Three years ago, the hit animated series Star Wars Rebels drew to its epic and emotional finale. The series has inspired countless cosplays, fan artworks, fan fiction, fan theories, articles, and discussions over the years and on March 5, the fanbase will be commemorating the third anniversary of its final episode by sharing their favourite memories, fan creations, and more under the hashtag #RebelsRemembered.
This annual online event was launched by Star Wars Rebels super-fan Johnamarie Macias back in 2019 and will be hosted by writer and podcaster Hope Mullinax this year. I wasn’t able to participate in last year’s event due to some last-minute work commitments, so this year, I made a point of preparing an article in advance. And this year, I’d like to talk about some of my favourite Ahsoka Tano scenes and moments from the series’ four-year run.
Rankings always seem to attract a lot of heated discussion on social media, so I would like to preface my list with a reminder that this is a personal ranking, not a definitive list, and that I’ve chosen these particular scenes because they either struck an emotional chord with me or were pivotal moments as far as character development and world-building were concerned.
So, without further ado, here are my choices in descending order.
5) “I’m Asking You to Let Go…”
In The Clone Wars, Ahsoka was an headstrong apprentice and a skilled warrior training under one of the greatest Jedi the Order had ever known. In Star Wars Rebels, we see an older, wiser Ahsoka who takes fellow Jedi Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger under her wing, even though she had left the Order behind years earlier. There is no better scene of her in the role of mentor than her brief encounter with young Ezra within the mystical realm known as the “World Between Worlds”.
Ahsoka drops some interesting exposition about the nature of the Cosmic Force and how those who have passed on can continue to influence the living but, more importantly, she helps Ezra understand the value of selflessness and honouring Kanan’s sacrifice by letting go of his desire to alter his late master’s fate. This last lesson would allow Ezra to find the moment where he was needed most and ultimately save his friends and home planet. Similarly, Ahsoka accepted that she was unable to save her master from his dire fate, a realisation that would no doubt change the course of her life.
Of course, we don’t actually know what happened after she returned to her reality and made her way into the depths of the Sith temple on Malachor. Thanks to the series’ finale and season two of The Mandalorian, we do know that she survived the Galactic Civil War and that she and Sabine Wren would later embark on a journey to find their missing friend but there’s still a lot of her character journey that is currently unaccounted for. Perhaps the upcoming Disney+ series will shed some light on these forgotten years.
4) Old Friends Not Forgotten
This is where my personal biases become obvious: My other favourite Star Wars character just happens to be the walking disaster known as Anakin Skywalker. So, naturally, the scene of Ahsoka talking about her former master to young Ezra Bridger in the season two episode “Shroud of Darkness” really tugged on the ol’ heartstrings. It’s a bittersweet scene which sees the Togruta meditating and listening to her old friend’s voice and remembering her time as his apprentice. Her face is glowing with pride as she talks about his feats but you can see her heart sink when she recalls her final conversation with him and the subsequent Jedi Purge. Although we, the audience, know exactly what happened to Anakin, from Ahsoka’s point of view, he simply faded away, just like his holographic image did when the holo recording ended.
Aside from being a moment where Ahsoka fondly reminisces about her former master’s more positive qualities, it also dropped a bombshell: the last time she had seen Anakin was when he was rushing off to save Chancellor Palpatine. This might not be such a big deal now but when the episode first aired, many of us had assumed that the last time they had seen each other was when Ahsoka walked off into the sunset at the end of “The Wrong Jedi”. Most of us knew nothing about the Siege of Mandalore, which had been name-dropped by Rex a few episodes earlier. Much of Ahsoka’s post-temple life was a mystery and only expanded upon during the Ahsoka’s Untold Tales panel at Star Wars Celebration London a few months later, in E.K. Johnston’s young adult novel that October, and, most memorably, in the seventh and final season of The Clone Wars, which aired several years later.
It’s incredible to think that we eventually got to see the very scene Ahsoka was describing, that of Anakin rushing off to save the chancellor as she embarked on her mission to Mandalore. Gee, I hope nothing bad happened to that lovely Anakin lad…
3) A Hug Many Years in the Making
If you had asked me to list my favourite Ahsoka Tano scenes from Rebels last year, especially before watching their final scenes together in The Clone Wars’ Siege of Mandalore arc, there’s a good chance that Ahsoka and Rex’s reunion in “Relics of the Old Republic” might not have made my top five. Sure, it’s a very touching and tender moment in which two old friends – who have been through so much together – see each other again for the first time in years. But would I have ranked it above Ahsoka’s clash with the Inquisitors? Possibly not.
