The Fate of Ahsoka Tano

September 24, 2013 in Guest Blogs, SaveTheCloneWars, The Clone Wars by GuestBlogs

A guest blog by Clonewarsfan1

As some of you might remember, I was once a strong partisan of the “Ahsoka should die” clan. Not Because I hated her; she was -and still is- my favourite Clone Wars character, and perhaps even my favourite Star Wars character. But the thought of the Expanded Universe getting its hands on her fate irked me so much that I thought that death was better, way better.

But since the S5 finale, my view on that has changed.

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It’s not that I don’t hate most* of the Expanded Universe anymore; I still do. It’s just that Ahsoka’s departure from the order was quite simply too well done to wish for anything else, and bugger the Expanded Universe. So without waiting any longer, here’s my view on why Ahsoka’s departure was perfect.

There were many possible courses of actions for DF to explain why Ahsoka wasn’t in Revenge of the Sith. She simply could have been somewhere else (the lazy way, of which I will make no mention beyond this point). She might have been killed. She might have been expelled. She might have left. As it turned out, it was none of these (or a mix of two, you choose); she was expelled… and then refused to come back. Character wise, it couldn’t have been more significant. Because she wasn’t forced to. She had the choice. That’s what mades it so meaningful. Ultimately, Ahsoka’s fate was fully decided by her character evolution and her internal conflict, and that gave the conclusion an emotionnal core that wouldn’t have been as strong if it had instead been a brutal death or a simple expulsion. And the fact that she had been previously expelled just made it better; by giving her a taste of how painful it was to leave the order, the show made it clear that she did fully comprehend the implications of her abandonment, while at the same time weakening her bond with the order. All of which made it more tangible in the end.

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Of course, it wouldn’t have been all that great if the build up to it hadn’t been well done. But it was, thankfully. The Ahsoka arc masterfully exposed to Ahsoka (and the viewer) how the Republic was turning into something else. Great moments and lines such as “I thought that working for the Jedi paid better” highlighted Ahsoka’s growing awareness of the rotting foundations of the Republic, and every episode had a theme related to its downfall; in Sabotage it was how the public interacted with the Jedi Order. In The Jedi who Knew too Much it was mainly the Republic’s growing militaristic side (a theme that kept going strongly in the following episodes). To Catch a Jedi showed us the “used future” side of the seemingly glimmering and sanitized Republic. And finally, in the Wrong Jedi, we (and Ahsoka) were exposed to the Council’s fall from grace in all its glory. All those things were brought up to Ahsoka and, finally, there was the last straw: Barrisses reveal. The speech the jedi turned terrorist gave to the the court was short, but straight to the point, and, tragically, true. After all that she has seen, Ahsoka simply couldn’t phantom the truth in what Barriss had said. We know how it ends; Windu’s arrogant and self-serving words screwed over Plo Cool’s humble excuses, confirming to Ahsoka what she now already knew, and there she went.

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Some might say that the identity of the terrorist was too obvious. But that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing; diminishing the attention given to the identity of the terrorist helped to concentrate the viewer on the real important thing: Ahsoka’s emotional journey. Some also might have said that it didn’t work to have Barriss doing that. I disagree. Barriss had already been established as having doubts about the order’s direction. When she came to the conclusion that the Order had lost its way and was being manipulated, the Jedi simply lost their value to her, and became for her an evil that had to be taken down. She would not have been the first jedi to turn to the dark side because of originally good purposes, and it had already been established by the show that the simple truth about the war was so terrible that its very knowledge could turn a jedi to the dark side (Krell). Hey, when you think about it… could have Krell’s downfall been purposely used by DF to prepare us for Barriss’ downfall? But I’m getting away from the subject here. I guess that will be something for another blog.

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Now, back to business: it wasn’t just just in the final arc that the show prepped the ground for Ahsoka’s departure. This decision of hers certainly wouldn’t have been possible without her gradual maturing through the show and, when I look back, it just fits so perfectly that I can’t imagine any other ending. And the Onderon arc, as weak as it might be, planted in Ahsoka the beginning of doubt in the order, or at least in the council. It will have served that purpose at least.

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To summarize a couple paragraphs in a few words, Ahsoka’s departure from the order was a terrific piece of writing. A testament to the Clone Wars writers’ talent. So great, in fact, that I’m not even sure I want to see her after the finale. Not that I don’t want the show to continue, thats not my point. But when Ahsoka walked out of the temple without turning back, slowly disappearing as she walked down towards the unknown, there was this feel in the air. An infinitely sad feel, yet in a way amazingly enjoyable. It was the feel of the curtain falling after a great, bittersweet, conclusion. The kind of feel that only the greatest story tellers can summon.

Thank you, Mr. Filoni, for giving us such a great show.

PS: by conclusion, I meant the conclusion of Ahsoka’s arc. Not the show’s. The show should have continued.
*(I don’t hate it all, just a big part of it)