Updated: Jan 5, 2021
SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THE STAR WARS FILMS, STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS, STAR WARS: REBELS, AND THE MANDALORIAN
Ever since its debut, The Mandalorian has taken the world by storm; bringing both hardcore Star Wars fans and new audiences to a galaxy far far away. Taking place soon after Return of the Jedi, many view the series as a great vehicle to connect the spirit of the iconic Original Trilogy with new territory of the post-Empire era. Naturally, after the popularity of the first season, a multitude of rumors and theories have circulated in the media leading up to the release of The Mandalorian Season 2 this year. Most notably, fans have fixated on the possibility of new characters like Baby Yoda and “Mando” coming face to face with characters that we know from other mediums of Star Wars Canon. One particularly popular name that has been thrown around is a character that is at the heart of the Star Wars story for some, but may be unfamiliar to others: Ahsoka Tano. Ahsoka is a character who has not been featured in any of the live-action films to date (aside from a brief voice-over in The Rise of Skywalker). However, for fans of the animated shows, Star Wars: The Clone Wars & Star Wars: Rebels, the story of Ahsoka is one that is deeply connected to the lore of the Star Wars Universe.
Fast forward to now, and Ahsoka’s appearance in The Mandalorian is all but inevitable; as in Episode 3 of the Season, Bo-Katan (another animated character making her first ever live-action debut) has pointed the protagonist Din Djarin also known as “Mando” to the planet Ahsoka is seemingly residing on (going as far as to mention Ahsoka by name). Coming Friday, November 27th, the fifth episode of Season 2 is written and directed by Clone Wars/Rebels creator Dave Filoni who, along with George Lucas, created the character of Ahsoka, leading fans to believe that the episode is likely to be Ahsoka’s first ever live-action appearance since her inception in 2008. If you’re a fan of The Mandalorian who is unfamiliar with the character, an Ahsoka die-hard looking for a refresher on the character’s background, or just someone who wants to learn more about the beloved Force-wielder, here is everything you need to know about the in-universe history of Ahsoka Tano.
Early Life & The Clone Wars
Ahsoka Tano is a Togruta female who was born on the planet Shili. At Age 3, Tano and her Force-sensitive abilities were discovered by Jedi Master Plo Koon, who took her to Coruscant to receive training under the Jedi Order. After the Clone Wars began, she was assigned as a padawan to Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker. Though Anakin was initially reluctant to take Ahsoka under his wing, he eventually recognized her natural abilities and quick wit, and began to liken her hard-headedness and stubbornness to his own, accepting Ahsoka as his student.
Ahsoka fought side by side with her Master and the 501st Legion of Clones continuously throughout the Clone Wars. Though many viewed her as an arrogant, snippy, and stubborn teenager, Ahsoka continually recognized her mistakes and grew to become humbled and wiser from them. This, coupled with her compassion for the Clones she fought with on the front-lines led her to become a trusted leader and hero throughout the War. This was especially present in her relationship with the leader of the 501st Legion, Captain Rex. Ahsoka often gave Anakin a taste of his own medicine with her brashness and disregard for orders from superiors; and the two shared a deep bond as he taught her the ways of the Force and put his life on the line to protect hers.
As Ahsoka grew in power as a warrior, leader, Jedi, and Force-wielder, she found herself face-to-face with many powerful foes such as Pre-Vizsla (a Mandalorian leader), Cad Bane (one of the most feared Bounty Hunters in the Galaxy), Asajj Ventress (Sith Lord Count Dooku’s dark-side wielding apprentice), and General Grievous (the droid army’s cyborg leader). She also taught a band of Rebels on Onderon led by Steela & Saw Gerrera the ways of guerilla warfare in order to rid their planet of their Separatists presence, and fought alongside Admiral Akbar during the civil war that came over his home-planet.
At one point, Ahsoka found herself in the mysterious plane of Mortis with Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. There, they met the Mortis “Gods”: The Daughter (a manifestation of the Light-Side of the Force), The Son (a manifestation of the Dark Side of the Force), and The Father (the one who kept both of his children at bay). The Father tried to recruit Ahsoka’s master Anakin, presumably The Chosen One, in order to keep his children balanced, to which he refused. During this run-in on Mortis, The Son possessed Ahsoka and she briefly battled her Master. Once The Son had no further use for the padawan, he took her life. Anakin pleaded with The Father to bring Ahsoka back from the dead, and eventually The Daughter stepped in and gave her final life-force in order to revive Ahsoka. The Son’s further manipulations eventually lead to the death of both himself and The Father.
Leaving the Jedi Order
Nearing the latter parts of The Clone Wars, a fellow-padawan and long-time friend of Ahsoka’s, Barriss Offee, began to believe that the Jedi and Republic had lost their way. Barriss conducted a plot that led to the bombing of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Unbeknownst to Ahsoka, Offee then framed Ahsoka by force-choking a witness while Ahsoka was interrogating her. As the guards went to capture Ahsoka, thinking that she was the one who had killed the witness, she fled. Anakin made attempts to find out the truth of the matter, eventually leading to a showdown between him and Offee.
