Star Wars

Siege of Mandalore: Why Star Wars' Darkest Battle is So Important to Ahsoka

It’s time to brush up on your galactic military history.


From the moment Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) reunited with Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) in the fourth episode of Ahsoka, fans knew they’d be in for a heartbreaking trip down memory lane. Episode 5 wasted no time reacquainting us with Skyguy and Snips, but it went even further by pulling Anakin and Ahsoka into the past.

Ahsoka takes its heroine and her former Jedi master back to the events of the Clone Wars, where Anakin leads Ahsoka through the Battle of Ryloth, one of their first missions. The pair then jump forward to one of the Clone Wars’ defining battles, the Siege of Mandalore. Anakin, notably, doesn’t recognize it; Ahsoka fought alone, while he and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) were off on a very different mission.

So when did the Siege of Mandalore occur, and what’s its significance to Ahsoka’s story?

The Siege of Mandalore, explained

Why was Ahsoka fighting against Mandalorians during the Siege?


Clone Wars novices might be surprised to see Ahsoka battling Mandalorians, especially after seeing her team up with Din Djarin in The Mandalorian. The story behind the Siege of Mandalore is complex: it was one of the biggest Clone Wars plotlines, stretching out across multiple seasons and culminating in its 2020 revival. In Season 1, Mandalore was introduced as a pacifist planet. Its leader, Satine Kryze, wanted nothing to do with the Clone Wars or her planet’s history of bloodshed.

While Satine lobbied for neutrality, a splinter cell called Death Watch slowly rose to prominence. They worked tirelessly to reestablish Mandalore’s warrior culture, and eventually teamed up with former Sith Lord Maul to overthrow Satine and seize the planet. Satine’s sister, Bo-Katan (yep, that Bo-Katan) eventually led the resistance against Maul and Death Watch. Ahsoka, who’d left the Jedi Order by then, was recruited to her cause, and together they went to the Jedi to request additional clone troops.

Where was Anakin during the Siege?

Anakin and Ahsoka were already on separate paths in the Clone Wars finale.


The Siege served as a brief reunion for Ahsoka and Anakin. His clone squadron, the 501st Legion, volunteered to fight, and Anakin even gifted Ahsoka a new pair of lightsabers. Unfortunately, they didn’t get the chance to go into battle together.

The final season of The Clone Wars runs in tandem with the events of Revenge of the Sith, which means Anakin had his hands full. He and Obi-Wan almost accompanied Ahsoka and Bo-Katan, but were called away at the last minute to rescue Chancellor Palpatine from the clutches of General Grievous. From there, Anakin was fast-tracked to the Dark Side, so Ahsoka never saw him again before he became Darth Vader.

Why The Siege really matters for Ahsoka

Ahsoka famously fought Maul during the Siege of Mandalore.


Ahsoka didn’t just battle Mandalorians during the Siege; she also faced off with Maul himself. While they were clearly on opposite sides, Ahsoka and Maul had a common enemy. Maul vowed revenge on Darth Sidious, and Ahsoka wanted to bring an end to the evil that was orchestrating the war.

Unfortunately, their methods for destroying the Sith were very different. Maul had discovered the identity of Sidious’ new apprentice, Anakin, and was determined to kill him. But Ahsoka wanted to believe that Anakin could be saved. Her clash with Maul resulted in his capture, but Ahsoka couldn’t prevent Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side.

Ahsoka only briefly touches on its hero’s regrets regarding her master’s demise, as Ahsoka worries his power, anger, and attachments are also present in her. She’s also clearly still carrying the weight of her many battles, which explains why she’s so reluctant to keep fighting the Imperial remnant. Hopefully, Ahsoka will continue to unpack her emotions, regardless of whether Hayden Christensen returns one last time.

Ahsoka is streaming on Disney+.

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