Sorry, I have what can only be described as Thrawn Tourettes after that Rebels season 3 trailer. Alas that is not quite what I have to discuss today.
First off, I won’t be so bold as to say that I’ve solved the mystery of Ahsoka and am now going to blow your mind. I mean, I still might blow your mind but I won’t count my mynocks before they hatch. Did that metaphor work? Do mynocks even come from eggs? Anyway, this isn’t your usual clickbait Star Wars theory and analysis reading way too much into little details and coming up with wild conjectures based on nothing. No no, this is all based on connecting the dots. After watching the panel from Celebration discussing Ahsoka’s untold tales something clicked in my mind and while I can’t say that I’ve figured it all out I will say this much… I definitely think I’m onto something.
Enough of this preamble. Let’s get to the point.
Here’s what we do know from the season 2 finale of Rebels. Ahsoka finally learned Vader’s true identity as her master Anakin Skywalker after much skepticism and denial. She does so by slicing off a portion of his mask, allowing Vader to look on her with his own eyes (sound familiar?) and for one brief moment appears to revert back to his true self, only then to be consumed by Darth Vader once more. After discovering the truth, Ahsoka chooses to stay with him and face death, most likely hoping she could bring him around to rejoining the light side. After a massive explosion destroys the temple, Vader limps away alone, observed by a curious little creature from above. Deep underground Ahsoka steps through a gate and descends down a stairway into darkness and ambiguity. After that we’re left to theorize for ourselves what happened.
So… let’s do that!
Dave Filoni shed just a little more light on the situation in an interview where he stated that the little owl creature, a convor, was connected to something or someone featured previously in the animated Star Wars universe, and even that it served as their “avatar.” In my review of the Rebels finale, I expounded on my theory that the convor is the embodiment of the Sister from the Mortis arc in Clone Wars, purely based on the coloring and that it appeared to be following Ahsoka, but beyond her having some unclear connection to Ahsoka the trail sort of stops there. Then I saw the Celebration panel during which Filoni revealed some concept art depicting Ahsoka’s journey deeper into the Sith Temple which may point to a few potential answers, but more on that later. Here are a few highlights from the panel I should point out…
Apparently there was a potential storyline in which Ahsoka would descend deep into the underbelly of Coruscant after her departure from the Jedi Temple and discover a Sith Temple basically at the center of the planet. This probably isn’t canon but the idea of this sort of underworld journey applies to her new ambiguous adventure, and more or less seems to have been adapted into Twilight of the Apprentice. We then got treated to some concept art of her journey into the depths of the temple, apparently sinking into some sort of underground river, which instantly reminded me of the River Styx from Greek mythology, and here’s where it gets interesting.
Star Wars has drawn on multiple cultures, religions and mythologies, and of course the Joseph Campbell hero’s journey. In case you’re not versed in Greek mythology, there is a part of the Odyssey in which Odysseus has to journey into the underworld to discover his path home, to put it in overly simplified terms. The River Styx is where the souls of the dead were ferried, and Ahsoka is entering a river that reminds me of this. See where this is going?
Here’s where things get more conjectural but when it hit me it just felt like some kind of epiphany, and even if this all proves untrue (as do 99.99% of internet theories relating to a galaxy far far away) I think it’s interesting enough to share. Let’s assume for a moment that Vader most likely left the temple believing Ahsoka was dead, either by his hand or the explosion. We clearly see Ahsoka walking down the stairs into darkness, but we’re not entirely sure what state she’s in. My personal theory is that Ahsoka has left the physical world and entered into another plane of existence much like Mortis.
Back to Filoni’s drawings, if the imagery is any indicator, which in Star Wars it usually is, Ahsoka’s fate may be revealed to us. In the first image, we see what appeared in the season finale; Ahsoka walking through a gate down some stairs and Vader limping away. Next we see Ahsoka looking sad with Vader’s shadow looming behind her, as if she’s resigned herself to her inevitable fate. Then things get a little more interesting. We see Vader’s mask with Ahsoka appearing against white light in the portion of the mask she sliced off, as if she’s stepping into Vader himself. Then we see Ahsoka looking at a river at the bottom of the stairs, with what looks suspiciously like one of the force priestesses Yoda encountered standing in the distance. She then wades into the water and the sequence ends.
What does all this mean? Let’s examine what we know to point to some answers. When Ahsoka slices off a portion of Vader’s mask and apparently allows the real Anakin Skywalker to shine through momentarily, she sees that there is indeed still good in him deep down. If I were to wager a guess I would have to say that it implies that Vader killed Ahsoka, in the literal sense. Figuratively it appears that Ahsoka’s descent into darkness may imply just what she told him, “I won’t leave you! Not this time.” While she may not have redeemed Anakin Skywalker (only Luke can), now she appears to be descending into his very soul on a spiritual journey to find Anakin deep inside his prison that is Darth Vader. Indeed, she won’t leave him because she’s a part of him.
Ultimately, yes, I believe this means Ahsoka is dead at Vader’s hands. But all this imagery, and the additive of the Sister’s presence as the convor implies that she is still alive, from a certain point of view. Is she in a different realm beyond our mortal coil much like Mortis and her new journey symbolizes the apparent meaning she still has for Anakin? I think while she is dead, her spirit is alive in the force and is now journeying deep into the underworld to search for the faint glimmer of light deep within Vader. I’d like to think Vader started hearing her voice in his head along with Padme and Obi-wan as the Emperor was attempting to kill Luke in Return of the Jedi, just before Vader makes his fateful decision.
There was another piece of concept art in which Ahsoka slices open Vader’s mask, only then to be impaled in that moment, suggesting that the plan was for her to die. And on that note… how powerful would it have been to have her die as she learned the truth? And for her dying words to be “I won’t leave you… not this time…” Dark and heartbreaking yes, but personally I think that would have been the perfect end to her story. Perhaps if my theories are in anyway true, then the meaning of her death is still there, but still it would have been nice to have some concrete closure.
Then again, if we had closure, what would we have to discuss on the internet?? To cap off the panel, Filoni revealed that he intended this to be the last we would ever see of Ahsoka, but based on the fan reaction he decided to leave the door open for her to possibly return in some capacity. So maybe we’ll get an answer someday, but while Ahsoka may be dead, nothing in the force ever dies, it only changes form.
Sill with me? Good, because now it gets REALLY crazy. This is all purely based on some unconfirmed rumor concerning a spoiled plot line for Star Wars Episode 8 explaining Rey’s origin and the origins of the force itself. Supposedly in episode 8 we learn that the Jedi were wrong in believing Anakin was the chosen one, and that the first people to use the force were a brother and sister, and the brother killed the sister, which sounds a lot like the Mortis story, and now the sister has been reincarnated and supposedly she’s now Rey… so maybe, like, Ahsoka was sort of the herald of the sister before it manifested as Rey and… well, we do know that the owners of Lucasfilm are trying to tie all the canon Star Wars stories together… so anything is possible.