World Between Worlds? Ahsoka Just Used a Controversial Plot Device to Bring Back [SPOILERS]

Somehow, he returned. We have theories.

Originally Published: 
Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in 'Ahsoka' Episode 4.

Everyone knows Anakin Skywalker lost his life when he sacrificed himself to save Luke from Emperor Palpatine in Return of the Jedi. But “Fallen Jedi,” the fourth episode of Ahsoka, suggests that maybe Anakin is kind of a Star Wars time traveler. In a massive twist ending, Ahsoka has brought back Hayden Christensen, who’s looking much like he did before becoming Darth Vader. Furthermore, the way Anakin speaks to Ahsoka is clearly a return to a controversial form of Star Wars time travel first introduced in 2018.

In “Fallen Jedi,” Ahsoka Tano has returned to the World Between Worlds. Now, it seems, Star Wars is about to create a whole new rule for how this mystical time travel realm works. Spoilers ahead for Ahsoka, Episode 4, “Fallen Jedi.”

Is Ahsoka Dead?

Ezra and Ahsoka in “A World Between Worlds.”


Based on the raised energy platforms and ethereal emptiness, Ahsoka appears to have washed up in a realm called A World Between Worlds, which was introduced in the 2018 Rebels episode of the same name. In it, Ezra Bridger pulled Ahsoka out of her timeline to rescue her from a fatal duel with Darth Vader. This metaphysical realm was a new invention, and has been used sparingly since. But Rebels also left several unanswered questions about what happened to Ahsoka after her time in the World Between Worlds, questions this new version of Anakin Skywalker might be prepared to answer.

How is Anakin Skywalker alive?

Oh, hello there.


Chronologically, Anakin Skywalker has been dead for at least five years before the beginning of Ahsoka, since the show takes place in the same post-Return of the Jedi era as The Mandalorian. This would mean it’s been about 12 years since Ahsoka dueled with Anakin on Malachor in the Rebels episode “Twilight of the Apprentice.” So, in the present of Ahsoka, Anakin is gone, although we know he can pop up as a Force Ghost. That raises a question: is that who Ahsoka is speaking with? The ghost of Anakin Skywalker?

Maybe not. Anakin appears to Ahsoka the same way he would have appeared at the end of The Clone Wars and during the events of Revenge of the Sith. He’s wearing his brooding black outfit, not the sparkly-clean Jedi robes he appeared in when he was redeemed at the end of Return of the Jedi. Furthermore, we know Jedi Force Ghosts don’t need the World Between Worlds to communicate with the living. If they need to show up, they can.

So, in theory, this could be a different version of Anakin Skywalker, although precisely what version is open to interpretation. Is this a time-traveling version of his spirit? An echo of himself from another timeline where he made different decisions? Or is this literally a time-traveling Anakin Skywalker? Maybe, just maybe, Anakin had his consciousness trapped in the World Between Worlds in an unseen adventure. “Fallen Jedi” doesn’t make any of this clear, but for now, it seems safe to assume that the rules of Jedi spirits could get completely rewritten by Ahsoka.

Don’t expect Anakin to step out of a shimmering portal and start solving Ahsoka’s problems. This is Ahsoka Tano’s show, and she’ll be getting back to her adventure soon. But Anakin Skywalker is back in a way Star Wars has never played with before, and that could have ramifications for every story the franchise tells going forward.

Ahsoka is streaming on Disney+.

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