Dave Filoni and George Lucas created the character of Ahsoka Tano for the 2008 feature-length film Star Was: The Clone Wars. The then-slightly-annoying padawan to Anakin Skywalker would go on to have one of the most meaningful character arcs in all of Star Wars. Rising to fan-favorite status, Ahoska featured heavily in The Clone Wars animated series (which returns today on Disney+), and also in Star Wars Rebels. When we heard her voice in the final scenes of The Rise of Skywalker, however, fans feared the character’s off screen demise. Not so fast, says Filoni.
We’re of course referring to the scene in Episode IX in which Jedi of the past reach out to Rey to give her strength to defeat Palpatine. Ahoska Tano is among them, making us think she’s passed into the Force, as well. As Filoni reminds us in an interview with io9, however, Force users can communicate through the Force while still alive:
I remember in The Empire Strikes Back Luke speaking out through the force to Leia. Vader also does this at the end of Empire Strikes Back. There’s no absoluteness that these people are dead.”
Did Ahsoka Tano survive to the events of The Rise of Skywalker?
When we last saw Ahsoka, she and Sabine Wren were off to the Unknown Regions in search of Ezra Bridger at the end of Star Wars Rebels. Thus, as Filoni hints both in his interview and in his Instagram post below, Ahsoka Tano may very well still be alive.
When asked specifically about how Ashley Eckstein’s voice cameo as Ahsoka Tano in The Rise of Skywalker affected his treatment of the character, Filoni had this to say:
It didn’t really affect what I’m doing especially since I’m before it…. So when we get to that point [after The Rise of Skywalker] or if we’d ever reach that point again, I don’t know. I’m in this other timeline. I’m in a couple right now.”
Fans may be quick to jump on the fact that he says he’s in a “couple” timelines. Could that mean he’s not only focusing on Ahsoka in The Clone Wars, but a post-Rebels timeline as well? Perhaps. But don’t forget: Filoni is writing, producing and even directing in The Mandalorian, too. That’s likely the second timeline to which he’s referring. Still… That’s after the events of the Rebels finale, i.e. after Return of the Jedi…. Is there hope for more Ahoska Tano, after all?
To paraphrase Jyn Erso: some things “are built on hope.”
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is now airing Fridays on Disney+.