Legacy and community are sacred among the Jedi, and not even death can get in the way. From Force ghosts at the end of Return of the Jedi to the communication between Rey and Kylo, everyone and everything is connected through the Force. So when Rey heard the voices of her fellow Jedi in a time of need in The Rise of Skywalker, it wasn't a new revelation. However, a pattern within those voices led the fanbase to grieve the loss of a beloved character from The Clone Wars, but all is not what it seems.
In The Rise of Skywalker, Rey hears the voices of her Jedi predecessors encouraging her to trust in the Force and uses them to defeat Palpatine. These voices include Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu, Luminara Unduli, Aayla Secura, Yoda, Adi Gallia, Kanan Jarrus, Ahsoka Tano and Qui-Gon Jinn. It's a lot of names, but fans were quick to notice one of these things is not like the others: all these Jedi are confirmed dead... except Ahsoka.
Naturally, fans took this as confirmation Anakin's former padawan had somehow died before Rise of Skywalker, even though her fair was left somewhat open-ended in the animated series Star Wars Rebels Dave Filoni (aka, the only person who knows as much about Star Wars as George Lucas). Shortly after the movie's release, Filoni responded to this new theory with a cryptic Instagram post, but that was it — until now.
In an interview with io9, Filoni says:
"I have to wonder with Star Wars fans. They seem to watch the movies but they don’t take all the lessons. They deal a lot in absolutes, which is very much a Sith thing. I remember in The Empire Strikes Back Luke speaking out through the force to Leia. Vader also does this at the end of Empire Strikes Back. There’s no absoluteness that these people are dead. I mean, some of them we know are dead.”
Basically, while everyone else was audio-only Force ghosting, Ahsoka was merely communicating from elsewhere, like we've seen Luke and Leia do throughout the saga. This could easily be possible, however, Ahsoka would be about 72 during the events of Rise of Skywalker, so hopefully she's safely in a retirement village for elderly Jedi or holed up in her own hideout on Dagobah or Tatooine.
So, if Ahsoka didn't die in Rebels and survived through the events of Rise of Skywalker, does this mean we could finally see her in a live-action Star Wars property. We already know she'll show up in Clone Wars Season 7, which debuts February 21 and takes place during the prequels. But Filoni also co-showruns The Mandalorian, and Ahsoka would be a spry 40-something during that series.
If Ahsoka appears in The Mandalorian Season 2, the timelines would more or less line up. Her last known whereabouts were provided by a flash-forward at the end of Star Wars Rebels, showing her at the age of 41, 5 years after the events of A New Hope, notated in the fandom as 5 ABY (after the Battle of Yavin.)
With The Mandalorian occurring somewhere around 9 ABY, and influences from The Clone Wars rampant, an appearance by Ahsoka would seem foolish not to include. The only question is: Who can bring the iconic animated character to life?
The Mandalorian returns in October 2020.