But one year into a pandemic that shows no real signs of abating, I watch these two old friends embrace and I mourn the many months of missed movie nights, dinner dates, and family visits, of not being able to hug many of my loved ones, most of whom live hundreds of miles away. Needless to say, this scene hits very differently these days and I, for one, can’t wait for the day when it is safe enough to spend an evening in the company of friends, chowing down on unhealthy snacks and laughing to our hearts’ content.
I thought I’d also give an honourable mention to Ahsoka and Rex’s final conversation in this series, which echoes their very first conversation from The Clone Wars movie. There’s a sense of foreboding as they talk about Ahsoka’s mission to Malachor, as if they were both resigned to the fact that they might never see each other. And unless future Star Wars canon proves otherwise, there’s a good chance that they never did. So cherish those moments with your loved ones, dear readers, because you never know what the future may bring.
2) “Do You Know What I’ve Become?”
“Shroud of Darkness” remains one of my favourite episodes of the series and as a long-time fan of The Clone Wars, Ahsoka’s painful realisation that Anakin Skywalker became the cold, murderous Darth Vader was devastating to watch. Ahsoka had already had her suspicions about the true identity of the mysterious Sith Lord the Ghost crew had crossed paths with earlier in the season and while she had her reasons for leaving the Jedi Order, it’s clear that she is racked with guilt and feels personally responsible for her former master’s downfall.
Actors Ashley Eckstein and Matt Lanter both brought their A-game to this episode. Matt’s voice grows increasingly cold and angry as he berates Ahsoka for abandoning him in his time of need and the way he almost growls “Do you know what I’ve become?” is guaranteed to send a chill down one’s spine. Similarly, Ashley’s tearful performance and visceral scream when she confronts the haunting reality in front of her is enough to bring a tear to any Clone Wars fan’s eye. Oh, Star Wars, why do you torment us so?
1) “I Am No Jedi”
Could it have been anything else? The Ahsoka/Vader duel in “Twilight of the Apprentice” is easily one of the most memorable and emotionally-charged lightsaber duels of the entire franchise and it was an exhilarating but oh-so-painful pay-off for fans of The Clone Wars, who had grown to love the friendship between Anakin Skywalker and his feisty young apprentice and shed tears when Ahsoka left the Order at the end of the show’s fifth season. This fateful duel was a masterclass in visual and narrative storytelling. The action was intense and the emotional stakes were high, very high. Everything about this duel was perfect, from the fluid animation to Kevin Kiner’s emotive score to the decision to use Matt Lanter’s voice to remind audiences that Anakin Skywalker was still locked away inside that menacing armour.
But it is Ahsoka’s bold declaration that she is “no Jedi”, her determination to avenge her former master’s “death”, and her desperate attempt to appeal to the good man her fallen master once was that establish this tragic reunion as one of the greatest moments in the franchise’s decades-long history. This is quintessential Star Wars.
And if you’d like to learn more about the writing and storyboarding of this iconic scene, be sure to check out my article “Ahsoka’s Untold Tales: Duel”, in which Dave Filoni shares some of his whiteboard sketches and talks about how that duel almost ended very differently for Ahsoka.
And what ranking would be complete without a few honourable mentions? I know what you’re thinking: How could I not include Ahsoka’s duel against the Inquisitors, that surprise appearance in the finale’s epilogue, or the even more surprising reveal at the end of the season one finale, “Fire Across the Galaxy”, in my top five list? Well, these are all incredible scenes, all of them worthy honourable mentions, but after a year of lockdowns and social-distancing measures, certain scenes and reunions just hit differently. And the Ahsoka/Fulcrum reveal didn’t really have its intended impact on me because I wasn’t actually watching the series when that episode was released. I had given up on Rebels after watching the first few episodes and failing to connect with it and its protagonists. It wasn’t until I heard that both Ahsoka and Rex were alive and kicking that I decided to give the series another chance to wow me. A decision I have never regretted; the series ended up exceeding my every expectation.
Ultimately, I’d argue that any scene where Ahsoka is present is an absolute treasure but Star Wars Rebels is so much more than a series of guest appearances. If you haven’t had the pleasure of watching this beloved animated series before or are aching to rewatch it in its entirety, you can find all four seasons available for streaming on Disney+.
So those were my top five Ahsoka Tano moments from Star Wars Rebels! Do you agree with my choices? Which scenes were your personal favourites? Feel free to leave your comments below!
Looking for even more Ahsoka Tano fan art, cosplay photos, opinion pieces, memes, and merchandise tips? Then come find me over on Twitter, @AllThingsAhsoka!