Editor’s Note: This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series being covered here wouldn’t exist.

hsoka Tano is one of the greatest Force-users in the Star Wars galaxy. Her journey encompasses multiple eras, from the fall of the Jedi through the New Republic. Her influence even extends into the era of the First Order.  

From the age of 14, Ahsoka fought in the Clone Wars under the apprenticeship of Anakin Skywalker, growing to become a commander in the war and leader of clone troopers. After choosing to leave the Jedi Order, she would battle Darth Maul, survive Order 66, and go into hiding from the new Galactic Empire.  

As if that wasn’t enough excitement for one lifetime, Ahsoka’s journey continued through Star Wars Rebels, Tales of the Jedi, The Mandalorian, and The Book of Boba Fett, where she embodied multiple identities from secret agent to mentor and master in the Force. 

Let’s journey back in time to a galaxy far, far away and see how Ahsoka Tano’s path continued after The Clone Wars.  

Ahsoka Tano in Hiding After Order 66

The Clone Wars Season 7 ended with Ahsoka Tano having survived Order 66 along with Captain Rex and burying her lightsabers at their crash site to fake her own death.

It is now the Reign of the Empire, and her story picks up in Tales of the Jedi at the funeral of Padmé Amidala. Ahsoka shouldn’t be there. The Empire has sent Inquisitors to hunt down any remaining Jedi, and she should be deep in hiding. Senator Bail Organa, ever perceptive, notices her hidden amongst the crowd. They meet in private and he chides her for taking such risks. But Ahsoka and Padmé were friends. There were no funerals for the slayed Jedi of Order 66, and although unspoken, the depth of loss shines in Ahsoka’s eyes.

Organa informs her of growing resistance to the Empire and urges her to join him in the cause. But she is too tired to continue the fight. She refuses. He hands her a comlink in case she changes her mind and conveys to her that some things are worth fighting for. Sometimes we must never give up.

Ahsoka returns to her ship, where Rex is waiting. Together they survived Order 66 and their bond runs deep.

We next see her on her own, trying to live as a “regular” being in the galaxy without using the Force. She gains work doing farm labor on the remote planet of Raada, keeping a low profile and simply trying to survive. But when trouble finds her, as it always seems to do, she uses the Force to protect a girl, blowing her cover. It isn’t long until an evil Inquisitor shows up, kills innocent farmers, destroys the village, and turns on Ahsoka Tano.  

He knows her name, and he intends to kill her.

Confronted, Ahsoka’s hand flexes for her lightsaber, but it isn’t there. She buried it at the crash site, hoping to lead the Empire off her trail. She is so used to it being there that her hand instinctively moves to grip it. The Inquisitor lights his sabers and attacks. She dodges his blows and, without a single weapon, cleanly dispatches him.  

The boy who betrayed her to the Empire begs for forgiveness, and Ahsoka grants it. Despite all that has happened to her, the betrayals and loss, she is not ruled by anger or vengeance. She is able to forgive.  

We know that Anakin’s training has brought Ahsoka this far. He taught her so well that she dispatched her enemy without a weapon. He has shared everything he knows with her. Thank the Force, he has not transmitted his anger as well, and his need for revenge.  

As this chapter comes to a close, a ship appears to take the remaining villagers to safety. Bail Organa disembarks and warmly greets Ahsoka. She has finally used that comlink he gave her and called him for help. They are both in the thick of it now as allies against the Empire.  

And so the next chapter of her life begins.

Undercover as Secret Agent Fulcrum

Ahsoka’s journey continues 15 years after Order 66 in Star Wars: Rebels. The Galactic Empire reigns. The Jedi are gone. Ahsoka is a Force-user hiding from the Empire. But that’s not all. Now she is secret agent Fulcrum, part of Bail Organa’s rebel intelligence network, providing missions and intelligence to Rebel cells. 

One of these cells is the tight-knit crew of the starship Ghost, including former Jedi Padawan Kanan Jarrus and his fledgling apprentice, Ezra Bridger. Kanan was a young Padawan when Order 66 cut his training viciously short. Now he struggles to train headstrong Ezra, an orphan strong in the Force and tempted by the dark side.  

