Star Wars Just Fixed One Very Strange Anakin Skywalker Plot Hole
When and why did Anakin make those holograms?
Despite becoming the most famous movie villain of all time, it turns out, Anakin Skywalker was a pretty good teacher before he turned to evil. Sneakily, the TV series Ahsoka is rehabilitating the nurturing, mentor aspect of Anakin, a side of him that we rarely got to see in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. And, in Episode 7, “Dreams and Madness,” one very specific loose thread about Anakin’s role as a Jedi Master has been clarified — with a personal touch. Spoilers ahead.
In “Dreams and Madness,” we see Ahsoka practicing her lightsaber forms on her ship, as a hologram of Anakin Skywalker (circa the Clone Wars) encourages her about all the things he wants her to remember. This isn’t a Force Ghost of Anakin, but, as we learn, one of at least “20 more,” training holograms he made at some point during the Clone Wars when young Ahsoka became his Padawan. Like the flashbacks in Episode 5, this glimpse of Anakin has him rocking his armor from The Clone Wars animated series, something that Hayden Christensen never originally got to wear in his two films. Anakin mentions to Ahsoka all the opponents she might face on the battlefield, including General Grievous, Asajj Ventress, and Count Dooku. Ironically, Anakin himself never actually fought General Grievous in The Clone Wars series because, in Revenge of the Sith, Grievous had never met Anakin in person before. Meanwhile, though Asajj Ventress is a canonical Star Wars Dark Jedi, she has never been glimpsed in live-action before, so even hearing her name in this episode is a big deal.
But the most interesting detail of this scene is that it simply exists at all. Ahsoka using a training hologram of Anakin calls back to an episode of Rebels, which now, makes a lot more sense.
Anakin’s training hologram in Rebels
The first indication that Anakin made training holograms comes from the Rebels Season 2 episode “Shroud of Darkness.” In one brief scene from that episode, we see Ahsoka watching a very straightforward hologram of Anakin, who explains the ways he’s modified “Form IV,” lightsaber combat. In the scene, Ezra mentions he’s watched this recording before, which, when this episode aired, was a bit confusing. Why did Anakin make these recordings? Who were they intended for? All Jedi Padawans? Was this an official training series Anakin was asked to make by the Jedi Council?
Ahsoka Episode 7 clarifies all this with the revelation that Anakin made these recordings specifically to help young Ahsoka Tano. “If we get separated or something happens, you need to be able to make it on your own,” Anakin says in the recording, encouragingly, adding, “I know you can do this Ahsoka.”
When Huyang enters, Ahsoka says, “He made 20 more of these recordings. This was his last one.” It’s a touching moment, and again, honors the bond between Ahsoka and Anakin we saw in The Clone Wars, but obviously, until now, have never really felt in live-action Star Wars.
In the context of Ahsoka, the series, the hologram of Anakin, encouraging her, and admitting he doesn’t practice the lightsaber forms as much as he should, creates a nice layer to Ahsoka’s journey. She feels at this moment, that she’s failed her apprentice, Sabine, and of course, has mixed feelings about her time with Anakin, only because of what he became after they parted ways.
But from a Rebels dot-connecting point-of-view, this scene gives extra weight and clarity to “Shroud of Darkness,” because now we understand the point of the holograms. Anakin wanted Ahsoka to have something practical to help with her lightsaber training, so, he took the time to make detailed recordings. As Huyang says, “Very thoughtful. I never realized.” This echoes Rebels too, when Ahsoka told Ezra about “how kind” Anakin was in real life, despite his prowess as a warrior. After all this time, Anakin Skywalker continues to have small layers revealed, even though something as small as a hologram cameo.
Hopefully, when all of this is over, Ahsoka may consider making some copies of these recordings, and gifting them to a few surviving Skywalkers. Luke and Leia might want to see some cool, inspiring stuff from their dad — before he turned into Darth Vader — right?