Ahsoka Tano’s Story Before The Mandalorian
While we’ve previously done a deep dive into Ahsoka Tano’s Star Wars history, here are the basics. Ahsoka made her debut in the 2008 animated movie Star Wars: The Clone Wars and quickly became a major player in the animated series of the same name. That series explores Ahsoka’s coming-of-age story as Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan and eventual exile from the Jedi Order.Even though The Clone Wars only recently wrapped up its belated final season on Disney+, Star Wars Rebels (which takes place after Revenge of the Sith) already revealed that Ahsoka survived Order 66 and eventually joined the Rebel Alliance. The novel Star Wars: Ahsoka helps bridge the vast gap between the two shows, revealing how she escaped the devastation of the Siege of Mandalore and eventually became a Rebel spy.
Ahsoka played a crucial role in Rebels Season 2, which culminates in a battle with her former master Darth Vader on the Sith world of Malachor. For a while, Ahsoka’s fate was uncertain, as the Season 2 finale was intentionally vague as to whether Ahsoka survived that battle. However, the final season of Rebels revealed she was rescued by her ally and fellow Jedi Knight Ezra Bridger. Ezra was able to reach through time and pull Ahsoka to safety, though the two were quickly separated again.That’s where Ahsoka’s story begins to get murky. She only had two other canonical appearances in the Star Wars saga after that point before her debut on The Mandalorian. She appeared in a flash-forward epilogue in the Rebels series finale (which was set a little while after the events of Return of the Jedi), where she reunited with the surviving members of the Ghost crew to search for the lost Ezra. Ahsoka’s voice could also be heard in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, one of many Jedi who lend their support to Rey in her battle with Emperor Palpatine. This has led many fans to assume Ahsoka is dead by the time of Episode IX, though Lucasfilm’s Dave Filoni has hinted otherwise.
How Ahsoka Tano Fits Into The Mandalorian Season 2 Timeline
The Mandalorian timeline is set roughly five years after the events of Return of the Jedi, a time when the Empire is mostly vanquished but before the New Republic has been able to restore order to the galaxy. Because of this, we’re not expecting Season 2 to settle the question of whether Ahsoka is dead in The Rise of Skywalker. There is the chance she could die in The Mandalorian, but it would seem like an awfully big waste to go through the trouble of introducing live-action Ahsoka only to then immediately kill her off.
Plus, it’s not as though Ahsoka is a senior citizen in The Mandalorian. Ahsoka is a young teenager at the start of The Clone Wars. There are about 30 years of time between then and the era of The Mandalorian, putting Ahsoka around age 45 in The Mandalorian Season 2.
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Even if Ahsoka’s sequel trilogy fate is unknown, The Mandalorian seems to be tying into the open-ended finale of Rebels. As we saw in the Rebels finale, Ezra and Grand Admiral Thrawn were both trapped aboard a runaway Star Destroyer as it jumped to the far edge of the galaxy. Ahsoka and Sabine Wren then set out to track Ezra down and bring him home. And, as we saw in Season 2, episode 5 of The Mandalorian, Ahsoka is on the trail of Thrawn, meaning that she’s probably also still searching for Ezra.
In Season 2, episode 5, Ahsoka also declined to train Baby Yoda in the ways of the Force given his attachment to Mando. Instead, she sent them to find an ancient Jedi temple, instructing Baby Yoda to reach out through the Force and see if any other surviving Jedi answer his call.
While there are a few other surviving Jedi we know of in this time period (Luke and Leia, and Fallen Order’s Cal Kestis and Cere come to mind), perhaps Ahsoka is hoping Ezra might answer Baby Yoda’s call and reveal himself, if Thrawn doesn’t have him locked up somewhere.
Ahsoka’s Role in the Fate of Planet Mandalore
The Mandalorian has already been forging a connection to The Clone Wars and Rebels with the reveal that Din’s nemesis Moff Gideon is now wielding the Darksaber. This ancient lightsaber is one of the most important relics of Mandalore. The owner of that saber is recognized as the rightful ruler of Mandalore. So the fact that it’s currently in the hands of an Imperial warlord suggests Mandalore is in a pretty bad place post-Return of the Jedi.
Season 2 of The Mandalorian has shed more light on the current state of planet Mandalore. When Rebels ended, Sabine willingly ceded the Darksaber to Bo-Katan Kryze and joined her friends on the hunt for Ezra. We can assume Bo-Katan’s reign was short and tragic, with the Empire returning to decimate the world and its people all over again. Bo-Katan has also appeared in The Mandalorian, on the hunt for Moff Gideon and the Darksaber – she was the person who sent Mando and Baby Yoda to Ahsoka, in fact – so it seems clear that Dave Filoni is attempting to link the events of Rebels and The Mandalorian together.
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Because Moff has the Darksaber, Ahsoka may feel a certain sense of guilt over pulling Sabine away from her homeworld when it needed her most. With that in mind, Ahsoka’s role in The Mandalorian Season 2 may also involve teaming up with Din Djarin, Bo-Katan, and other surviving Mandalorians to liberate Mandalore (or at least avenge it) in addition to hunting down Ezra and Thrawn. Here are all the clues that suggest Sabine Wren might appear in Season 2 to help.
Gideon actor Giancarlo Esposito has already teased a major lightsaber battle in Season 2, along with a complicated history between Gideon and Din Djarin. Could he have been foreshadowing a big showdown between Gideon with the Darksaber and Ahsoka her two white lightsabers? If so, we don’t fancy his chances of survival.
As for Grand Admiral Thrawn, who is clearly now at the top of Ahsoka’s hit list, it wouldn’t be surprising for Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau to try and weave in the character’s history from the classic Expanded Universe novels, meaning that Thrawn may be the one to rally the fractured remnants of the Empire in this chaotic period.How do you think Ahsoka’s story will tie into The Mandalorian’s? Do you think we might meet Ezra Bridger and Grand Admiral Thrawn in live-action too? Weigh in below.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.