It is dangerous for Force users to gather together. Ahsoka does her best to stay hidden from the Ghost and works anonymously from the shadows. But when Kanan is captured, Ahsoka risks the Rebellion and reveals herself to the Ghost to protect Kanan and Ezra.  

Every Jedi she has ever known is gone. Although she is not a Jedi, how can she abandon Kanan and Ezra, who may be the very last of them? Even though it’s a risk to the Rebellion, Ahsoka follows her heart which, no doubt, is guided by the Force.  

It’s interesting to note that Ahsoka’s face remains hidden until the end of Season 1, in “Fire Across the Galaxy,” when she finally reveals herself to the Ghost crew. This is the episode when Darth Vader also appears. For as the light rises, so does the dark, and the paths of Ahsoka and Anakin are still entwined, even after all this time.

Ahsoka Encounters Darth Vader

Ahsoka is present at fleet briefings and is an integral part of the fledgling Rebel Alliance.  No longer the impulsive teenage Padawan of the Clone Wars, this Ahsoka is a calm, grounded presence, especially for Kanan Jarrus, who hasn’t known any Force-users since Order 66 and struggles with his path.  

Ahsoka has become a mentor and guide to Kanan and Ezra. She is older now.  Wiser.  Kanan is Ezra’s master, and she never breaches this boundary, but she is present as a wise mentor and an even fiercer protector when they need it.

She is with the Ghost’s crew when the Empire and Darth Vader attack the Rebel fleet.  Together, Ahsoka and Kanan reach out with the Force to sense what is there. Suddenly, Ahsoka is slammed with the hatred, fear, and anger of her former master. She does not recognize him as Anakin Skywalker. She feels only the overwhelming flood of emotions swirling about him with a darkness so intense it knocks her unconscious. 

But Darth Vader has sensed her as well! He informs his master, Darth Sidious, that he has sensed Anakin’s apprentice, and she is in league with the Rebels. He has also sensed Ezra.  This is how the Force works.  Force-users are like a light, a spark in the dark.  The more that are together, the brighter they shine.  

Vader dispatches Inquisitors to hunt down and capture Ahsoka.

In need of strategic wisdom, Ahsoka sends the Ghost to find Captain Rex while she searches for the unknown Sith Lord. When the Ghost crew eventually returns with her old friend, Ahsoka embraces him in an enormous hug – an uncharacteristically demonstrative move for her.  It is a powerful moment (I dare you not to cry!), but they don’t have time to revel in it.  The hunt is on, and there’s work to do.

Avenging Angel

The Empire sees anyone strong in the Force as a threat and has dispatched Inquisitors to capture Force-sensitive children. As Ahsoka monitors transmissions from Mustafar, determined to learn more about the mysterious Sith Lord, she discovers the Empire’s plan. She sends Kanan and Ezra to track a set of coordinates, but they are discovered by an Inquisitor who attacks them with two red blades.

Although Kanan and Ezra fight valiantly, the Inquisitor is far better. Kanan’s lack of Jedi training is evident. He is no Obi-Wan Kenobi or Luminara, and Ezra is even less skilled. Even together, they are no match for the Inquisitor, who ruthlessly moves in to cut them down. 

And then, emerging out of a white halo of light, Ahsoka appears like an avenging angel with two shining white lightsabers. She and the Inquisitor clash, white blades blazing against red. She conquers the Inquisitor — and for the first time, Ezra sees what a trained Jedi can really do. Ahsoka is in an entirely different league, a shining inspiration to Kanan and Ezra.

This is the first time we have seen Ahsoka fight on screen since The Clone Wars. It’s the first time we have seen her ignite her two white lightsabers. They blaze like stars.

Ahsoka Discovers Vader’s Identity

In search of answers, Ahsoka accompanies Kanan and Ezra to a hidden Jedi temple. Entering deeply into meditation, a clear vision of Anakin appears. In a fury, he accuses her of abandoning him. Of selfishness and betrayal. All the love he has ever had for her has turned to hate.  “Ahsoka, why did you leave? Where were you when I needed you?” he demands.