Ahsoka’s name was cleared after Barriss’ treachery was revealed, and The Jedi Council invited her back into the Order. However, Ahsoka denied the offer. Anakin begged her to stay, telling her she was making a mistake and that he knew what it was like to want to leave the order. This did little to change her mind, and Ahsoka decided to walk away from her Master and the Order.
The Siege of Mandalore
After leaving the Jedi Order, Ahsoka found herself with two young sisters, Trace and Rafa Martez. Ahsoka reluctantly got involved in one of their schemes, and had a run-in with the Pykes, a well-known crime syndicate. At the same time, Lady Bo-Katan, sister to the former ruler of Mandalore: Dutchess Satine Kyrze, happened to be tracking Maul, the former-Sith Lord and apprentice to Emperor Palpatine. Maul had control over the Pykes through his crime syndicate “The Shadow Collective”. Bo-Katan recruited Ahsoka to her cause and convinced the former-Jedi to join her in the fight to overthrow Maul, who had recently gained the throne of Mandalore by defeating Mandalorian Pre-Vizsla in single combat, taking the legendary Dark Saber (now wielded by Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian) in the process.
Ahsoka attempted to recruit Anakin, Obi-Wan, and the 501st Legion into the fight against Maul as well. However, Anakin and Obi-Wan were dragged away in order to rescue Chancellor Palpatine from General Grievous during the Battle of Coruscant. Anakin gave Ahsoka leadership over recently promoted Commander Rex and the 501st Legion, who were all so eager to fight under Ahsoka that they repainted their helmets to match her facial skin patterns, and still referred to her as “Commander Tano”. Anakin also returned Ahsoka’s light-sabers, which he had tinkered with in her stead, giving them a blue color more similar to his own rather than her original green.
Ahsoka, Bo-Katan, a band of Mandalorians, and the 501st Legion landed on Mandalore and pursued the former-Sith, eventually bringing Ahsoka and Maul face-to-face in the Mandalorian Throne Room. Maul filled Ahsoka in on the manipulations of his former Master, Darth Sidious, and the Sith Master’s plans to remake the galaxy and take Anakin Skywalker as his new Sith Apprentice. Maul offered Ahsoka to join him in his fight against Sidious, but Ahsoka declined. The two dueled and, though Ahsoka was disarmed, she managed to stop Maul’s advances with no lightsaber, capturing him in the process.
The Jedi Purge
As Ahsoka transported Maul back to Coruscant, Chancellor Palpatine, recently revealed to be Darth Sidious, commissioned Order 66. As can be seen in Revenge of the Sith, this Order had the Clones hunt down all the Jedi, and, though Ahsoka was not technically a Jedi, she and Maul were both marked as targets. Rex hesitated in his attack for a moment, but ultimately turned on Ahsoka and attacked her with the other Clones. Even so, Ahsoka made it a point not to kill the Clones who pursued her, and was even able to remove Rex’s inhibitor chip, freeing him from the Order’s control. Maul escaped, and Ahsoka and Rex narrowly survived as the ship came out of hyperspace and crashed into a nearby moon. The rest of the 501st Legion was killed in the crash. Despite the events of Order 66, Ahsoka showed respect for her former brothers in arms, burying the fallen Clones.
Ahsoka, devastated from the events, left the planet with Rex but without her lightsabers. Years later, one of the sabers would be found at the Clone burial by Darth Vader, her former Master Anakin Skywalker who had now fallen to the Dark-Side. Circling above the Sith Lord was a bird, presumably Morai (a manifestation of The Daughter of Mortis who had resurrected her years prior).
The Early Empire
Following the Jedi Purge, Ahsoka went into hiding, moving from planet to planet often. She seemed to have a penchant for helping those around her, and found herself helping residents of certain planets hide their resources from the Empire. After using her powers in the Force to protect residents during a skirmish with the Imperials, the Empire dispatched an imperial Inquisitor (an order of Dark-Side users who were trained by Darth Vader in order to hunt down the remaining Jedi) to find Ahsoka. She eventually linked with Senator Bail Organa, who promised to help Ahsoka protect the children of the Force (whom the Empire was searching for) if she also assisted in the efforts of the Rebellion. When the Inquisitor finally pursued Ahsoka, she called upon the Force and was able to disarm him without any sabers of her own. She then “healed” the red Dark-Side infused kyber crystals from the Inquisitor’s double-sided saber, giving them a white color. Ahsoka used the crystals to build her signature white lightsabers.
