Ahsoka: The clothes do not make the character

Ahsoka episode 4. Image courtesy StarWars.com
Ahsoka episode 4. Image courtesy StarWars.com /

Episode 5 of Ahsoka provided us with a view of the World Between Worlds and flashbacks to Ahsoka’s battles while serving as a Padawan to Anakin Skywalker and after her time apart from the Jedi Order with the “Seige of Mandalore.” Nearly universal was the uproar of acceptance and happiness from Star Wars fans who appreciated the callbacks to The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.

One thing that came to light that was a bit interesting is the claim that Star Wars and Lucasfilm used this episode to retcon Ahsoka’s padawan uniform.  According to Oxford Languages, a retcon means to “revise (an aspect of a fictional work) retrospectively, typically by introducing a piece of new information that imposes a different interpretation on previously described events.” With that definition in mind, the word retcon, as we see it commonly being used, may get thrown around a bit.

Was this a Retcon?

Simply put, no. Disney is simply following the costume change they enacted midway through season 3 of The Clone Wars. There was a recognition that the outfit worn by Ahsoka in the first 21/2 seasons of the show was sexualized for a character who’s a minor child. Remember that when we met Ahsoka, she was approximately 14 years old. Perhaps dressing her in a miniskirt and a midriff shirt gained a response that Disney realized was inappropriate and was not the intended response. It’s safe to say that it was also not the intent to sexualize Ahsoka either.

Although not a retcon, showing young Ahsoka in her mid to late season 3 attire instead of her first two seasons’ attire for her live-action debut for Episode 5 of the Ahsoka show could be viewed as a silent admission. Disney silently admitted that what was done with young Ahsoka’s dress was inappropriate. They changed it then and stuck with it now.

Why should we care?

When my teenage daughter first sat down to watch The Clone Wars movie and then the series with me, her first response was, “Her outfit was definitely drawn by a guy.” She felt uncomfortable for Ahsoka for two reasons. First, there was no way a miniskirt and a midriff top were going to be battle-comfortable or efficient. Two, she’s a 14-year-old girl being sent out around men all the time and in very little to wear.

I have to imagine that my teenage daughter, part of the demographic that Ahsoka was designed to appeal to, was far from being the only teenage girl who saw what Ahsoka was wearing and felt it was not good. Many had the same response. Fortunately, this demographic was able to look past the bad wardrobe choices and see the quality of the character behind this potentially fatal flaw.

Ahsoka is a fantastic character that we are all lucky to have in Star Wars. She is a phenomenal source of self-power and strength to do what is right, which appeals to everyone, regardless of gender. Keeping her changed attire for the live-action debut of young Ahsoka means that Disney and Lucasfilm wanted you to concentrate on the awesomeness of her character and what she was going through in that moment, reliving these moments of The Clone Wars with her former Master Anakin. They didn’t want you worrying about how short her skirt was. That would have lost the message and the power of Episode 5 and all that she was going through.

A new episode of Ahsoka debuts every Tuesday night on Disney Plus at 9 pm EST.