Lucasfilm’s biography of the Skywalker family reveals Ahsoka Tano conquered the fears that plagued her master Anakin when she left the Jedi Order.
Star Wars has confirmed Ahsoka Tano did what her master Anakin Skywalker could not, and conquered his greatest weakness – his fear. Anakin Skywalker wasn’t exactly pleased when the Jedi Council assigned him Ahsoka Tano as his Padawan. In truth, Master Yoda sensed Anakin was still vulnerable to the pull of the dark side, thrall to his emotions, and so they gave him a Padawan so similar in character to Anakin himself, equally reckless and impulsive. The Jedi hoped seeing his own weaknesses mirrored back at him might just give Anakin the push he needed to face his inner demons.
Sadly, Yoda’s plan for Ahsoka and Anakin failed. As told in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the Jedi failed Ahsoka Tano, expelling her for the Jedi Order when she was framed for conducting a terrorist attack. When the truth was revealed, they offered Ahsoka the chance to rejoin the Order but now to be considered a Jedi Knight, considering her expulsion an equivalent of the Jedi Trials. Ahsoka refused, disillusioned with the Jedi, and left the Order forever. Anakin was shattered by the experience, his faith in the Jedi shaken to the core, and he became all the more vulnerable to those who would manipulate his turbulent emotions.
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Lucasfilm has recently published an official biography of the Skywalker family, Skywalker: A Family At War by Kristin Baver, and it shines a fascinating light on these events. As crushing a moment as Ahsoka’s departure from the Jedi was for Anakin, Baver casts it as the moment Ahsoka proved she was greater than her master. Ahsoka and Anakin were more alike than they would ever care to admit, both disillusioned with the Jedi, and in fact, Anakin was secretly refusing to live in accordance to the Jedi Code, having married his beloved Padmé at the inception of the Clone Wars.
“Ahsoka accomplished something Anakin Skywalker was too afraid to do himself. Like her, Anakin had also lost faith in the Jedi. He had spurned their strict code and violated their protocols again and again in the name of justice and desire. But he was not strong enough to take a stand and walk away. The Jedi Order had been his life. The Jedi had freed him from slavery and offered him a home. Despite all the reasons he had to follow Ahsoka, abandoning the Jedi felt like a terrible mistake. He owed them too much.
In the end, Yoda had succeeded in teaching the value of letting go of all one feared to lose. Only it was Ahsoka who had mastered the lesson, leaping into the unknown, while Anakin was left with familiar feelings of abandonment.”
As Star Wars author Charles Soule recently reflected, the Jedi forbade attachment because it is by nature selfish and controlling. “I think it’s very easy for a Jedi to love,” he observed, pointing to the difference between love and attachment. “It’s just you have to love without being controlling and love without being afraid of losing somebody, which is something Jedi are good at, and Sith are bad at.” We tend to focus on Anakin’s attachment to Padmé as the cause of his fall to the dark side, but Baver’s biography rightly points out that he was equally attached to the Jedi, who he considered his family, and that he was too afraid of losing those he loved to choose between them. In the end, Anakin’s competing attachments to Padmé and to the Jedi pulled him apart, leaving him vulnerable to the dark side.
When she walked away from the Jedi, Ahsoka Tano demonstrated she was not thrall to the same pull of attachment as Anakin. The Jedi had been just as much a family to Ahsoka as to Anakin, yet she wasn’t afraid to let them go and instead go her separate way. There is a strange sense, then, in which Ahsoka was never more of a Jedi than the moment she left the Order. Her master was not strong enough to follow suit, and his weakness sealed his fate in the Star Wars galaxy.
More: Everything We Know About Disney+’s Ahsoka TV Show
- Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)Release date: May 19, 2005
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