As a parent, many times, you’ll find yourself watching TV shows or movies your kids are interested in watching. You might watch shows ahead of time to make sure the content is appropriate for their ages, such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Sometimes, in those moments, you will realize you’ve become a fan of something that may already wildly popular, yet it’s brand new to you.
Season 3 of The Clone Wars does that for me – as I inch toward the realization that this could be one of the greatest animated series I’ve ever watched. I’ve enjoyed this series from the start. I raved about Season 1 being an all-ages option, but I then cautioned against those same younglings watching Season 2. Now, taking all of the previous episodes into account and further defining its characters in the third season of The Clone Wars, it is quite clear that this geeky parent is a HUGE fan of this series.
Let’s take a look at what I’ve discovered in Season 3 and why I feel parents will love Ahsoka Tano and the positive role model she serves as for all kids.
The Clone Wars Minor Spoiler Warning
If you haven’t seen any of the previous seasons or Season 3, I recommend you take a weekend or two to binge-watch and come back at a later point – or check out my earlier reviews of Season 1 and Season 2.
As the season wanders from planet to planet, battle to battle, a variety of characters continue to show their grit and overall merit for being major players in a popular franchise. The formula created previously – building various storylines for multiple characters, including expertly crafted female leads – runs fairly balanced in this season. There are several stories that continue over the course of multiple episodes and that powerful connection (not of the dark side) allows us to expand upon these characters while under duress, which will be my focal point for parents today.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 3 has a defining moment, and it is absolutely the final two episodes. Padawan Ahsoka Tano has been one of the main fixtures from the beginning. As Anakin Skywalker’s Jedi-in-training, her relationship with Master Skywalker has fluctuated with his constant “Do as I say, not as I do” mentality. The Clone Wars is an excellent guide for parents or guardians to use as a tool, highlighting for kids that their parents aren’t always right or that life is far from perfect.
Ahsoka Tano and her Master
If we were to explore Ahsoka and Anakin’s relationship, we could easily compare their connection as a father and daughter or older brother and younger sister. So, it’s understandable when Ahsoka mirrors her master’s persona and actions at times. Overconfidence and frustration were a common theme between both characters earlier in The Clone Wars series, and I’m not saying it’s changed (*cough* Anakin!); however, Season 3 gives parents a solid reason to continue their pursuit of trying to find the best animated series for themselves (and their kids, of course).
This season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars generates a driving force that is relevant to everyone. Parents will see Ahsoka evolve in such a positive way, as she believes in herself and how that’s good enough to make a difference. When kids are taught to lead by example, and then they see their master go against the grain of that teaching, it’s perfectly understandable for them to question, “Why shouldn’t I do what you do?” Ahsoka’s abilities have clearly advanced through the years. Her fighting skills are outstanding. Her ability to think ahead allows her to plan for varying outcomes. And, her use of the Force has definitely stepped up a notch (or two or three). Through all of her teachings, Ahsoka has not allowed Anakin’s overprotective nature to influence her ability to stand up for herself or others. Anakin has attempted to keep Ahsoka away from certain missions, but Ahsoka believes she can make a difference and she’s willing to do whatever is necessary to help win the war.
“Without Humility, Courage is a Dangerous Game” (S3, E21)
Being brave is an amazing thing to see in our kids. For example, jumping off the third or fourth step of the stairs or running fearlessly around a gigantic, thorny bush playing tag might be fun for them. Perhaps it’s because they’ve fallen down the steps or been caught in those bushes before that makes it more frightening for a parent. For them, they’ve learned to focus their attention to do what’s necessary to keep themselves safe – most of the time. They understand that injury is a possibility, and even after being timid shortly after the fall or thorn, they’ve regained that courage to play.
Fighting a war is quite different from jumping down a set of steps, but when Ahsoka is captured and left on a deserted planet as prey to be hunted, she does not shy from her Jedi training. Ahsoka finds herself in a completely vulnerable position, without her lightsaber, and heavily outgunned against a pack of alien hunters. Ahsoka understands the risks. She understands that she can die. Even when she’s recruiting others lost on the planet, she believes in her ability to give them the best chance of survival.
Worthy Ahsoka Tano
As a parent, Ahsoka sets a wonderful example from The Clone Wars, and she is a perfect reason to be excited for my own kids to watch someday. Not only is Ahsoka an outstanding character who I cheer for, it is monumentally important for my kids, one girl (age 6) and one boy (age 4), to see an intelligent, strong, and confident female character be their role model. Although this season is too mature for them now, I look forward to them seeing Ahsoka stand up for what is right and leading others in the pursuit of that cause. Although Ahsoka is away from her master and the other Jedi on this planet, she understands her importance and knows she needs to get back to help make a difference in the war. She doesn’t give up and her leadership influences others to stand up and believe in themselves too.
Women are rock stars. My wife and I have made every effort for both kiddos to know that and realize men and women can do or be whatever they want if they put their minds to it. And, they should be treated in the same fashion. Ahsoka Tano is that example. She might be listed as a Padawan, but she is definitely a Jedi in my mind.
Can we get a Tano/Lakata presidential sticker made at some point? I’ll gladly be her Vice President!
Until next time, happy parenting and happy geeking.