Years have passed since Order 66, and all this time, Ahsoka believed that her master was dead. Her master had always been the loyal Anakin. The patient Anakin. The master who believed in her and cleared her name when she was accused of treason. The master who consoled her when she disobeyed his orders and tragically commanded a squadron of clones to their death.

Ahsoka’s relationship with Anakin had always been with his best self. When she developed a crush on a boy, Anakin compassionately counseled her. (If only Obi-Wan had done the same for him!) She didn’t get the jealous Anakin like Padmé sometimes did. Or the resentful Anakin like Obi-Wan once had. Ahsoka’s master was patient and wise.    

Ahsoka’s encounter with Vader is a crucial moment in her life. It is the moment she senses Anakin in the Force and discovers he is alive. It is when, to her immense horror, she discovers that her beloved master has fallen to the dark side and become the Sith Lord, Darth Vader.

And he hates her   “You abandoned me! You failed me! Do you know what I’ve become?”

This is the Ahsoka he remembers. The Padawan, the friend, maybe the one person he could have confided in. The Padawan who turned and walked away. She broke his heart. He loved her deeply. Not the way he loved Padmé — that was a romantic, incendiary kind of love. He loved Ahsoka like a sister. Like a war brother. Like family. He would have died for her. He almost did many a time.  

And she walked away.  

In horror, Ahsoka sees that Anakin’s hurt has morphed, twisted, and erupted into a rage. When Inquisitors arrive at the temple and it begins to collapse, her vision fades and she’s left heartbroken with the realization that Anakin has fallen to the dark side.  

Now Vader hunts her. He arrives at the Lothal temple, but not before Ahsoka, Kanan, and Ezra escape and embark upon a new quest to Malachor. Yoda has sent Ezra there to gain more knowledge, so the journey continues.  

As the darkness of the Empire engulfs the galaxy, Ahsoka’s path remains linked with the destiny of Anakin Skywalker, for Vader has her in his sights, and this time, he’s not going to let her go.

Ahsoka Battles Darth Vader

Ahsoka, Kanan, and Ezra arrive at an ancient Sith temple on Malachor. There they encounter Maul, who remembers “Lady Tano” well. He will make a strange and treacherous ally before betraying them. Once again, Ahsoka steps into the fight to protect Kanan, and it is thrilling to see Maul and Lady Tano battle again. But she has a bigger fight coming. Darth Vader has arrived and is a far more deadly adversary than Maul.    

Ahsoka’s epic confrontation with Vader in “Twilight of the Apprentice II” is another key moment in her life. Vader appears at the temple in dramatic fashion, poised atop a descending TIE fighter amidst flashing lightning, his red lightsaber glowing in the darkness. He is about to cut down Ezra when Ahsoka appears just in the nick of time.

“It was foretold that you would be here. Our long-awaited meeting has come at last,” Darth Vader says, offering Ahsoka mercy if she turns the remaining Jedi over to the Emperor.

Ahsoka snaps that “There are no Jedi.” The Inquisitors have made sure of that. When Vader threatens to kill Ezra, Ahsoka doubts her earlier vision, unable to believe this Sith Lord could possibly be Anakin Skywalker. 

“It’s impossible,” she says. Anakin could never be so vile. 

Vader taunts her.  “Anakin Skywalker was weak. I destroyed him.” 

“Then I will avenge his death.” 

“Revenge is not the Jedi way,” Vader chides.

And then comes Ahsoka’s epic declaration: “I am no Jedi.”

She attacks, believing she is avenging her former master. It is her two white lightsabers clashing against Vader’s red one. The battle is epic. Ahsoka’s nimble acrobatics contrast against the onslaught of Vader’s towering power. Vader gains the upper hand and sends her flying off a precipice. He turns his attention to Kanan, Ezra, and the Sith Holocron in Ezra’s hand when Ahsoka runs fiercely at Vader and hurls herself into him, knocking them both down and cracking his mask and voice box. He calls her, and she hears the voice of Anakin. With shock, she sees his face. 

Ahsoka declares, “I won’t leave you. Not this time.”

Vader answers, “Then you will die.”

He lights his saber and their battle continues. Ezra tries to protect Ahsoka, but she Force pushes him to safety, determined to face Vader alone.  

