Ahsoka Tano may not be a presence in any of the nine Star Wars canon films, but her life, as well as death, has remained crucial to their plot.
From being Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan to Commander Fulcrum of the Rebel Alliance to finally facing her own master in a duel-to-death – Ahsoka has lived quite the life.
But when does she die? Does she die at all? Is it a natural death, or is she killed? There are many questions that the series The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels leave unanswered.
The final canon film, Rise of Skywalker, featuring Ahsoka’s voice alongside a bunch of dead Jedis, inspired the last Jedi, Rey. Fans have ever since been divided if Ahsoka is dead or another Easter egg from Star Wars storytellers.
Former Jedi, Ahsoka Tano, is alive in the Star Wars Universe franchise – both in the comics and the movie franchise. She returns in Rebels Season 4 and reveals that Ezra Bridger from 2 years later saves her on Mustafar by travelling through time.
She is killed and revived once at the hands of the Daughter, a force of good. This incident tends to give her the aura of a blessed one but more on this later.
Introduced in The Clone Wars as a headstrong teenage Togruta, Ahsoka goes on to become one of the galaxy’s strongest Force wielders.
She quits the Jedi Order but continues her training independently before creating the Rebel Alliance. Along the way, she survives the Jedi Purge as well as a duel-to-death with her own master Anakin Skywalker, aka Darth Vader.
1. Master vs. Padawan
The relationship between Darth Vader, aka Anakin Skywalker, and Ahsoka Tano has been crucial to the Star Wars Saga more than it is given credit for.
According to creator George Lucas, Ahsoka was created to give Anakin a more settled vibe, help reduce his recklessness and make him more responsible.
Ahsoka does all that, and much more, as Anakin’s Padawan who is twice as likely to disobey as he is. However, her Padawan days with Anakin are numbered since the Jedi Order do not take her disobedience lightly.
As soon as she is falsely accused of murder and treason by her own fellow Jedi Offees, she decides to quit her Jedi training.
All the flaws of the Jedis become obvious to her when the Order refuses to back her and almost orders her execution. The decision hits Anakin the hardest even though he is the one to prove Ahsoka’s innocence. It is also the beginning of Anakin’s distrust in the Jedis as well.
The next time Ahsoka and Anakin come face to face, Anakin has already passed to the dark side and is now a Sith lord, Darth Vader.
Ahsoka is forced to lock her former master into a duel to protect her comrades and help them escape. During the duel, Ahsoka tries to talk to Anakin, hoping her master is still alive underneath Vader’s mask.
However, she is disappointed yet again when Vader replies in the coldest voice that he killed Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka’s former Jedi Master is ‘no more.’ Responding to this, Ahsoka vows vengeance for Anakin and the master-apprentice lock themselves in a fight-to-kill duel.
All this happens in the finale episode of Star Wars: Rebels season 2. The episode ends with everyone believing Ahsoka is dead.
However, it is not until season 4 that Ahsoka’s time-travelling escape is revealed. (It also marks the introduction of time travel in the Star Wars franchise. Quite the effort made to save Ahsoka by the writers.)
In the episode titled ‘A World Between Worlds’ from season 4, we learn that Ahsoka’s ally Ezra ends up saving her by travelling from two years ahead in time.
Ezra enters this timeless realm – or World Between Worlds – to bring back his master Kanan, who’d sacrificed himself for his friends earlier in the season. He instead ends up pulling Ahsoka out of the duel just in time for Vader’s killer stroke. Ahsoka lives!
2. Why Does Ahsoka Fake Her Death?
In between quitting her Jedi training and joining the Rebels, Ahsoka was briefly deployed to work with the clone armies on various missions as portrayed in the final season of The Clone Wars.
On one such mission to capture Maul, Ahsoka accompanies Commander Rex and the 501st Legion on the Siege of Mandalore. However, Chancellor Palpatine executes Order 66 while Ahsoka is still aboard the Star Destroyer with her team of clones.
Commander Rex is particularly tasked with killing Ahsoka even though she is not a Jedi and the order mandated every “Jedi” should be killed on sight.
Commander Rex tries to fight the inhibitor chip which practically arm-twists every clone into killing their Jedi Generals without any questions.
