Continuing on in my Clone Wars Exploration Project, I am now going back to the beginning of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”, starting with the theatrically-released movie. For this particular post, instead of discussing the entire movie, I wanted to explore specifically Anakin receiving his new padawan learner.
The movie starts off in the middle (towards the end?) of an interesting battle on Christophsis in which Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi are fighting and are re-engaged by the droid army and their communications are cut off. We are treated to seeing some fighting at the battle for Christophsis. When they regroup, they see a ship arriving:
Obi-Wan Kenobi: “Perhaps they brought my new padawan with them.”
Anakin Skywalker: “You really think it’s a good idea to bring a padawan learner into all of this?”
Obi-Wan Kenobi: “I spoke to Master Yoda about it. You should put in a request for one; you’d make a good teacher.”
Anakin Skywalker: “No thanks.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi: “Anakin, teaching is a privilege and it’s part of a Jedi’s responsibility to help train the next generation.”
Anakin Skywalker: “A padawan would just slow me down.”
This is a very instructive dialogue, in which we see Kenobi advocating for Anakin to have a padawan and Skywalker thinking he should not have one (slowing him down). This brings up (at least) a couple of questions:
- Why does Obi-Wan Kenobi think Anakin Skywalker would “make a good teacher”?
- Since when (and how) did Anakin Skywalker get promoted to be a Jedi knight?
With “Star Wars: Clone Wars”, we saw how/why Skywalker got promoted to become a Jedi knight; here, he already is one! One wonders why we don’t see Anakin becoming a Jedi knight in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”.
When this new padawan arriving, she announces that her name is Ahsoka Tano and that she is assigned to Anakin Skywalker, to which Anakin responds by saying, “What?! No, no, no, no, no, no. There must be some mistake; he’s the one who wanted the Padawan!” Ahsoka then reassures them by saying, “Master Yoda was very specific. I am assigned to Anakin Skywalker, and he is to supervise my Jedi training.”
Throughout the first quarter of the movie, Anakin seems to be uncomfortable with having this – or any – padawan and expresses his displeasure with having her. It must be said, though, this movie (and the subsequent series) introduced us to a more sympathetic Anakin Skywalker than we’ve seen in “Star Wars, episode II: Attack of the Clones” or “Star Wars Clone Wars” (and certainly more so than “Star Wars, episode III: Revenge of the Sith”). This change in showing Skywalker’s character is a glaring continuity error to me, although it does make for more enjoyable (and less abrasive) viewing.
Also, I had been wondering – as I was watching some of the later episodes of the series why Ahsoka Tano has the nickname of “Snips”. In their first private conversation, he says “Don’t get snippy with me”, resulting in this nickname. Who knew this nickname would stick with her for the rest of the series (even when she becomes less snippy towards him)?
When they go on a separate mission, it is entertaining to watch them together, with her inadvertently providing an idea for him:
Ahsoka Tano: “Why don’t we just go around, outflank them?”
Anakin Skywalker: “That’d take too long.”
Ahsoka Tano: “Sneak through the middle, then.”
Anakin Skywalker: “Impossible. Unless you can turn yourself into a droid….”
This provides Anakin with an idea how to sneak through the enemy lines and they eventually make their way to where they needed to go, although not without some issues, with them coming out on top.
When they finish, Anakin starts by saying: “You’re reckless, little one. You never would have made it as Obi-Wan’s padawan”, which is incredibly discouraging for young Ahsoka Tano. However, Anakin finishes off by saying, “But you might make it as mine.” Clearly, Anakin would prefer a more reckless padawan 😉
When Yoda arrives, he says to Anakin: “Trouble with your new padawan, I hear.” Yoda then says: “If not ready for a padawan you are, then, perhaps, Obi-Wan -“, when he is interrupted by Anakin: “Now, wait a minute. I admit Ahsoka’s a little rough around the edges, but with a great deal of training…and patience, she might amount to something.” So, he has finally warmed up not only to the idea of having a padawan, but specifically okay with having her as his padawan.
As the first quarter of the movie is winding down and the battle of Christophsis has ended, Obi-Wan provides some useful advice:
Obi-Wan Kenobi to Anakin Skywalker: “Don’t worry, Anakin, just teach her everything I’ve taught you and she’ll turn out fine.”
Anakin Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi: “You know, something makes me think this was your idea right from the start.”
This then leads into
Obi-Wan Kenobi to Yoda: “Let’s just hope Anakin’s ready for this responsibility.”
Yoda to Obi-Wan Kenobi: “Ready he is to teach an apprentice. To let go of his pupil, a greater challenge it will be. Master this, Skywalker must.”
From this last dialogue, we see a few things:
- It shows that Obi-Wan had certainly spoken with Yoda about Anakin taking on a padawan learner, although Obi-Wan apparently was not as confident as he was when talking to Anakin about the situation
- Yoda believes that Anakin is ready to have a padawan
- Yoda perceives that it will be a challenge for Anakin to let go of Ahsoka (which is a bit of foreshadowing, especially since we know that Anakin has had great difficulty losing significant women in his life)
To be continued….