In Tales of the Jedi, we see Anakin training Ahsoka as a young padawan. We cringe as she’s knocked unconscious again and again and again. Why does he put her through this? But after Order 66, we understand. Anakin trained Ahsoka to survive. 

And she has til now.

She defeated Darth Maul and survived Order 66 in large part because Anakin was her master. Now she must face Darth Vader in battle. Were it not for his own training, she wouldn’t have a chance.  

As Kanan and Ezra escape in their ship, the temple explodes, leaving Ahsoka’s fate uncertain.

The World Between Worlds

Ahsoka’s comrades believe she is dead.  Considerable time has passed before Ezra Bridger finds her and saves her.  He has stumbled into the World Between Worlds: A strange conduit within time and space, through which, as Qui-Gon Jinn says,  “the entire Force of the universe flows.”  

Suspended in a dark, cosmic void, Ezra is guided by Ahsoka’s convor companion, Morai.  They traverse a path with portals opening to other times and places. There, he sees Ahsoka locked in combat with Darth Vader in the Sith temple on Malachor. Just as Vader is about to strike her down, Ezra reaches through the portal and yanks her out. Somehow he has reached through time and pulled Ahsoka into the World Between Worlds.  

Of course, the danger isn’t over. Darth Sidious finds them there.  He wages a vicious attack, slamming them with blue Force fire. Together Ahsoka and Ezra hold Palpatine’s assault back before they turn and run, splitting up to escape.  

“When you get back, come and find me,” Ezra yells before they dash down separate paths. 

“I will. I promise,” Ahsoka declares.

In Search of Ezra

We won’t see Ahsoka again until she sets off in search of Ezra. He has disappeared alongside Grand Admiral Thrawn into the depths of Wild Space. Ahsoka, a woman of her word, promised Ezra she would come and find him. 

Our last glimpse of her — for a while, at least — is in the final episode of Rebels. Dressed in a white cloak and holding a staff like a great sage, she and Sabine Wren set off in search of their lost friend, one of the last known Jedi in the galaxy.

Ahsoka Searching for Grand Admiral Thrawn

Another era has passed. The Battle of Endor has been won, the Empire defeated, and it is the time of the New Republic. We next find Ahsoka in Season 2 of The Mandalorian on the planet Corvus. It is a devastated wasteland shrouded in toxic fog. The trees are bare, like bones stripped of flesh. Mercenaries in gas masks hunt Ahsoka through the gloom. She moves like a ghost in the mist, dispatching them with cold precision. Her two white lightsabers cut through the dark, illuminating her face in their blazing glow.   

Din Djarin, the Mandalorian, finds her here. He is seeking a Jedi to train the Child, and Bo-Katan has sent him to Corvus.

Ahsoka meets the Child and communes with him, sensing his deep attachment to Din. Her powers have grown. Through the Force, she can see the Child’s traumatic past.  

She reveals his name, Grogu, and tells Din Djarin about his history. The pain and attachment Grogu feels disturb her. She remembers Anakin and his great fall to the dark. To wield the Force with such passion is dangerous. She will not play a part in Grogu’s potential fall, and so she refuses to train him in the ways of the Force.

Perhaps Ahsoka knows that it was Anakin’s intense attachment to things: his mother, Padmé, his Padawan, and even R2-D2, that made him vulnerable to the dark side. Anakin could never let go. 

But Ahsoka can. It is one of her greatest strengths. 

And yet, has she swung too far the other way? Does she view attachment only as a weakness and never a strength, as the Mandalorians do?

She and Din team up to free the town of Calodan from the tyranny of a wicked magistrate in league with Thrawn. Ahsoka wants to protect this planet. It’s what she does. She helps people in need. 

But she is also here for another reason. Ahsoka defeats the magistrate in a Samurai-style battle, and demands to know: "Where is your master? Where is Grand Admiral Thrawn?"

After she and Din liberate the town, she looks with deep tenderness upon Grogu. He reminds her of Master Yoda. And though she won’t train him, she directs them to the next leg of his journey, where he may find a Jedi that will.

This Ahsoka is older now. Stoic. There is a deep stillness to her. When she speaks, not a word is wasted. When she moves, it is smoothly precise. She has even more gravitas than she did in Rebels.  