He even warns Ahsoka of “finding Fives” (the clone who first figured the conspiracy out) before firing at her. Ahsoka, however, manages to duck in time and stun Rex instead. She then operates on him and removes his inhibitor chip. All this even as the rest of the 501st Legion is thirsty for her blood. Together, Rex and Ahsoka stun as many troopers as they can so they do not have to kill them.
However, Maul ends up crashing the Star Destroyer into a nearby moon and all the clones die anyway. Rex and Ahsoka manage to flee on a Y-bomber but later give proper funerals to their fellow clones.
During the funeral, Ahsoka quietly places her own lightsaber on the destroyed ship while placing Rex’s armor on one of the dead clones. In this way, she fakes both her and Rex’s deaths. The reason was quite simple.
Darth Sidious had come out from the shadows and overthrown the Republic. Having called for the destruction of the Jedis and their supporters, the Emperor also put a target on Ahsoka’s back.
She had to make a daring choice to save her life and begin a new one under his rule – considering she was not technically a Jedi Knight anymore.
Faking their deaths made it very easy for Ahsoka and Rex to get the Empire and its armies off their back.
Especially for Ahsoka, who was trying to escape from her own master Anakin who turns to the dark side by the end of Clone Wars, the pseudocide become most practical way ahead.
Besides, faking her death after the Siege of Mandalore was a survival tactic for Ahsoka which allowed her to become a new person, distancing herself from the Jedi and becoming a full-fledged member of the Rebellion.
3. Is Ahsoka Immortal?
The fact that Ahsoka has never died on screen or in any Star Wars franchise production is peculiar to many.
By the time Rey hears Ahsoka in the Rise of Skywalker, the former Jedi must have been in her seventies or quite possibly dead, making her voice not-so-unusual alongside those of previous Jedi masters.
However, there is one peculiar incident in Ahsoka’s story arc which calls for consideration.
Ahsoka did die once during the Clone Wars but for a very brief period of time. It was 20 BBY and she was on the home planet of the avatars of the Force: the Father, the Daughter and the Son.
But Anakin Skywalker and the Daughter swiftly resurrected her, she went on to live at least until 1 BBY. So, it shouldn’t really count as a proper death except this incident saw the Daughter sacrificing her life to save Ahsoka.
This led fans to ask if Ahsoka and the Daughter had somehow merged in their spirits? Could the presence of the time travelling portal at a time when Ahsoka needed it the most been the result of this spirit? Well, no one knows for sure.
However, there is one interesting tidbit shared by Star Wars: Rebels’s executive producer Dave Filoni. He had once tweeted a conversation between Ahsoka and Bendu during “The Mystery of Chopper Base”.
Bendu, the ancient being who is said to live at the center of the Force between the light and dark, warned Ahsoka of her meeting with Anakin. He said it could bring her “change” which was a modest word for “death”.
Master Bendu: “You are set on this confrontation then?”
Ahsoka: “I have to know the truth.”
Master Bendu: “So be it, but understand this, much will change as a result of this encounter, including you.”
Ahsoka: “Isn’t that true of all things, as time advances?”
Master Bendu: “My dear, when I say change, I mean death.”
Ahsoka: “So I will die?”
Master Bendu: “Will you? I didn’t know that. Goodbye then, Ahsoka Tano, former Jedi Knight.”
Indeed, after being saved by Ezra, Ahsoka does not stay with him in the future but goes down a path of her own which ends in the World Between World again.
So Ahsoka’s relationship with death is indeed quite complicated as was her relationship with her master, probably even more so.
In conclusion, this much is clear that Ahsoka is not officially dead in the Star Wars Saga. At the same time, she seems to have a unique, complicated and rather mystical relationship with death.
What do you think? Is Ahsoka dead or alive? If dead, then who could have killed her? If alive, then how come we heard her voice in The Rise of Skywalker? Comment away!
About Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is an animated TV Series in the Star Wars universe produced and animated by Lucasfilm. The series aired its first episode on October 3, 2008, and ended on May 4, 2020, with 7 seasons and 133 episodes.
The Clone Wars series accounts for the three-year gap between the prequel Star Wars trilogy and the Revenge of the Sith movie. It focuses on the conflict between the Galactic Republic led by Chancellor Palpatine and the Separatists led by Count Sith Dooku. The protagonists of the show are Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, Padwan Ahsoka Tano, and various clones.