Who is Ahsoka Tano in ‘The Mandalorian’?


The following story contains spoilers for The Mandalorian Season 2.


After The Mandalorian made a Chapter 11 tease from Bo-Katan about the live-action debut of Ahsoka Tano, perhaps the most beloved (previously) non-live action character in all of Star Wars, the show followed through a few weeks later. Ahsoka (played in her live action debut by Rosario Dawson) made her debut in one of the best episodes yet, centered on her and the planet of Corvus, in “The Jedi.”

And, well, there’s no other way to put it: the episode ruled. Ahsoka kicked all sorts of ass throughout the episode. Not only did we get our first ever Mandalorian lightsaber action, but we saw an old favorite (Ahsoka) team up with our new favorite (Mando) to take down some baddies. Not to mention Ahsoka’s duel with the Magistrate being intercut with Mando’s Clint Eastwood-style Western duel in the village. Just completely badass. We’ll see if Ahsoka shows up again as the series progresses—she’s clearly got a connection with Baby Yoda, or, Grogu—but this episode was plenty cathartic to watch in and of itself.

The speculation that Ahsoka would appear on The Mandalorian ramped up last year when Ahsoka returned to the series Star Wars: The Clone Wars during its final episodes. Ahsoka had been first introduced to the Star Wars universe in the animated Clone Wars film in 2008, and she has become a fan favorite ever since with her dual light saber badassery. (Fans love her so much, her Wookieepdia page is almost twice as long as the Wikipedia page for actual world leaders.)

In The Mandalorian Chapter 11, Bo-Katan tells Mando of Ahsoka after he mentions returning The Child (Baby Yoda) to the Jedi. That mention made Ahsoka Tano the first Jedi to be referred to by name in the series thus far—though it seems like the future of the show could be something of an inciting incedent, leading to more and more Jedi activity in the show.

The Jedi have proven to be a fairly elusive topic across The Mandalorian’s galaxy, which is set after the fall of the Empire by the hands of, well, the Jedi (specifically, Luke Skywalker). Apparently, specifics of that galactic conflict (that war in the stars, one could say) never reached most planetary inhabitants, and Mando says on multiple occasions how he’s never even heard of the Jedi. (The galaxy clearly needs a better news-information system.)

But after “The Jedi,” things certainly seem headed in a different direction. Here’s what you need to know about Ahsoka’s background as The Mandalorian progresses forward.

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Ahsoka Tano was Anakin’s Padawan

Tano, who was born on the grassland planet of Shili, came to to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant for her training. There, she was assigned to Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker as his Padawan, or Jedi apprentice. She fought alongside Anakin during the Clone Wars, but soon after began to drift from the formal structure of the Jedi. She was framed for a bombing and imprisoned by Jedis. Though the Jedi Council cleared her name and offered her to rejoin, she refused and struck out alone. She was later betrayed by her legion as the Empire took power. Tano then faked her own death and went underground, working the early rebel movement. Here, she would face off against Darth Vader.

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After the events of the original Star Wars trilogy, Tano joined forces with Sabine Wren, a Mandalorian. As Ahsoka’s Mandalorian appearance confirms, she still thinks highly of Anakin, despite his turn to the dark side—she just sees it as a cautionary tale, and one that any potential to repeat should be avoided.

Ahsoka Tano’s death is still a mystery in the Star Wars canon

Sometime between Return of the Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, Tano somehow enters that fuzzy Jedi spirit world where they are able to communicate with living Jedis. In Rey’s final battle with zombie Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker, she hears a voice that some fans identify as Tano. Since the film is canon, we might then assume that Tano dies before the events of the latest trilogy—so perhaps sometime during the events of The Mandalorian. We hope that’s not a spoiler for the series, but there it is.

ahsoka tano

Lucasfilm


Ahsoka Tano’s appearance has been a long-time coming in The Mandalorian

Clone Wars showrunner Dave Filoni (also a writer and director on The Mandalorian) has before spoken about his desire to pull Tano into the live action series. When asked about Tano’s potential appearance, he said:

A character like that, they can live in any medium. It’s just about telling stories. So if there’s a good story and a good reason, then she could take shape or take form in any medium. . . . So you never know. The most important thing is, is there a good story and how well can something be done?

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