40 Years Later, Ahsoka Confirms the Meaning of a Pivotal Lightsaber Battle
They are Jedi, like Anakin before them.
Anakin Skywalker’s appearance in Ahsoka Episode 5 wasn’t a shock — Hayden Christensen’s involvement had already been announced — but what he did in the episode sure was. After bringing Ahsoka back to the past, he confronts her about how she’s turned her back on the Jedi legacy... and his legacy.
Built into that confrontation is an important lesson that proves just how powerful Anakin’s legacy is, and how Ahsoka can continue it. Star Wars podcast Beyond the Dune Sea recently discussed the coolest part of Episode 5: the moment Ahsoka hucks Anakin’s lightsaber into the void.
When Anakin gives Ahsoka the choice between living and dying, they fight, only for Ahsoka to end up wielding Anakin’s own saber against him. As the podcast notes, she throws it away, just as Luke threw his lightsaber away in Return of the Jedi rather than strike Darth Vader down after defeating him. It’s this moment that proves Luke and Ahsoka both learned from Anakin and, in a way, he learned from them as well. Even though Ahsoka was raised as a warrior, fighting can only take you so far.
Only moments earlier, we see Ahsoka and Anakin confront the fact they’ve both turned their back on the Jedi. “You’re part of a legacy,” Anakin says. “But my part of that legacy is one of death and war,” Ahsoka responds. “But you’re more than that, because I’m more than that,” Anakin says. Ahsoka’s legacy is continuing her master’s, just as Luke’s is continuing his father’s.
In Episode 5, we see Ahsoka grapple with survivor’s guilt. She grew up in the Clone Wars, a conflict many of her friends didn’t survive. Anakin, in this reunion, is telling her it’s okay to move on. She can revel in the guilt, or she can live the life Anakin never got to, and in doing so honor everyone who came before her.
Anakin’s redemption saved his son, but it came too late to save his life. Now he’s saving Ahsoka’s life too, or at least pulling her out of the grayness she’s been trapped in. When Ahsoka throws his lightsaber away, she’s choosing to see the value of living, even if so many people you care about have passed. In doing so, she’s carrying on the legacy of the Master who taught her, and who returned even when it seemed like he was beyond saving.