The Mandalorian season 2 has introduced Rosario Dawson as the live-action Ahsoka Tano – here’s everything you need to know about her history in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. In The Mandalorian season 2, Din Djarin has been commissioned to a difficult and dangerous mission: to scour the galaxy looking for a Jedi, in order to return Baby Yoda to his own people. He’s finally succeeded in The Mandalorian season 2, episode 5, discovering Ahsoka Tano on the forest world of Corvus.
Played by Rosario Dawson, Ahsoka Tano 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 is 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 to encounter Ahsoka for the first time, and even older fans may well need something of a refresher. So here’s everything you need to know about Ahsoka Tano’s history from The Clone Wars onwards.
A Togruta from the planet Shili, Ahsoka Tano 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 acknowledge 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,
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’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.
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 Ahsola 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.
Even as a Padawan, Ahsoka Tano had showed 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. Where 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.
Ahsoka Tano has now made her live-action debut, played by Rosario Dawson. 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 before or after The Mandalorian season 2, episode 5, so it’s possible she is yet to pick up Sabine Wren.
Ahsoka Tano’s future is currently uncertain. It’s not hard to imagine a scenario where she returns in future episodes of The Mandalorian, given Din Djarin is himself on the run from an Imperial – Moff Gideon. Alternatively, The Mandalorian season 2, episode 5 feels very much like a backdoor pilot, and there have been consistent rumors Lucasfilm is interested in launching an Ahsoka series on Disney+ starring Rosario Dawson. The potential is clearly there for either option – if not both.
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 – and where Palpatine and the First Order are waiting in the wings, biding their time.
Fast-forward another 20 years, and Ahsoka’s voice is one of those heard by Rey during the climactic final battle in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. While the other voices Rey heard were those of Jedi who have died, Dave Filoni has suggested Ahsoka may still be alive even in that time. Excitingly, because Ahsoka trained under Anakin Skywalker himself, that means she gives Anakin something very precious – a legacy, one that hails all the way back to his time as a hero of the Clone Wars. It will be thrilling to see how that legacy plays out in the future of Star Wars, whether in The Mandalorian or elsewhere.