In case it doesn’t seem evident by now, I love learning about the stories behind stories. I love it when I learn about the inspiration behind a particular character, the reasoning behind why a certain part of the plot was changed, and even the origin story behind how a story came to be in the first place. I came across an article not too long ago that was published back in October. It talks about inspiration for a character on a television show from another one in a highly praised film. While I was aware of this knowledge in advance, just reading about it from a reliable place is a reassuring find. This also makes for an appropriately timed material to analyze, seeing that March is dedicated to celebrating women of the past and present.
Straight from the official “Star Wars” website, writer Bryan Young goes in depth on how San, the fierce warrior raised by wolves in Hayao Miyazaki’s “Princess Mononoke,” served as inspiration for the character, Ahsoka Tano, from the “Clone Wars” and “Rebels” series. Both are fierce, independent young women with fighting spirits. They are also adept to the spiritual aspects in life and in nature; San through her upbringing by a wolf clan in a forest, Ahsoka through her training as a Jedi, and thus, utilizing the light side of the Force. It even talks about how the way Ahsoka is animated to move when in combat is also an influence from San. In fact, show creator Dave Filoni has even talked about he would look for an opportunity to put Ahsoka riding on the back of a wolf, as an homage to “Princess Mononoke,” and that comes in the form of the untold story of how she escaped Order 66.
I just find this to be a fascinating read that really reveals a lot about this beloved character from the “Star Wars” universe. Ahsoka is the first female Jedi lead in the “Star Wars” franchise, and to learn that her inspiration came from a film as incredible as “Princess Mononoke” makes me like her all the more. That’s another thing that I like about this article. It talks about how a film from one of my favorite filmmakers has influenced this ever-growing universe that “Star Wars” is set in (and I don’t just mean in the way of how Ahsoka came to be). As someone who grew up on both Miyazaki’s work and “Star Wars,” it makes for the best of inspiration between universes.
So if interested, click the link above and give the article a read. It’s truly a fascinating one. It’s not just about learning the story behind the development of a particular character, but also how one beloved work found and sought inspiration from another.
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