The End of Ahsoka Tano

Ahsoka Tano is dead.

Well, Ahsoka Tano is dead in the Star Wars universe at least. For those of you that may not follow the Cartoon Network series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, you have never heard of Ahsoka Tano. Ahsoka Tano was not in any of the movies. That makes Ahsoka’s death even more sad considering that Tano is now going to be featured in a fifth season of a series about a roughly three year war. Tano is presented as Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan. She is never mentioned in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. This makes some sense in that she was probably created after the movie was wrapped. That makes the question of her death as well as the fact that she was not mentioned in Episode III even more disturbing.

There are a few possibilities, and all of them get gradually more horrific Let’s start with the ‘happiest’ way that this could happen. Don’t give me any ‘expanded universe’ on this either. What is the happiest outcome? Tano dies heroically in the Clone Wars. The shattering effect is so much that neither Anakin or Obi Wan can mention her name. If Dooku killed her outright, then Anakin’s decision at the beginning of Revenge of the Sith to cut off Dooku’s hands and then decapitate him all the more understandable. It becomes like Chris Rock talking about O. J. Simpson killing Nicole. Its not right, but I understand.

The second outcome is slightly more detached but a little more disturbing. Tano was killed in the purge. Anakin cut a lot of ties with his fellow Knights that day. If Obi Wan and Yoda would be enemies, then so would Tano. Sith could not possibly address everything or even show much more than prominent members of the council getting killed. Tano was simply one of a horde of nameless that were killed that day. Obi Wan went to Anakin to avenge all of them.

Sadly, there is also the third possibility. Most of those killed in the initial purge at the Temple were killed by Anakin personally. They were referred to as “younglings” but there was at least one teenager there. Obi Wan and Yoda watched the replay of all the killings. No one had a chance against the new Lord Vader at this point. It did not matter to Vader who was killed. They were all traitors. This possibility would actually turn Tano from a cartoon caricature into the saddest most tragic character in the Star Wars universe. This raises the possibility that Tano died fighting her own Master protecting the younglings Anakin was about to slaughter. It raises the possibility that Anakin was successful in teaching her right from wrong. It also raises the possibility that his last lesson was one of betrayal. That is a tragedy that is almost Shakespearean.

The fourth possibility is that Tano lived past the first day of the Purge. Kenobi makes it clear that Luke is the last of the order. That would mean in the ensuing years Tano died. She died while she was on the run. She spent years learning at the feet of Anakin and working with Clone Troopers. However long she lived, these would be the very people now hunting her. She would not be able to make contact with any one else she knew. This would make the Clone Wars the happy years. Whether Tano lived a day after Order 66 or ten years, there is little matter. Everyone she ever knew turned on her. She would never even be able to discuss the best years of her life for fear that being found out would result in certain death. These would be bitter frightened years from which death would almost be a relief.

Lets be as unrealistically optimistic as possible. Lets say that Tano was somehow a forgotten footnote. Lets say that she somehow escaped everyone’s notice including Kenobi and Yoda for two decades. Imagine if Tano (who would have grown hardened and lethal) fought and scrapped out an existence racking up a kill count that would have earned her an honorary spot in the clan McLeod. She makes it. She lived. She was just in such deep hiding that the period of Episodes IV-VI just did not happen to involve her. It is entirely possible. If you do not have a ‘cool profression’ in the Star Wars universe, then … well have you ever looked at the people in the background in those movies? Pretty horrific stuff. Lets imagine Tano is still alive. Lets imagine that she is a bitter middle aged murderess all the way to the end of Episode VI. Tano finds out the Empire has been destroyed. She can rejoice that the universe has now been saved by someone with the last name of … Skywalker.

Take all of the possibilities one by one and you will reach the inescapable conclusion that the most doomed character in all of the Star Wars universe will not have a good end. Funny is the fact that she seems like the happiest on in the cartoon.

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11 thoughts on “The End of Ahsoka Tano

  1. My only issue, from a Star Wars nerd’s perspective, with the possibilities that include Ashoka existing during Ep III (i.e. dies in Order 66, survives,) is that she is something like 15 years old, if that, when Anakin takes her as his padawan. This means, and we’re nerding out here, that even if she lasts all the way until Ep III she is at most 18 years. That’s cool, but in order for her character’s presence as Anakin’s padawan to not be mentioned at all means she either already died/disappeared or was promoted to knighthood. Now, the idea of a padawan becoming a Jedi Knight after only three years of training is sketchy to me. Yes, it’s war time. Yes, she’s learning from Anakin and Obi-Wan, but still. It took Obi-Wan ten years and Anakin another ten – he wasn’t even knighted until they were in a war.

    So my issue with having Ashoka exist publicly during the events of Ep III is that, to me, it says she had to be knighted, and I’m not sure about that. Maybe it happens this way. I’ll accept it, but in debate about the situation I can’t support it.

    I’m also not sure about her dying. TCW is a pretty dark show, but killing off a teenage character is deep. Especially when that teenage character is absolutely LOVED by basically every Star Wars fan, boy and ESPECIALLY girl, under the age of 13. If I was a parent, I wouldn’t want my young child to watch Ashoka die after having lived with that character for over five years.

    For me, I can’t say what I would like to happen, but it would be nice if some chain of events causes Ashoka to abandon the Jedi Order and flee outwards to live out her days. Or something. I don’t know. Maybe, when weighed against her dying tragically, just giving her knighthood and letting her fly away if better. I doubt we’ll be dealing with any of this soon, though, as the show approaches episode 100 and does not seem to be stopping.

    1. In revenge of the Sith there’s a deleted scene that takes place toward the beginning of the movie. Anakin and Obi-Wan sneak onboard Count Dookoom’s ship. As they traverse throughout the ship they come across Ahsoka on her knees sitting in front of grievous. She says a few words and is then beheaded by him.

  2. The trouble is that there is no real way for it to end well for Tano given when she existed. I doubt even leaving the order having known Anakin would not make her a signifigant target. The Star Wars universe is actually filled with a ton of tragedy as well as dark moments. I don’t know if they would neccessarily put it into a children’s cartoon, but the death that makes most sense to me is that Anakin gacked her with the rest of the younglings in the Temple. It is when Kenobi watches the video that he gets the steely resolve to go after Anakin properly. I think that I situation in which he could watch Anakin personally kill Tano as if it were nothing would be enough of an inspiration to decide Anakin was in fact too far gone.

    1. It will definitely be interesting to see how this arc ends. I mean, she has to stick around because they’ve got at least one more season left, but it does give hope that maybe Ashoka can live past all of this.

      On a related note, wasn’t all of that Empire foreshadowing awesome?

    1. Well…that seems a stretch, heh, but it will certainly be interesting to see what she does in Season Six. They can’t go too many episodes without her reappearing

  3. They actually just killed her, or we are supposed to believe she is dead. Vader got her in the most tragic fight scene ever. I have watched this show the whole time and it just breaks my heart. RIP

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