Both the Star Wars prequels and its sequel trilogy have influenced Ahsoka. For all the callbacks the series has made to the distant past, fans are also expecting it to answer questions about the future. It’s uniquely positioned to do both; since it takes place after the fall of the Empire and before the rise of the First Order, Ahsoka can expand the stories we know while contextualizing events that still don’t really make sense.
While Ahsoka isn’t part of the sequel trilogy, her fate remains one of the era’s biggest unanswered questions. After The Rise of Skywalker, many fans assumed Ahsoka had passed and become one with the Force, since she was one of a handful of bygone Jedi that spoke to Rey (Daisy Ridley). Ahsoka showrunner Dave Filoni never outright confirmed fans’ suspicions — in fact, he seemed to do the exact opposite — but he’s always been pretty noncommittal about Ahsoka’s future, and reluctant to let go of the character.
The fifth episode of Ahsoka, “Shadow Warrior,” marks the third time Ahsoka has cheated her mortality. It seems like Filoni is determined to see Ahsoka survive the events of the sequels, but a new Star Wars theory provides a major caveat.
On the surface, “Shadow Warrior” is primarily concerned with Ahsoka’s relationship to the past. It reunites the ex-Jedi with her master, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), and takes her back to the events of the Clone Wars. But it also serves Ahsoka’s future. Anakin forces his former padawan to choose between “death” — or, more accurately, the path to the Dark Side — and life. Given the brevity of their reunion, it doesn’t seem like Ahsoka learned much from her time with Anakin. But she may have discovered a secret that’s eluded countless Force-wielders in the past: the path to immortality.
According to Redditor thebrywalker, Ahsoka’s run-in with Anakin mirrors a journey Yoda took in the sixth season of Clone Wars series. Yoda sought the secret of immortality in “Voices,” but to do so, he had to embrace his dark side: his fear and anger. After conquering his flaws, Yoda gained access to the Cosmic Force, and later became a Force ghost.
Was Anakin trying to teach Ahsoka the same thing? Their confrontation forces Ahsoka to reckon with one of her biggest fears: that the same darkness that turned her master also lives in her. Anakin didn’t seem fazed by the possibility, but Ahsoka has been running from her fear since she discovered Anakin had become Vader. She’s also dealing with a decade’s worth of remorse, all of which is holding her back in her quest to stop Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen).
In Ahsoka’s final clash with Anakin, she seems to embrace her inner darkness. But she ultimately chooses to cast it aside, let go of her fear, and be reborn in the process. It may seem like Filoni is priming the character for an unlikely second act, but her time in the World Between Worlds could just as easily set the stage for her eventual demise. It would explain why Ahsoka was among the Jedi who communed with Rey in Rise of Skywalker. Maybe, after her last big adventure, Dave Filoni will finally let her rest.
Ahsoka is streaming on Disney+.
This article was originally published on