Ahsoka Tano Explained: The Mandalorian’s Former Jedi’s Clone Wars History Explained

The Mandalorian season 2 introduced Rosario Dawson as the live-action Ahsoka Tano, and she also appeared in The Book of Boba Fett — here’s everything you need to know about her history in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, greasing the wheel for her own upcoming spin-off Ahsoka. Played by Rosario Dawson, the Ahsoka Tano Mandalorian character is an ex-Jedi whose shadow looms large in Star Wars transmedia. She was actually a major character in both Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, voiced by Ashley Eckstein. Ahsoka was initially a subject of some controversy, but skillful writing and Eckstein’s tremendous performance gradually won over viewers, and she’s become a firm fan-favorite.


Eckstein’s voice was heard in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, when the Jedi of ages past offered words of encourage to Rey during her final fateful duel with Palpatine. Her live-action debut in The Mandalorian was a big moment for Star Wars in transmedia terms, truly confirming that everything really is all connected in the Disney era. New viewers may be somewhat confused by the Ahsoka Tano Mandalorian encounter, seeing her for the first time, and even older fans may well need something of a refresher. With the upcoming Ahsoka Disney+ show gearing up to be one of the most important Star Wars projects in the near future, there’s no better time to explore her history. So here’s everything you need to know about Ahsoka Tano’s history from The Clone Wars onwards.

Related: The Mandalorian: Moff Gideon’s Vader Armor & Dark Troopers Explained

Ahsoka Tano Was Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan In The Clone Wars

Anakin Skywalker Ahsoka Tano Clone Wars

A Togruta from the planet Shili, the Ahsoka Tano Mandalorian character was taken to the Jedi Temple as an infant by Jedi Master Plo Koon. She grew up in the Temple, where she was trained as a Jedi, and shortly after the beginning of the Clone Wars she was apprenticed to Anakin Skywalker. At first Anakin resented having a Padawan forced upon him, but the two swiftly developed a strong bond. Ahsoka was young and more than a little reckless, and her eagerness to prove herself forced Anakin to learn a degree of caution. “You’re reckless, little one,” Anakin acknowledges after the Battle of Christophsis. “You never would have made it as Obi-Wan’s Padawan… but you might make it as mine.

As the Padawan of the Chosen One, Ahsoka Tano found herself drawn into some of the greatest battles of the Clone Wars, and she fought some of the Separatists’ greatest warriors – even going up against General Grievous himself on occasion. Always motivated by compassion, Ahsoka was willing to challenge and even disobey orders for the sake of others, even earning reprimands for contradicting Supreme Chancellor Palpatine on occasion. As much as Anakin claimed to disapprove, he was clearly proud of his Padawan’s growth and her care for others. She earned the love and approval of the Clone Army, recognized as a Jedi who saw clones as people and would not waste their lives. The Mandalorians had a rather mixed opinion of Ahsoka, and she developed a fierce rivalry with Bo-Katan, leader of a terrorist cell who opposed Mandalore’s government.

Why Ahsoka Tano Left The Order (& Isn’t A Jedi Anymore)

Ahsoka Leaves Anakin Skywalker

The Clone Wars ultimately took a painful turn for Ahsoka Tano, when she was framed for the bombing of the Jedi Temple and a number of murders. The actual culprit was her fellow Padawan Barris Offee, but Ahsoka was stunned by the fact the Council could turn on her in spite of her record. Ahsoka left the Jedi Order, shaken by the lack of wisdom and disillusioned with the Jedi’s leadership and their cause. She remained an ally of the Jedi, however, returning in Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 7 as an asset codenamed “Fulcrum” and even working alongside her old nemesis Bo-Katan when she led the Siege of Mandalore. Though she did not know it, this was the last battle of the Clone Wars, as the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith took place at the same time. Ahsoka was targeted by Clone Troopers under Order 66, but was rescued by her good friend Commander Rex, who successfully resisted his programming. She fled from the nascent Empire, hiding in the shadows of the galaxy.

Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars Rebels

Ahsoka Tano wieding two lightsabers in Star Wars Rebels.

Ahsoka’s story continues in E.K. Johnston’s novel Ahsoka, which reveals she initially attempted to keep her head down as the darkness of the Empire overshadowed the galaxy. But Ahsoka’s compassion refused to allow her to simply stand by and allow evil to prosper, especially when she learned of Darth Vader’s Inquisitors, who were hunting Force sensitives across the galaxy – including children. Ahsoka approached Senator Bail Organa, offering to work with him as she had with the Jedi Order; she even took up the old “Fulcrum” codename again.

