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How Ahsoka Tano went from being a companion to one of the most important characters in Star Wars

When Ahsoka Tano made her first appearance on star wars, clone wars, the 2008 theatrical release of the animated series of the same name, it was hard to imagine that he would become one of the most popular and prolific characters in the franchise. In the early years of The Clone WarsAhsoka could easily be written off as an annoying childish sidekick in the saga to appeal to younger viewers, but in the more than a decade since then, she’s become the lifeblood of the Star Wars expanded universe, appearing in multiple TV series. animated and live action. . He is arguably the most important Star Wars character not to appear in the Skywalker Saga (although his voice can be heard among the chorus offering Rey encouragement at the climax of Episode IX).

tales of the jediThe latest addition to the Star Wars canon that launched on Disney Plus this week, it includes three animated shorts centered around Ahsoka Tano, filling in some gaps in her journey from Padawan to soldier to outcast.

Stories he does not seem destined to fend for himself; is a series of vignettes that expand on the stories of Ahsoka and the errant Count Dooku, using them as keyhole points of view into the turbulent years surrounding the fall of the Jedi Order. Where the three episodes of Dooku have a clear and coherent narrative thread that ties them together, documenting his disillusionment and separation from the Jedi, enjoying the Ahsoka-centric shorts relies more on the viewer’s ability to place them in the context of her life as they appear. documents throughout a large number of other Star Wars works.

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Ahsoka the Prodigy: Tales of the Jedi episode 1

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A close up of a baby Ahsoka

Image: Lucasfilm/Disney

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The first chapter of tales of the jedi, titled “Life and Death”, begins on the day of Ahsoka’s birth to the huntress Pav-ti and her husband, Nak-il, on the Togruta homeworld of Shili. A year later, Pav-ti takes her young daughter hunting with her, as is the tradition in her village. Pav-ti is handy with a rifle, but a large cat predator takes him by surprise, taking Ahsoka away. Instead of becoming the beast’s next meal, however, baby Ahsoka reaches out with the Force and telepathically influences her to return her home to her family. As Ahsoka rides toward her village on the back of the big cat, an elder of the village is astonished and identifies the boy as a Jedi. This is the unseen beginning of Ashoka’s story, but it also establishes the Jedi as something wonderful, an idea that gradually erodes over the course of tales of the jedi and Ahsoka’s journey in the Star Wars canon.

“Life and Death” is the first Star Wars story to take place on Shili, either in current canon or the Legends canon that preceded it. Our only other on-screen glimpse is a brief flashback in Season 1. clone wars episode “Rising Malevolence”, in which we see 3-year-old Ahsoka recruited into the Jedi Order. Ahsoka becomes Anakin Skywalker’s apprentice at age 14, which places “Life and Death” in the years 36 and 35 BBY. (BBY is short for “Before the Battle of Yavin,” placing A new hope as Year 0 for the Star Wars calendar. For reference, the phantom menace takes place in 32 BBY.)

Ahsoka the Fugitive: The Clone Wars season 5

The next three shorts in tales of the jedi follows Count Dooku of Serenno, describing his disillusionment with the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic in the decades before the Clone Wars. That Stories juxtaposing Dooku’s fall from grace against Ahsoka’s trials isn’t a coincidence, as she too eventually splits from the Order, albeit under different circumstances. In the final arc of the fifth season of The Clone Wars (beginning with “Sabotage”), up-and-coming Padawan Ahsoka is framed for the bombing of the Jedi Temple and subsequent cover-up. Despite her years of service to the Jedi, her superiors turn on her with an ease she finds shocking and daunting. Rather than face conviction for a crime she did not commit, Ahsoka runs away in hopes of proving her innocence.

The real culprit is eventually identified, but only after Ahsoka has been expelled from the Jedi Order. Frustrated by the ordeal, the exonerated Ahsoka declines the Jedi’s invitation to rejoin her ranks. Ahsoka would ally herself with the Jedi only once more, in the closing days of the Clone Wars, to lead a company of Republic clone troopers in the Siege of Mandalore (as seen in The Clone Wars‘ fantastic four-part series finale).

