Ahsoka Tano has become one of the most beloved characters in Star Wars, but there continues to be much debate about whether she is still a Jedi. Although she left the Jedi Order in the fifth season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ahsoka continued to work with Jedi all the way past the events of the original trilogy. The line, “I am no Jedi,” in Star Wars Rebels, left fans convinced that she had left the Jedi path behind. But to the confusion of many, in-universe characters and real-life marketing materials (including the trailer for the Ahsoka series) have recently begun referring to Ahsoka as a Jedi once again.
Dave Filoni, the creator of Ahsoka, intentionally titled the episode of her live-action debut, “The Jedi.” Chapter 13 of The Mandalorian featured both Bo-Katan Kryze and Din Djarin referring to her as a Jedi, with Ahsoka accepting the title rather than rejecting it. She was later present for the construction of Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Temple, telling Djarin that it would one day be “a great school.” Here’s why Ahsoka has reclaimed the title of Jedi.
Ahsoka Died and Became an Avatar of the Light
When Ahsoka first appeared in Star Wars, she was a stubborn Padawan who had a lot to learn. After many trials and tribulations, she has emerged as one of the most heroic characters in all of Star Wars. What fans have forgotten about, though, is Ahsoka’s unique connection to the light side of the Force.
The “Mortis” arc in Star Wars: The Clone Wars presented a family of three powerful beings that each represented different aspects of the Force. While the Son embodied the dark side, the Daughter embodied the light, and the Father ensured that there was balance between them. Ahsoka, along with Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, were transported to Mortis to meet the three Force wielders, and during their time there, she died. The Daughter’s life force was transferred to Ahsoka, and after she was brought back to life, she returned to the physical realm with the Daughter’s life essence.
A convor owl representing the Daughter followed Ahsoka around even after the Daughter’s death. In Star Wars Rebels, the owl was present in the World Between Worlds and pointed Ezra Bridger towards a portal showing Ahsoka’s duel with Darth Vader. Ezra was then able to save her life by pulling her through the portal. Although easy to miss, the owl was spotted in Ahsoka’s Mandalorian episode.
The Real Reason Why Ahsoka Left the Jedi
Towards the end of the Clone Wars, Ahsoka was framed for the murder of Letta Turmond and bombing of the Jedi Temple by Barriss Offee. While the Jedi Order sought to avoid attachment, they were ironically attached to a failing Republic and failed to defend Ahsoka. Anakin proved his Padawan’s innocence, but not before she lost much of her faith in the Jedi. The Jedi Order offered Ahsoka an apology and invitation to rejoin them, and it was an invitation that she declined in favor of a new path.
It’s important to note that Ahsoka did not leave the Order because she didn’t want to be a Jedi. She left because she knew in her heart that there were dark forces at play, weakening the Jedi’s connection with the Force, and thus, preventing them from being proper Jedi. At 22:43 in the “Legacy” episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, Dave Filoni described the Jedi Order as being “so detached” and “so political that they’ve really lost their way.”
In an interview with Vanity Fair (via Gizmodo), Filoni pointed out that Ahsoka represents what a Jedi is supposed to be:
[Fans] all focus very hard on the line, “I am no Jedi,” from Star Wars: Rebels, but it’s undeniable that she’s trained by the Jedi. I think to most observers she is very Jedi to them. I would argue in some ways—by being so selfless and rejecting a lot of paths that would have given her power—she’s more Jedi-like than even some characters who claim to be Jedi.
Ahsoka’s Stance on Attachments
Star Wars fans have thought of Ahsoka as someone who does not believe in the Jedi’s “no attachment” rule. This was proved false when The Mandalorian showed Ahsoka refusing to train Grogu because of his strong attachment to Din Djarin.
When Din questioned Ahsoka about her decision, she explained that Grogu’s attachment “makes him vulnerable to his fears. His anger.” He argued that was more reason to train Grogu, but she reflected on her experience witnessing what such feelings could do “to a fully trained Jedi Knight.” Ahsoka strongly believed that Grogu should not be separated from Din, who was Grogu’s best friend as well as father figure.
The Jedi Don’t Need to End But Need to Be Reborn
As the “Fall of the Jedi” era is what fans have known the Jedi for, it has been easy to view the legacy of the Jedi as being one of failure. But before the events of the prequels, the Jedi successfully kept the peace for over a thousand generations. Even when there was no Jedi Order, the remaining Jedi toppled fascist regimes such as the Empire and the First Order.
Luke in The Last Jedi told himself that the Jedi needed to end, but by the end of the film, he understood what the Jedi meant to people all across the galaxy. Many fans who have expressed appreciation for The Last Jedi have misunderstood the film’s message as being one about getting rid of the past. Director Rian Johnson, however, has stated that the final scenes are not about deconstructing the myth of Luke Skywalker, but Luke “absolutely defying the notion of, ‘Throw away the past,’ and embracing what actually matters about his myth and what’s going to inspire the next generation” (via Empire).
The Jedi have never been perfect, but a key takeaway of Star Wars has always been to learn from the past. Ahsoka has exemplified the spirit of a true Jedi, and has finally reclaimed the title after spending time as a Force-sensitive outcast.