100 sci fi women #62: Ahsoka Tano

For a silly but on-theme link here is Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s Star Wars.

On a sadder note – my last entry was Sarah Jane Smith, little realising that within a couple of weeks, Elisabeth Sladen would have died. I was very sad to learn of her death – Sarah Jane Smith is certainly the first of the Doctor’s companions I really remembered and grew to love, and it is nice that my children, through the Sarah Jane stories got a chance to meet this significant female character on their own terms. I was hoping for more Sarah Jane stories, and possibly more crossing over to the Doctor Who universe. But it is not to be, and sadly we must say farewell to Sarah Jane. Don’t worry, we won’t forget you.

Ahsoka Tano Star Wars: The Clone Wars  movie and television series

Ahsoka is a woman, or rather girl, in a very male world. As Anakin Skywalker’s padawan, she inhabits worlds which are dominated by men – the Jedi Council, the Republican army. She is surrounded by men who want to tell her what to do because she is young, and possibly, because she is female. She is also a non-human in a very human dominated environment – although the Jedi Council does have its share of non-humans. Ahsoka manages to forge her own way through this world, showing her own strength, inventiveness and skills. She is one of the few Jedi who face General Grievous in battle and survives and she is left by Anakin at times to lead missions because he has faith in her abilities. She also has compassion for others; she cares about the deaths of the clones who some see as expendable battle fodder. She is loyal and at a young age she is willing to speak her defiance to the Jedi Council when they are willing to let her orignal mentor, Plo Koon die unrescued. Ahsoka is a credible female prescence in a universe where there are only two other stand-out female characters – Princess Leia and Padme – and as such she brings some balance to the force.

It is lucky I don’t need rescuing!

100 sci fi women #61: Sarah Jane Smith

Ok, on topic a bit of fun before we move on to the main business: current series Doctor Who credits, Buffy style. Can’t wait for the new season to start.

Sarah Jane Smith Doctor Who and  Sarah Jane Adventures

Very few women in science fiction haven’t managed the feats of Sarah-Jane Smith – travelling through time and space, defeating monsters, having a successful career and….coming back after twenty years and getting your own television program. It says something about the strength of the character that despite the passage of time, she can reappear as a companion and then move onto her own stage.

Sarah Jane is smart and resourceful – she was a career woman when that was not the norm. She did sometimes scream just a bit too much, but she was off encountering aliens and life threatening situations. She has a sense of adventure and a keen wish to investigate and learn more. Not a fan of violence, she will give her enemies a chance to retreat. Saying goodbye to the Doctor was not the end to her adventures or her ability to embrace the strange and unusual. She had the bravery to take on the unusual by herself and the intelligence and determination to defeat it. When motherhood is thrust upon her, she embraces it and becomes a fiercely protective mother, although this still will not stop her doing her best to make the world a better place. With her sensible haircut and business-like attire, Sarah Jane is the most enduring of the Doctor’s companions and the one who was most able to stand on her own.