Who Plays Young Ahsoka? One Actor Exposes a Tragic Star Wars Reality
Ahsoka’s latest episode reveals the troubling side of Jedi apprenticeship.
Star Wars fans watched Ahsoka Tano grow up before their eyes throughout the animated Clone Wars series. While she’s since made the transition into both adulthood and live-action, it’s hard to forget that she was once a plucky teen apprentice. It’s especially difficult after the latest episode of Ahsoka, “Shadow Warrior,” which turns the clock back to the Clone Wars.
If the young actress under all that Togruta makeup looks familiar, you might recognize her from recent turns in Barbie or the Adam-Driver-fights-dinos flick 65. Ariana Greenblatt portrays the younger version of Ahsoka; at just 16, she’s already got an impressive resume across film and television. This isn’t the first time she’s dawned the extensive makeup required to play an alien, either; Greenblatt played a younger version of Gamora in Avengers: Infinity War.
But if the actress playing Ahsoka is only 16, what does that mean for the character? Was Ahsoka really that young during the events of the Clone Wars?
How old was Ahsoka during the Clone Wars?
Ahsoka Tano was quite young when she began her Jedi apprenticeship. She was paired with Anakin Skywalker at just 14, and served as his padawan for roughly three years. That means she was 17 when she chose to leave the Jedi Order. Ahsoka fought in the Siege of Mandalore, one of the two battles revisited in Ahsoka, that same year, and immediately after that came the events of the Jedi Purge. Ahsoka was forced to battle the legion of Clone troopers she’d grown up fighting alongside, becoming one of Order 66’s few survivors.
That’s a lot to go through before you’ve finished puberty, but it’s not uncommon to see such young warriors coming out of the Jedi Order. Younglings typically became padawans between the ages of 12 and 16, and achieved the rank of master before turning 25. Anakin was just 9 when he became an apprentice, and his master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, was 13 when he was initiated. Jedi hopefuls were always trained from a young age, which became an issue when padawans were brought up against the backdrop of a galaxy-spanning war.
The uncomfortable truth for padawans fighting the Clone Wars
While the Republic had an army of clones to use against the separatists, they still enlisted the Jedi for help in the mounting war. Hundreds of Jedi were given command over clone squadrons across the galaxy, and their padawans came along for the ride. The initiates in Ahsoka’s generation came up in a very different world, one defined by battles and bloodshed. They were essentially child soldiers, and though their training wasn’t limited to the battlefield, the trauma of the war and its aftermath did take a toll.
The Jedi were once regarded as peacekeepers, but over time they became one of the most efficient militias in the galaxy. This wasn’t much of an issue for Ahsoka as she was living through the war — in fact, she was often eager for battle — but she’s still fighting decades later, and it’s clearly not the life she aspired to have. She comes from a long line of Jedi warriors, and she views that legacy as “one of death and war.” While she might have relished the action she faced as a child, she’s struggling to grapple with those events now. Hopefully, her last encounter with Anakin finally gave her some closure.