Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Episodes 1-5 of Ahsoka.
The Big Picture
- The Ahsoka television series sheds light on how the Jedi Order’s practice of taking children from their families for their strong connection to the Force was wrong and contributed to their downfall.
- In “Shadow Warrior,” Ahsoka revisits memories from her time as a Jedi, gaining a new perspective on being taken from her family and the tragedies she experienced at a young age.
- Ahsoka seeks to train Sabine Wren with a focus on embracing emotions and channeling them in a way that won’t lead to destructive outcomes, aiming to fix the mistakes of the Jedi Order and prevent the return of the Empire under Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Ever since The Clone Wars premiered in 2008, Ahsoka Tano (voiced by Ashley Eckstein) was excited about having the possibility of saving the galaxy alongside Anakin Skywalker (voiced by Matt Lanter). But the live-action Ahsoka television series has brought a new perspective to the protagonist’s adventures as a young girl, by showing how the Jedi Order was wrong in taking children away from their families only for the fact that they had a strong connection to the Force. The keepers of the peace planted the seeds for their own downfall with the practices they placed upon the galaxy for centuries.
‘Ahsoka’ Episode 5 Offers a Trip Down Memory Lane
The fifth episode of the Ahsoka television series, titled “Shadow Warrior,” was special for the protagonist of the story (played by Rosario Dawson as an adult) because of how it allowed her to visit some memories from her early years as a Jedi. Her own memories of her former Master (with Hayden Christensen returning as Anakin Skywalker) took her back to some of the biggest battles she had to face while living through the Clone Wars. But as Ahsoka continued to go from one place to another, she realized a number of things about herself, about Anakin and about the life she grew up in.
Ariana Greenblatt played a younger version of Ahsoka, as the adult consciousness of the character saw her memories through the appearance she had when they took place. Since she had an entire lifetime of experiences after she had to part ways with Anakin, Ahsoka already had an entirely new perspective about the fact that she was taken from her family when she was only a toddler, without any choice regarding her recruitment into a war where countless clone troopers died in front of her eyes while she was still extremely young.
After the events of Star Wars: Rebels, Ahsoka turned out to be a very wise adult, constantly listening to her connection to the Force to figure out what she’s supposed to do next. She had to find the strength within herself to move on from the tragedies she lived through at such a young age, including the fact that the adults that were supposed to be taking care of her didn’t believe her when faced with strong accusations of betrayal during her final days in the Jedi temple.
Two Jedi Generations With the Same Problem
While Ahsoka struggled a lot to adjust as an adult after being taken by the Jedi Order when she was a child, her master also suffered the grave consequences of how the keepers of the peace used to operate. As seen in Attack of the Clones, Anakin couldn’t grow up as a normal teenager while in the middle of a war. By being away from his mother, the only example for processing his feelings were the very serious, slightly unhealthy Jedi who only wanted him in the first place because of a misguided prophecy.
And this upbringing was what would eventually lead Anakin to fall into the grasp of Darth Sidious (Ian McDiarmid), effectively turning him into the evil Darth Vader. The only thing Anakin ever wanted was to form a family with Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman). But the young man grew up without any close friends of his age, or any early romances that could’ve helped him process what would come after. Instead, he was turned into a confused soldier without any sense of responsibility, and the entire galaxy would suffer because of it. Fortunately, it looks like his padawan learned how to deal with it in a much better way.
When Ahsoka saw her master once again in the television series, they had an honest conversation about the galaxy he had left behind him when he died during the events of Return of the Jedi. Since Ahsoka was more like Anakin than she cared to admit, she was afraid his turn towards the Dark Side could mean that she was headed towards a similar fate. Anakin Skywalker was always going to be Darth Vader, even if he was redeemed in the end. But could Ahsoka be anything more than someone who had to serve in the war against the Separatist Army?
Ahsoka Tries to Fix the Mistakes of Her Past
By this point, it’s clear that the Jedi Order did plenty of damage by dragging children into the conflict that would bring the ultimate collapse of the Republic. But the entire franchise has done a great job of displaying how different people reacted to building a life for themselves after the conflict. Ahsoka is no longer an apprentice. She’s a Master, and she has to train Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) if she has any hope of them stopping the remnants of the Empire from taking over the galaxy once more.
But what Anakin’s former apprentice is trying to do is giving Sabine everything she wishes the Jedi Order could’ve offered to her when she was younger. Ahsoka’s teachings aren’t about denying Sabine’s emotions and forcing her to mindlessly join an army. Ahsoka wants her apprentice to learn how to channel those emotions to guide her path without leading her into an irrational crusade similar to the one Anakin fell victim of. The horrors of the Clone Wars and the failure of the Jedi Order allowed Ahsoka to become a better person, as she trains the future of the Force while on a very special mission.
The galaxy has heard rumors about the possibility of Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) making a comeback after disappearing during the final episodes of Rebels. Ahsoka knows how dangerous the villain can be, and if he returns, his leadership skills could allow him to establish a new version of the Empire. But since Ahsoka is passing on her knowledge to Sabine without the expectations of the Jedi Order on her shoulders, the heroes might be strong enough to get rid of the military leader once and for all.