What has she experienced between then and now? Did she find Ezra? Where has she been? It’s a mystery. But she has connected with Bo Katan. We know that much. And her search for Thrawn continues.

Ahsoka at Luke’s new Jedi Temple

We see her next in The Book of Boba Fett at Luke Skywalker’s new Jedi Temple. The Mandalorian has followed her guidance, and Luke Skywalker has heard Grogu’s call. He has taken Grogu away to be his very first student. But Din misses Grogu deeply and sets out to visit him with a gift of newly forged Beskar armor.

Din appears on Ossus to find a temple being built by droids. Before he can find Luke and Grogu, Ahsoka intercepts him. With compassion, she counsels him to let Grogu go so he can focus on his training. And she guides Din toward a deeper self-awareness by asking him about his true motivation. Is he doing this for Grogu or himself?  

Eventually, Din leaves without seeing Grogu, but not before he entrusts the armor to Ahsoka. With utmost presence, she accepts it. She finds Luke training Grogu and passes the armor on to him. And it strikes us right in the heart: Ahsoka is with Anakin’s son. The circle is complete.

Luke turns to her for guidance. Ahsoka knew his father, after all. She remembers the best of Anakin and is a shining link to the Jedi Order. He’s new to this Jedi Academy stuff and asks her how to handle Grogu. 

“Trust your instincts,” she says. It’s what she’s always done.

As she turns to leave, Luke asks if he’ll see her again. 

“Perhaps,” she says. She is a wanderer, and she is on the hunt for Thrawn. There are no guarantees that she’ll ever return to Luke’s temple, so she doesn’t make any promises. But she does leave him with a blessing. She gazes at Anakin Skywalker’s son and says, “May the Force be with you.”


Ahsoka Tano has been many things: Jedi, Commander, secret agent, Rebel leader, teacher, mystic, and sage. She has fought alongside great Jedi Masters like Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi and learned from Yoda and Mace Windu.  

Her journey is one of tremendous loss and growth. She came of age in a time of war. When she lost her faith in the Jedi Order, she walked away to forge her own path. It led her through the Reign of the Empire, The New Republic, and even into the era of the First Order when, along with the voices of Jedi past, she inspired Rey to trust the Force and defeat Darth Sidious once and for all.  

When Ahsoka withdrew from the Jedi, especially after Order 66, she was lost. But Ahsoka has always been brave, and Anakin, through his training and guidance, gave her all the tools she needed to survive. She walked into the great unknown with only the Force as her guide, but the training of all the Jedi lived inside her.

This is how she became Fulcrum, a hidden yet powerful force behind the growing resistance. She helped guide Kanan to become a master Jedi. She protected Ezra, the orphaned Padawan who struggled against the dark side. She fought Maul, battled Darth Vader, and even confronted Darth Sidious. And she survived. 

If Anakin Skywalker had not been her teacher, it’s doubtful she would have lived. Their fates are entwined. He was his best as her master, and she has grown to embody the very best in him.  

Ahsoka is one of the greatest Force-users the galaxy has ever known. And although she declared, “I am no Jedi,” she embodies their ethos profoundly. Ahsoka could navigate through the shroud of darkness. She could accept what she saw and act. She was able to let go.

Even Yoda couldn’t do that.

Star Wars is alive and enlivened by muses and guides and by those fans who connect to it with devotion. Ahsoka Tano is a hero for our time. She refuses to blindly follow authority, dogma, or institutions. She trusts her instincts and follows the Force while helping countless beings along the way. 

Thank the blessed Force her journey continues! The 8-episode series, Ahsoka, premiers August 23, 2023, on Disney+, helmed by her beloved creator, Dave Filoni!

For more on Ahsoka, check out Youtini’s reading collection here

Gea Haff was the magical age of 9-years-old when A New Hope came to theaters and forever imprinted itself on her mind. Three years later, after seeing The Empire Strikes Back she wrote George Lucas a letter asking him to please put her in his next movie, Return of the Jedi. Alas, Mr. Lucas did not concede to her demands, but Lucasfilm did write her back and send her a free subscription to Bantha Tracks! She has been a loyal devotee ever since.