Perhaps no character has undergone as dramatic a shift in the perceptions of fandom than Ahsoka Tano. Initially the introduction of Snips in The Clone Wars movie was met by much consternation and some downright hostility from fans. Very quickly however and throughout the course of The Clone Wars series Ahsoka Tano became the central character of the series and built up a devoted following of new fans and stole the hearts of longtime fans as well.
“Future Ahsoka” by Raikoh-illust
The character arc of Ahsoka Tano is fascinating in many ways, she has her own hero’s journey to follow but she also embellishes the tragic fall of Anakin Skywalker and the adventures of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
I have discussed the topic of Ahsoka’s fate previously in an article titled, “The Eight Fates of Ahsoka Tano,” where I broke it down into eight main possibilities;
Fate #1: Ahsoka Lives: Leaves Jedi Order before Order 66.
Fate #2: Ahsoka Dies: Killed before Battle of Coruscant.
Fate #3: Ahsoka Lives: Escapes Order 66.
Fate #4: Ahsoka Dies: Darth Vader’s Jedi Purge.
Fate #5: Ahsoka Lives: Spared by Darth Vader.
Fate #6: Ahsoka Dies: Anakin Kills Ahsoka.
Fate #7: Ahsoka Lives: Anakin mindwipes Ahsoka.
Fate #8: Ahsoka Dies: Darth Vader’s Assault on the Jedi Temple.
At the close of The Clone Wars series we had a final story arc focused on Ahsoka Tano, the episodes “Sabotage” (5.17), “The Jedi Who Knew Too Much”(5.18), “To Catch a Jedi” (5.19), “The Wrong Jedi” (5.20).
In this arc Ahsoka is framed for a bombing within the Jedi Temple and charged with the murder of clones. She escapes from prison while Anakin and other’s search for her. While a fugitive the truth is revealed that her former friend and fellow padawan Barriss Offee was the one behind the attack and the framing of Ahsoka. The heart of the story is that while Anakin remained confident in his padawan, the Jedi Council did not. They stripped her of her rank and privileges within the Order and when the truth was revealed they tried to invite her back into the Order. As hard as it was to leave the only family she had ever known, Ahsoka’s faith broken in the Jedi, she decided to leave the Order and her master.
Ahsoka’s story on The Clone Wars and the series itself ends with Ahsoka Tano having just left the Jedi Order and walking into the sunset. This plays perfectly into the first of my outlined fates, by leaving the Jedi Order before Order 66 takes place it increases the likelihood that Ahsoka survives the Prequel trilogy era.
Ahsoka surviving the end of The Clone Wars leads to the obvious question of whether or not she should appear on the new show, Star Wars: Rebels.
Star Wars Rebels will be set 14 years after the events of Revenge of the Sith and thus 5 years before the Battle of Yavin.*
The setting of Rebels does not preclude the inclusion of Ahsoka Tano in the series. It is important to note that Lucasfilm has mentioned that the series will flow in a much more chronological way than The Clone Wars did. So if Ahsoka is in the series there likely won’t be a lot of time to go backward and explore what she has been doing for 15 years. This isn’t a huge issue because those gaps can be filled in by other media such as novels or comics. I think that Ahsoka is a marketable enough character and there is enough interest in her story that I doubt that Disney will not feature her in some animated feature project. If you look at the Marvel and DC home entertainment releases you see a lot of direct to video features. It would seem fitting that Ahsoka would get that kind of treatment at some point down the road. Exactly how soon that would be remains to be seen. My pipe dream is that the recently leaked news about Darth Vader television specials in 2014 would be that they are a mini-series or a few feature-length animated features focusing on the Jedi Purge and ending with a confrontation of Ahsoka versus Vader.
In season five of The Clone Wars we saw Ahsoka take the lead of a group of Younglings in a story arc that was rumored to be a test for a possible spin-off series featuring a new group of young Jedi characters. While it certainly appears any plans Lucas may have had for such a series are dead, it isn’t that far off from what we think we know about the structure of the heroes in Rebels. It is generally assumed that the heroes in Rebels will be predominantly teenagers, pairing them with a veteran Jedi to act as a guide and advisor would make a lot of sense for the story. It would be easy to see Ashoka in this sort of mentoring role, because not only did we see her in the Younglings arc, but we also saw her in other situations such as on Mandalore where she was serving as a teacher.
This leads me to think about what exactly Ahsoka may have been up to in the intervening years. At the end of the season five episode “Tipping Points” we see Ahsoka’s friend Lux reveal that he is being appointed by King Dendup to represent the planet in the Galactic Senate. I like to think that Ahsoka may have taken a long vacation to Onderon to a planet that she helped liberate from Separatist control. The fact that Onderon appears to have rejoined the Republic and that Lux was a Senator could mean that it is just to visible a place for her to have stayed through Order 66 and not ended up on one of Palpatine’s most wanted lists. So either Lux left the Senate and he and Ahsoka went somewhere else, or the reuniting of Lux and Ahsoka never went beyond a brief reuniting of old friends.
For any Jedi to survive during the New Order, it would make sense to get as far off the grid and as far away from the Empire’s loci of power as possible. This would mean fleeing to areas of space such as the Outer Rim, Wild Space and the Unknown Regions or such isolated self-governed areas as The Hapes Consortium or the Corporate Sector. Of course with Ahsoka there is also the possibility that she may have discovered the Mortis Monolith or another Monolith and spent a considerable amount of time there. In any event, an area of space such as the Outer Rim and a planet such as Lothal are places just as likely as not to find a former Jedi like Ahsoka Tano during the Empire’s rule.
So if the setting of the show allow for Ahsoka Tano to fit into the series, the question becomes should she appear in the series?
I am an unabashedly huge fan of the character of Ahsoka Tano, but I would have some reservations if she was featured heavily in the first season of Star Wars Rebels. If we are introducing a new cast of heroes and villains with some characters from the films or The Clone Wars being sprinkled in, we really want to spend the majority of the time and shine the spotlight on these new characters. It takes time to build up the personalities of these characters and to get the audience to buy into them. If you start the show with Ahsoka as part of the regular cast or if you bring her on later in the season she will steal the spotlight and may not give the new characters enough of a chance to shine.
Assuming Ahsoka is not used in some other media either animated films or licensed books or comics that deal with her death, before 5 BBY I think we will see her in Rebels. If you look at how they handled this sort of appearance in The Clone Wars, I would argue that Darth Maul is probably the most comparable. What we will see when Ahsoka is brought to Rebels is that it will almost certainly be a season finale/season premier tease and payoff. Where she appears at the last second in a season finale episode and then we see the explanation and payoff of why she is appearing in the first story arc of the next season.Ahsoka_Tano_-_sad_future
I think Rebels deserves to have its chance to develop new characters, so I don’t think we will see Ahsoka Tano until the season finale of season two at the earliest. This would lead to her featuring heavily in the first story arc of season three and from their potentially being a recurring character if not a main cast member.
Do you think Ahsoka will appear on Star Wars Rebels? Should she?
*Editor’s note: the Battle of Yavin is the primary in-universe dating system with the battle representing year 0, events before the battle are denoted as Before the Battle of Yavin, BBY. Events that occur After the Battle of Yavin are denoted ABY.