Ahsoka took on the code-name “Fulcrum”, the same code-name used by Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars. She used her platform and the code-name to feed information to Rebel cells and thwart the Empire wherever she could. Fulcrum was a trusted source for the Rebels of the Ghost crew comprised of pilot Hera Syndulla, her droid C1-10P aka “Chopper”, Lasat Garazeb Orrelios, Mandalorian Sabine Wren, Jedi Kanan Jarrus, and his apprentice Ezra Bridger. Once the crew linked up with the rest of the Rebellion, Ahsoka revealed her true identity, and often accompanied the team on certain missions while also supporting the leadership of the larger Rebellion. She was briefly involved in the same battle as Darth Vader, and when she reached out with the Force to try and confirm the identity of her former-Master, she lost consciousness. She continued her research on the children of the Force and brought in Kanan & Ezra to help protect them. Two other Inquisitors, Fifth Brother & Seventh Sister, often pursued Kanan & Ezra, but were easily defeated by Ahsoka when she stepped in in order to protect some of the Force-sensitive children.
Showdown with Darth Vader
Ahsoka, Kanan, and Ezra eventually traveled to the forbidden Sith world of Malicore together, where they found an older Maul, who briefly fought alongside the trio in order to fend off Fifth Brother, Seventh Sister, and a third Inquisitor. This, however, did not last long as Maul's manipulations came to fruition, and Ahsoka traveled to the top of the Temple (following a brief confrontaton with Maul) while Kanan and Maul dueled. There, she found Darth Vader towering over Ezra, about to strike him down. The two, finaly speaking after so many years, sparred with their words. Following Ahsoka's promise that she would avenge Anakins death, Vader reminded her that revenge was not the Jedi way. To this she answered: "I am no Jedi".
The two unsheathed their sabers and began to furiously duel atop the temple. Ahsoka eventually managed to sever a portion of Vader's mask, revealing the face of her former Master. Darth Vader, speaking with the voice of Anakin Skywalker, called out Ahsoka’s name. As Vader stood up, Ahsoka said that she wouldn’t leave him this time, to which the Sith Lord said “then you will die” as he advanced for yet another attack. Ahsoka Force-pushed Ezra away as the Temple collapsed with Vader and Ahsoka still fighting inside. The Temple exploded, and Vader left severely wounded. When it came to Ahsoka, however, the only remnants were the bird manifestation of The Daughter, Morai, and a silhouette of the former-Jedi outside the temple, leaving her fate a mystery.
The World Between Worlds
Years later, following the death of Kanan Jarrus, Ezra Bridger and Sabine Wren were able to infiltrate the Empire-controlled Jedi Temple on Ezra’s home planet of Lothal. There they opened the gate to a plane of existence outside of time and space. Ezra entered this “World Between Worlds”, and was able to hear the voices of others throughout the galaxy from the past, the present, and the future. He was surrounded by portals, presumably to different events of the galaxy throughout time. Ezra found Morai atop one of the portals which, when activated, showed him the showdown between Ahsoka and Darth Vader years prior. As Vader swung his saber to strike his former apprentice down, Ezra reached through the portal and grabbed Ahsoka, pulling her into the World Between Worlds.
Ahsoka was utterly shocked and confused to see an older Ezra in such a strange place. The two eventually found another portal, and Ezra once again viewed the death of his Master, Kanan. Though Ezra almost reached out to pull Kanan through the portal, Ahsoka convinced him against it, as Kanan had sacrificed himself in order to save Ezra and the rest of the crew of the Ghost. The portal then briefly closed before reopening again, revealing an eager Emperor Palpatine attempting to access the World Between Worlds. He used Dark Side magic to chase the two down, shooting blue fire at them and attempting to reach into the portal. The two were eventually split up, and Ahsoka promised to find Ezra upon her return. They entered into two separate portals, Ahsoka's leading her back to the outside of the Sith Temple on Malicore where she fought Darth Vader.
Following Return of the Jedi
During the Battle of Lothal soon after Ezra’s entrance into the World Between Worlds, Ezra was taken into hyperspace with Grand Admiral Thrawn, leaving his whereabouts a mystery. For the next few years of the Galactic Civil War, Sabine Wren watched over Ezra’s homeworld of Lothal and served as its protector. Once the Empire was destroyed and the war was over, Sabine took on a new goal, to find Ezra wherever he may be. Ahsoka arrived on Lothal to meet her and embark on this journey, appearing to be much older and wearing a long, hooded white robe while wielding a large white staff. The two embarked on a journey presumably to the “Unknown Regions” in order to find their friend and fulfill Ahsoka's promise during the World Between Worlds. Ahsoka’s reasoning for not participating in the rest of the Galactic Civil War is unknown.
Five years after the fall of the Empire, Mandalorian Din Djarin was tasked with delivering “The Child”, a Force-sensitive being of the same race as Grandmaster Yoda, to the Jedi, interpreting them to be The Child’s “kind”. Din, in his pursuit of the Jedi, met Lady Bo-Katan, who - during the time of the Empire - was given the dark saber by Sabine Wren in order to lead the Mandalorians. After helping Bo-Katan overwhelm a ship of Imperials, she gave Din the information he was looking for, and told him to find Ahsoka Tano on the planet Corvus.
Written by Nick Mandala
Edited by Jake Zall