Related: The Mandalorian: How Bo-Katan Is Connected To Ahsoka Tano

Ahsoka continued to operate throughout the Dark Times, and her story continues in Star Wars Rebels, where she found herself working with a Rebel cell operating around Lothal. This led her once again into conflict with the Inquisitors, and Ahsoka began to suspect their master Darth Vader was actually her old mentor, Anakin Skywalker. The two confronted one another on the planet Malachor, and Ahsoka Tano would have died if she had not been rescued by Jedi Padawan Ezra Bridger from a cosmic realm known as the World Between the Worlds. She subsequently vanished into the shadows again, and her adventures during the original trilogy era have yet to be chronicled, but may be talked about during the Ahsoka Disney+ TV show.

Why Ahsoka Tano Has White Lightsabers After The Clone Wars

Ahsoka Tano with White Lightsabers in Star Wars Rebels

Even as a Padawan, Ahsoka Tano had shown a preference for using two lightsabers — a typical long sword and a smaller, shoto-style blade. She was a skilled duelist, noted for her Djem So, which has an unconventional reverse grip. But when she returned in Star Wars Rebels, viewers were surprised to note her lightsabers had changed color. Rather than blue or green, Ahsoka’s lightsabers are an unusual white. This is because she had lost her old lightsabers at the end of the Clone Wars, and constructed their replacements using kyber crystals taken from defeated Inquisitors; she had used the Force to purify the crystals of the taint of the dark side. The white color reflects Ahsoka’s unique position in Star Wars lore, as neither Sith nor Jedi. Whereas other Jedi dream of restoring the Jedi Order, Ahsoka is separate from the Order, and has no interest in this.

Until The Mandalorian season 2, episode 5, Ahsoka Tano was last seen at the end of Star Wars Rebels season 4. The final scenes of episode 16 serve as an epilogue to the entire series, set after the Rebel Alliance’s victory in Return of the Jedi. They see Ahsoka return to Lothal and recruit Sabine Wren to help her look for their old friend Ezra Bridger, who was lost in the Unknown Regions with Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn. She returned again in The Book of Boba Fett season 1, episode 6, alongside Mark Hamill’s de-aged Luke Skywalker.

Rosario Dawson Is The Live-Action Ahsoka Tano

Ahsoka Tano in The Mandalorian Season 2 Episode 5

Ahsoka Tano made her live-action debut, played by Rosario Dawson, who will be reprising her role in the upcoming Ahsoka Disney+ TV series. The Empire has retreated into the galactic shadows after the Battle of Jakku, with New Republic leadership believing them defeated. Ahsoka, however, appears to be working with Bo-Katan and a Mandalorian cell in opposition to the last Imperial holdouts. While Bo-Katan’s focus is on recovering the Darksaber, which she hopes to use to reunite the fractured Mandalorians, Ahsoka seems laser-focused on finding Grand Admiral Thrawn. It’s worth noting there is no evidence where the Star Wars Rebels epilogue scene is set after The Mandalorian or The Book of Boba Fett, so it’s possible she is yet to pick up Sabine Wren. Though, Sabine will be in Ahsoka, played by Natasha Liu Bordizzo.

Related: Clone Wars: How Powerful Ahsoka Is Compared To Anakin

Ahsoka’s Disney+ Show Will Fully Merge Live Action And Animated Star Wars

Star Wars Thrawn Ascendancy

Ahsoka on Disney+ is going to be a very important show when it comes to the Star Wars franchise as a whole, because it will act as the much-needed connective tissue for all of the Star Wars programming thus far. Hayden Christensen is set to return as Anakin Skywalker in the Ahsoka TV series, though it’s unclear yet in what capacity, as the show is going to be set 5 years after Return of the Jedi. It’s likely that she’ll be encountering Vader’s force ghost in the series, but it’ll be intriguing to see how much and when he appears, or what he adds to the story. Basically, the entire Star Wars franchise will finally come together with Ahsoka, as the rise of the First Order is being set up by The Mandalorian.

It’s safe to assume Ahsoka will continue her quest for Grand Admiral Thrawn, one of the Empire’s most dangerous military strategists, who has been missing since Star Wars Rebels season 4. This surely means it’s only a matter of time before further animated characters wind up adapted into the live-action format, including the likes of Grand Admiral Thrawn, Sabine Wren, and Ezra Bridger. Certainly Lucasfilm’s Dave Filoni has hinted Ahsoka and Ezra will ultimately be reunited. Intriguingly, Ahsoka’s quest is likely to take her into the Unknown Regions, the area of space Thrawn hails from.

Not only will Ahsoka connect to all of the Star Wars projects that came before it, but the series could also reach across mediums and bring to life things that have only been depicted thus far by animation. Pieces of The Clone Wars might show up as flashbacks in Ahsoka, and her time in animated form is sure to be explored in a live-action setting. The upcoming Ahsoka Tano TV show is incredibly exciting, and important, to the Star Wars universe as a whole, as it will connect every time period covered in the franchise, as well as reach across different mediums to bring forward one full, coherent narrative. Her character’s set up in The Mandalorian, Star Wars Rebels, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars is only the beginning as Rosario Dawson will fully bring the character to life in Ahsoka.

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