n a few weeks, Disney+ will debut its latest Star Wars series - Ahsoka. This new show will follow the continued adventures of Ahsoka Tano, a fan-favorite character who has grown from Anakin Skywalker's plucky Padawan into a complex, iconic hero in her own right. As we look ahead to learning more about Ahsoka's post-Clone Wars exploits, it's worth looking back at the pivotal moments that shaped who she is today.
Ahsoka is a groundbreaking character in the Star Wars universe as she was one of the first female Jedi to get significant exploration into their character. She is also one of the few Jedi who has left the Order, something that seemed unthinkable throughout the Original and Prequel Trilogies. She is a symbol of hope and resilience, and she shows that it is possible to stand up for what you believe in, even when the odds are stacked against you.
Ahsoka’s Early Years
We first met the headstrong teenager in the 2008 Clone Wars movie when she was assigned as Anakin Skywalker's apprentice against both their wishes. When Ahsoka arrives on Christophsis to inform Anakin of her assignment as his Padawan, he begrudgingly accepts her as part of "Master Yoda's idea of a joke." Their combative banter reveals Ahsoka's cheeky attitude and lack of deference toward authority. Even during their first battle together, she ignores Anakin's orders and dives recklessly into action, showcasing both her courage and impetuousness.
Throughout the film, Anakin tries to rein in his defiant new apprentice as she butts heads with Clone Captain Rex and consistently puts herself in danger. Her brash lightsaber techniques contrast Anakin's more controlled fighting style. But eventually, Ahsoka's persistence and skills earn Rex's respect and impress her new master.
By the end, Anakin sees Ahsoka's potential to balance out his more brooding nature with her plucky optimism. When Ahsoka is made a Padawan learner, she humbly acknowledges she has much to learn, showing Anakin's guidance has already tempered some of her arrogance. Their partnership didn't have an easy start, but the film made it clear this unlikely pairing was the start of an iconic mentorship.
Initial Challenges as a Padawan
Ahsoka’s youth and an unorthodox master often led to some extraordinary feats, but they didn’t come without a fair share of mistakes and arguments between Padawan and Master. Ahsoka and Anakin’s rocky start exemplified Ahsoka's early flaws - she was brash, impulsive, and reckless. These qualities came to the forefront when she nearly got her troopers killed due to a refusal to follow orders.
During the Battle of Ryloth, Ahsoka disobeyed direct orders from Anakin and ended up putting her troops in grave danger. Eager to demonstrate her skills and gain favor with her new master, Ahsoka devised an impulsive plan to take a village occupied by proton cannons.
Ignoring Anakin's command to retreat and regroup, the overconfident Ahsoka believed she could liberate the village herself. She rushed in headfirst without adequate planning or reconnaissance, leading many clones to their deaths in the ensuing firefight. Her reckless frontal assault allowed the droids to surround and pin down her remaining forces.
As Ahsoka helplessly watched more clones perish from the assault she had set in motion, the full weight of her actions sank in. At that moment, she realized her unchecked desire to impress Anakin had overridden wisdom and resulted in preventable casualties.
When Anakin finally arrived to extract her remaining troops, Ahsoka was ashamed of what her impulsiveness had cost. She had ignored prudence and put lives in danger simply to showcase herself to her master. It was a catastrophic failure of judgment fueled by a youthful need for validation.
The tragedy gave Ahsoka insight into the burden of responsibility leaders carry. Afterward, she took Anakin’s disappointed lecture about restraint and caution to heart. Ahsoka never wanted her blind ambition to impair her decision-making again. It was a formative lesson about patience, humility, and the sobering sacrifices of war - one that tempered her headstrong nature but did not break her admirable spirit.
Ahsoka Versus the Trandoshans
An event that tested Ahsoka’s mettle was a mission gone awry that separated the young Padawan from her master. During a battle on Felucia, Ahsoka was abducted by Trandoshan hunters who had set up camp on the moon Wasskah. Craving live prey, they had made capture pods to abduct random Jedi and transport them to Wasskah to serve as targets for their twisted game. Ahsoka awoke in one of these pods alongside other captive younglings, only to be dumped in the moon's jungle and immediately targeted.
Thinking quickly, Ahsoka used the Force to determine she was the sole Padawan among a group of terrified younglings being stalked. Putting their safety first, she organized the younglings and led them in evading the hunting parties. They took refuge in a cavern system, where Ahsoka tended their wounds and rationed their limited food and water.
Despite their dire situation, Ahsoka kept the younglings' spirits up with her positive attitude, resourceful thinking, and unshakable faith they would make it off Wasskah. When one of the younglings lost hope, Ahsoka reminded him they needed to support each other if they were going to survive. Her courage and tenacity inspired the younglings to not give up.
Through it all, Ahsoka never let fear or despair take over. She led by example, showing the younglings that adaptability and level-headedness were their best chance. Ahsoka's determination and resilience to withstand the Trandoshans' sinister hunting game motivated the younglings to summon the inner strength needed to endure. This remarkable poise and leadership in the face of horror would serve as a guiding light for them in their future training.
Ahsoka as a Leader
Ahsoka’s leadership instincts were allowed to flash for a short while engineering the plan to escape from the Trandoshans. She begins to come into her own from that point. Ahsoka's maturity and wisdom as a mentor became clear when she was dispatched to train Mandalorian cadets on Mandalore. During this mission, she instructed the Dutchess Satine's nephew Korkie and his fellow cadets who were investigating political corruption.
