Did Dave Filoni just tease an epic Jedi showdown in 'Mandalorian' Season 3?
“She’s actually his senior.”
Ahsoka could beat Luke Skywalker in a lightsaber fight.
While this claim might suggest a complicated fan theory, the simple fact of Ahsoka’s Force prowess, relative to Luke’s, isn’t as controversial as you might think.
In a recent interview, Mandalorian co-creator and Clone Wars guru Dave Filoni pointed out that, “Technically [Ahsoka] has had vastly more training than [Luke] has. She’s actually his senior, which I think is actually difficult for people to remember.”
Here’s why Ahsoka being Luke Skywalker’s “senior” makes sense in established canon, and what it could mean if Ahsoka were to (hypothetically) face off against Luke in either Mandalorian Season 3 or her own upcoming TV series. Spoilers for Mandalorian Season 2 ahead. Speculation follows.
Is Ahsoka a more powerful Jedi than Luke Skywalker?
Because Luke Skywalker is not the actual “Chosen One,” and did not bring balance to the Force in Return of the Jedi, contemporary Star Wars canon has basically recontextualized Luke as “just some guy.”
In other words, he’s mostly shaped by circumstances rather than destiny. We’ve never been shown a chart of Luke’s midichlorian count, relative to those of other Jedi. Suffice to say, Luke’s skills as a Jedi in The Mandalorian show his fighting skills have improved since Episode VI, but he’s still nowhere near Ahsoka’s complete and utter mastery of the lightsaber.
In the behind-the-scenes Mandalorian Season 2 special on Disney+, Filoni makes this pretty clear, wondering aloud, “I don’t know who has been teaching [Luke] sword fight training lately.”
In contrast, Ahsoka received training at the Jedi Temple and also directly from Luke’s father, Anakin Skywalker. When it comes to powerful influences, Luke has Obi-Wan and Yoda. Ahsoka was also trained by those guys, as well as Anakin and at least a dozen other Jedi.
Whether or not this makes Ahoska more powerful than Luke isn’t clear. Anakin was probably a more powerful Jedi than Obi-Wan Kenobi, but Obi-Wan was still able to defeat him on Mustafar.
And you can insert a meme here about Obi-Wan having “the high ground,” but the truth is, Obi-Wan defeated Anakin not because Obi-Wan was “stronger in the Force,” but because he got in Anakin’s head. Additionally, in A New Hope, Anakin (as Vader) murders Obi-Wan only because Obi-Wan lets him.
Did Ahsoka defeat Darth Vader in one timeline?
Assessing Luke’s skills as compared to Ahsoka’s could be best accomplished by examining how each of them fared against Darth Vader. In Return of the Jedi, Luke manages to take out Vader’s hand and basically could have ended his father’s life had he not stopped himself.
However, Luke was in Vader’s head, and also briefly let himself channel that sweet Dark Side energy to best his father. The duel between Vader and Luke in Return of the Jedi is emotionally loaded, which makes it similar to the duel between Ahsoka and Vader in the Rebels episode “Twilight of the Apprentice Part 2.”
In that episode, Ahsoka has only just learned that Vader and Anakin are the same person, and yet within her shock she still manages to cut off part of his helmet, exposing his human eyeball! Let that sink in: Ahsoka was capable of cutting open Darth Vader’s helmet during a lightsaber fight. Most fans assumed Ahsoka would have lost this fight if she hadn’t been pulled out of time by Ezra Bridger in “The World Between Worlds,” but maybe she would have won?
Ahsoka managed to survive Order 66 and lay low throughout the Empire’s reign. Had Ezra Bridger not yanked her out of that moment in time, it’s conceivable Ahsoka could have taken out Vader, or at the very least left him even more wounded than Obi-Wan already had. Of all the fights we’ve seen Vader engage in during the time of the original trilogy, Ahsoka is the person who came the closest to taking him out — other than Luke.
Luke vs. Ahsoka — who would win?
You might not think there’s a good reason for Luke and Ahsoka to fight each other in canon. But considering that Luke has custody of Grogu, and Ahsoka doesn’t really care for the Jedi Code, you can easily concoct hypothetical situations in which Ahsoka and Luke do cross lightsabers — either in Mandalorian Season 3 or in the upcoming series Ahsoka.
For one thing, Luke might not even be aware of Ahsoka at this point in the timeline, meaning if he did meet her and she claimed to have known his father, he might assume she’s some kind of spy.
Luke and Ahsoka could also disagree over questions of Jedi orthodoxy. Perhaps, at some point in Mandalorian Season 3, Mando decides that he wants Grogu back, and Luke says no. Perhaps Luke tries to stick to the old Jedi code and forbids Grogu the attachment of having a parent. If Ahsoka gets involved, she may want to set Luke straight, pointing out that the exact same situation befell Luke’s father. If there were some kind of custody battle over Grogu, heightened by Luke and Ahsoka splitting hairs about Jedi training, the lightsabers might come out.
Or, who knows! Maybe Dave Filoni was teasing that we might know who’s been giving Luke lightsaber lessons. Maybe it’s Ahsoka! At this point, there is nothing in canon to prevent a meeting between Luke and Ahsoka after Return of the Jedi or during any of the five years leading up to The Mandalorian.
Maybe Ahsoka could beat Luke Skywalker in a lightsaber fight not because it might happen, but because it already has happened — offscreen. If Luke does reappear in Mando Season 3, we could learn that Master Skywalker has been learning from a secret new teacher all along.