Warrior Ahsoka: Tales of the Jedi Episode 5

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Anakin standing with his arms crossed with Ahsoka;  they are both seriously looking at something off camera

Image: Lucasfilm/Disney

The fifth episode of tales of the jedi, “Practice Makes Perfect” begins with Ahsoka undergoing a difficult test of her combat skills, fending off a small swarm of hovering droids with their lightsabers. (Young Padawan Caleb Dume, also known as Kanan Jarrus from star wars rebels, she can be seen in the stands, marveling at his skills). Ahsoka’s teacher, Anakin Skywalker, is not impressed. Anyone can defeat the droids (as we can clearly see throughout The Clone Wars and the prequel trilogy), but Anakin wants Ahsoka to be up for anything, including fighting less predictable organic opponents. Anakin devises a new exercise, in which Ahsoka is surrounded by her own clone troopers from the 501st Legion and forced to fend off stun blasts from all directions. Through a montage, we see Ahsoka continually improve her performance on this test over a period of years.

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“Practice makes perfect” appears to take place during the third season of The Clone Wars (21 BBY), during what could be considered Ahsoka’s “growth spurt”. Between his appearances in the episodes “Sphere of Influence” and “Heroes on Both Sides”, Ahsoka receives a new aged character model, reflecting the year that has passed since the start of the war. His appearance at the beginning of “Practice Makes Perfect” may reflect some missing link between those two looks. We also see her training with clone troopers wearing Republic Phase 1 armor (with the Mandalorian-style T-shaped visors) at the beginning of the montage, compared to Phase 2 armor (the more familiar Stormtrooper form). towards the end, indicating the passage of time. throughout the war.

Although it’s impossible to place most of the short precisely in the Star Wars timeline, we do know exactly when its final moments take place: during “Victory and Death,” the final episode of The Clone Wars. (The ending takes place at the same time as Revenge of the Sith, 19 BBY.) In this brief, grim scene, Ahsoka prepares to put her training to the test and take on an entire company of clone troopers. By now, Order 66 is within his grasp, and the soldiers he once fought and trained with have been brainwashed against him. She has managed to free just one of her, Captain Rex, the soldier holding her at gunpoint as part of a ruse, and the rest of her will stop at nothing to kill her. Jesse, the same soldier seen supervising Ahsoka’s training in Practice Makes Perfect, will give the order to fire. When the battle is over, Ahsoka will bury him herself.

“Ashla” the outcast: Tales of the Jedi episode 6

The final episode of tales of the jedi, “Resolve”, begins with the funeral procession for Senator Padmé Amidala. Ahsoka secretly attends her friend’s funeral and briefly meets with Senator Bail Organa, who attempts to recruit her into her efforts to undermine the nascent Galactic Empire. Ahsoka, weary from years of war and grieving for her fallen comrades, declines. Instead, she hides out on a remote world, working in a small farming community under the assumed name Ashla. But, after she uses her Force command to save a citizen from a near-fatal accident, one of her neighbors reports her to the Empire, which sends one of its Jedi-hunting Inquisitors to kill her. Ahsoka defeats the Arbiter, after which she decides to finally join Bail Organa in the fight against the Empire.

Like “Practice Makes Perfect”, “Resolve” takes place over an extended period of time, in this case starting in 19 BBY. Padmé’s funeral procession on Naboo can also be seen in the closing montage Revenge of the Sith. Much of the short also adapts and condenses chapters from the 2016 novel. Ahsoka by EK Johnston, which chronicles the life of the former Jedi in exile. Ahsoka places these events one year after the end of the war, in 18 BBY, on the moon of Raada. The friend she rescues from danger appears to be analogous to Miara Larte, Ahsoka’s companion in the novel who eventually joins the Rebel Alliance and is the subject of the “By the Sun” short story in the collection. From a certain point of view.

Ahsoka the Rebel: Star Wars Rebels and Beyond

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Ahsoka Tano in a white robe and a white cane in Star Wars Rebels

Image: Lucasfilm

After the events of “Resolve”, Ahsoka begins to function as a secret intelligence agent for the nascent rebellion, using the alias Fulcrum. She reappears throughout the second season of the animated series. star wars rebels (set in 4 and 3 BBY) as a friend and ally of the resistance cell known as the Spectres, a role that puts her on a collision course with her fallen mentor, Darth Vader. This, in turn, plants the seeds for the upcoming Ahsoka live-action miniseries, which will also feature the return of several main characters from rebels. In between, Ahsoka makes guest appearances on the mandalorian Y boba fett book (set in 9 ABY, or nine years after the Battle of Yavin), cementing it as the thread that runs through most of Star Wars television.

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