When the cadets' curiosity put them in danger, Ahsoka taught them to have courage and loyalty, even in the face of adversity. She helped the students see that standing up for justice sometimes required great courage and sacrifice. Under Ahsoka's guidance, the cadets found the resilience to expose the Death Watch terrorists plotting against Satine. Ahsoka’s faith in those she was teaching resulted in lives saved and personal growth for the students and the teacher.
Ahsoka further displayed her nurturing leadership when she took a group of younglings to the icy caves of Illum to help them retrieve kyber crystals and construct their first lightsabers. The challenging journey pushed the younglings to their limits, but Ahsoka maintained an air of calm guidance.
However, even after attuning to the kyber crystals, their journey was far from over. On their way back to the Jedi Temple, the younglings' ship came under attack by pirates seeking to steal the rare crystals. Ahsoka instructed the younglings to hide while she held off the pirates. But headstrong Petro disobeyed and tried to fight, only to endanger himself and lose his crystal in the scuffle.
Petro felt defeated after losing the crystal, but Ahsoka wisely counseled him to have faith and reflection, not anger. Taking her advice, Petro meditated and discovered he could mentally connect to his crystal from afar. This revelation amazed the other younglings about the deeper nature of their bonds with the crystals. When the pirates attacked again, the younglings worked together, using the Force to fool the pirates. Ahsoka outwitted the pirates as well, and the group finally reached the Temple safely.
Thanks to Ahsoka's thoughtful mentorship, the younglings emerged from this trial with greater understanding, patience, and teamwork. She helped them realize being a Jedi was about more than just wielding a lightsaber. Her wisdom guided them on the next step in their training.
The Decision to Leave
Ahsoka’s decision to leave the Jedi Order and everything she knew is arguably the most critical moment in her life thus far. Ahsoka's faith in the Jedi Council was irrevocably shaken when they incorrectly accused her of orchestrating a deadly bombing of the Jedi Temple. Although she was eventually cleared of all charges, Ahsoka realized the Council had been all too ready to falsely incriminate her to quickly close the case.
The sequence of events that led to this betrayal began when Ahsoka was framed by her friend Barriss Offee, who had secretly turned against the Jedi. Barriss committed the attack in protest of the war, later manipulating evidence to cast suspicion on Ahsoka.
The Council feared Ahsoka's alleged crimes would make the Order appear compromised. So rather than objectively investigating, they hastily expelled Ahsoka so they could swiftly convict her and save face. Only Anakin stood by her side as she desperately sought to clear her name.
Though she eventually was able to prove her innocence, the damage was done. The Council's lack of trust in her shook Ahsoka's entire worldview. She realized that the Jedi masters she had long respected valued order and reputation over truth and loyalty. Their betrayal left her feeling disillusioned about the Order's integrity.
So when the Council hypocritically offered to reinstate her after she had uncovered Barriss' deception, Ahsoka refused. She declared she could no longer stay with an Order that had so easily abandoned its ideals out of self-interest. Despite their pleas, she turned and walked away, choosing her path over a flawed system.
Ahsoka's decision demonstrated immense courage and integrity. Rather than compromising her principles, she left the only life she knew to forge her destiny. It was a pivotal moment that proved she was no longer Anakin's apprentice, but a wise and independent agent of light the Jedi could not control.
The Siege of Mandalore and Order 66
Despite the long wait, The Clone Wars Season 7 gave us a pivotal chapter that helps push her toward the woman we later see in Rebels and The Mandalorian. Returning to lead the Republic forces one last time, Ahsoka joined the Siege of Mandalore to take the planet from Maul’s control.
Arriving with Republic clones, Ahsoka devised a daring plan to invade the capital and capture Maul. Her coordinated air and ground assault allowed the Republic to break through Maul's defenses and push him into retreat. Ahsoka pursued Maul relentlessly, chasing him through the city's underground passages to lock down his escape.
Maul’s attempt to warn Ahsoka of the impending power shift failed as she believed him to be manipulating her. An exhilarating duel ensued, with Maul’s arrogance leading to his capture by Republic forces. Fearful of what his former master has in store, the former Sith wished death but is denied it. While heading to deliver Maul to authorities, Order 66 transpired across the galaxy. Ahsoka froze in disbelief as her troops suddenly opened fire on her, with Rex showing just enough restraint to hold his fire a second.
Alone and surrounded by enemies that she once called friends, Ahsoka used her ingenuity to survive aboard the ship. After removing Rex’s inhibitor chip and setting Maul loose to unleash chaos, Rex and Ahsoka were able to escape the peril within the Venator-class Star Destroyer and went into hiding to avoid the Empire’s purge of the Jedi.
Things couldn’t look any more bleak for Ahsoka; nearly every ally she once had was gone. But thanks to her past resilience, Ahsoka's spirit endured even this tragedy. And though the Jedi Order lay in ruins, her commitment to doing good remained stronger than ever. She would need all her courage in the dark times ahead - not as a Padawan or Jedi, but as a champion of light guiding others on a new path.
Ahsoka Tano's journey demonstrates how sometimes the most challenging roads lead to the greatest growth. Her path contained painful trials and betrayals that challenged everything she believed in. But through each hardship, Ahsoka emerged wiser and more confident of her inner moral compass.
Her experiences forged an exemplary Jedi, mentor, and rebel who follows her conscience over convenience. As she moves into a new chapter of life, Ahsoka carries a new level of wisdom and integrity that will serve her well no matter the obstacles ahead.
The galaxy may have changed, but Ahsoka's commitment to hope and doing what's right remains steady. She rose above her past pain to become an inspiration for good in dark times. She continues to grow after the events of Order 66. To travel through the rest of Ahsoka’s journey before the Disney+ show arrives, check out this article written by Gea Haff:
Notice: This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the character and series being covered here wouldn't exist.