Ahsoka Novel Cover ArtAfterwards, the panel jumped into her post-war life, including a rather odd but thrilling tale (well, Filoni was super excited to discuss it) of Ahsoka beating back the clonetroopers hunting her with giant wolf pals. I wonder if this would’ve tied into the Siege of Mandalore arc, as that would mean the clones hunting her would be her loyalists ones given to her by Anakin (what irony that would be!) and if that would show Rex overcoming his inhibitor chip as well (in a scene saving Ahsoka, possibly?). Next they covered the upcoming Ahsoka novel from E.K. Johnson, including revealing a new cover and that Filoni really likes it. There weren’t many (see: any) details covered, but a fan question at the end did reveal that the author asked the same question the fan did: Did Ahsoka and Anakin have a connection through the Force? Filoni says it’s more like a mother sensing something might be wrong with her child even without the Force and Ahsoka’s inability to sense Anakin post-Order 66 makes her assume he died, hence her struggle with the true once she senses him again in Rebels S2. UPDATE 10/23/16: Review of the Ahsoka novel is up!

Ahsoka's Untold Tales Panel Ahsoka Topps Cards 3Then the panel moved onto her Rebels era, including a giant whiteboard Filoni sketched her confrontation with Darth Vader on. It seems he didn’t care if someone erased it, but they took extensive photos before Kiri Hart gave Rian Johnson (director of Ep. VIII) the go-ahead to erase it (though he didn’t want to do it at first). An alternate ending for their duel would’ve been the scene of her jumping on top of Vader, tearing off the chunk of his mask…while Vader impaled her with lightsaber (AAAHH!) and then the episode would’ve ended, never showing her fate. While the finale was vague either way, the one we got causes way less heartache. Curious to learn more about Ahsoka as she wanders deep into the depths of Malachor? Filoni revealed a series of Topps Digital Cards he created, giving us a metaphorically laden look at her journey to the underworld, as it were. I got a few photos of them, but the WookieeGunner has all ten for your viewing pleasure! The cards are some very provocative and intriguing pieces of art that Filoni teases you might be able to find the answer to what happened to Ahsoka in. Or not.

On the subject of whether or not we’d see Ahsoka again, Dave simply said we would. Whether it’d be them finishing her TCW episodes, another appearance on Rebels, another novel, comic book, or something else entirely, one can not be certain. However, you can be certain we’ll see Snips again, someday. If that’s not a blessing from the Force, I don’t know what is.

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Here are a few other things:

  • At one point Pablo admitted they are still mining other untold stories. Wonder which ones and how they’ll show up in the future!
  • We learned about Ahsoka’s monkey boots at SWCA 2015, but here we got a very passionate speech about why wolves rule and monkey’s drool from Filoni.
  • Filoni’s sketches so much in a hope to be like Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johntson, who left so many sketches untouched Filoni’s now using them in his work and maybe one day down the line someone will use his sketches. It’s a great philosophy and he certainly comes up with some striking and creative things…even if there are a lot of wolves in them.
  • Shortly following the panel, another Ahsoka Lives (everyone wears Ahsoka related things and poses for a photo) day was schedule with the Star Wars Show. Unlike last year, this one was mostly unorganized and strangely handled. At first they only let a small contingent of fans up on the Star Wars Show stage to be with Eckstein and Filoni, while the rest of us who didn’t get chosen didn’t seem to be getting a picture. I’m not sure if it was always the plan, as Eckstein had a busy day ahead, or the fans closest to the stage were just yelling loud enough, but Eckstein came out into the crowd and stood in the middle of a giant circle. So while everyone did get a chance, it wasn’t handled very clearly.
  • They also revealed the Funko POP! of Ahsoka, which I’m not a collector but now I might just have to be.
  • The Ahsoka novel’s new cover art comes from a freelance artist Wojtek Rus, per Lucasfilm/LucasBooks Senior Editor Jennifer Heddle. I’m not sure which cover I like more, the tentative art from Filoni or this new one. Either way, stunning covers!
  • More photos and a liveblog over at StarWars.com!
  • i09 has a short but sweet roundup of the panel as well.

Here’s the full video of the panel:

Ryan is Mynock Manor’s Head Butler. You can follow him on Twitter @BrushYourTeeth. You can follow the website @MynockManor.

SEE ALSO:
Ahsoka Tano Novel Coming October 2016!
The Untold Clone Wars Panel Impressions (SWCA 2015)
Video Game Review: Trials on Tatooine (ILMxLAB VR Experience) (SWCE 2016)
It’s a Wrap: Celebration Europe 2016 News Roundup – Han Solo Casting, Ep. VIII Teases, Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel Author Revealed, Battlefront DLC
Cosplay Gallery and Celebrity Sightings (SWCE 2016)
Star Wars Rebels Season 3 Panel/Press Conference Details: Trailer, Grand Admiral Thrawn (& Novel), New Characters (SWCE 2016)
Star Wars Rebels Season Three Premiere Review: “Step Into Shadows” (SWCE 2016)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Panel and Costume Exhibit (SWCE 2016)
SWCE 2016 News Roundup Pt. 3: Ahsoka Untold Tales and Future Filmmaker Discussion Panels Announced
SWCE 2016 News Roundup Pt. 2: Panel Schedule is Live, Exclusive Art, VR Experience (UPDATED)
SWCE 2016 News Roundup: Star Wars Rebels Season 3 Premiere, Rogue One Props, Podcast Stage
Star Wars Show Launches, Reveals Special Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 Rogue One Panel (SWCE 2016)