Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was a real monkey’s paw moment for fans of The Clone Wars‘ Ahsoka Tano. They got their wish that she’d appear in the movie, but it turned out to be a barely audible voice telling Rey to “find the light” amidst a chorus of dead Jedi in the film’s finale. Being granted the same importance as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Yoda is pretty neat, but fans were ultimately disappointed that her inclusion meant that Ahsoka had died off-screen. They were even more dismayed when reports surfaced that they may have filmed a scene featuring the character, only to leave it on the cutting room floor.
Thing is, Ahsoka’s last known story took place roughly three decades before the events of The Rise of Skywalker, so who knows what happened to her in the meantime? With the final season of The Clone Wars airing tomorrow on Disney Plus though, creator Dave Filoni has been discussing his most beloved character in interviews and while talking with Gizmodo, he explained that just because she was in this chorus doesn’t necessarily mean she’s dead.
“I have to wonder with Star Wars fans. They seem to watch the movies but they don’t take all the lessons. They deal a lot in absolutes, which is very much a Sith thing. I remember in [Star Wars:] 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. I mean, some of them we know are dead.”
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This ties in with Filoni’s post on Instagram, in which he compared Ahsoka to Gandalf, another character who appeared to die and subsequently return. Filoni went on to dismiss claims that Ahsoka’s appearance in The Rise of Skywalker meant the character was gone, saying:
“It doesn’t really have any big implications to what I’m doing with the character, to be honest. I just thought it was a really fun thing. I thought [director] J.J. [Abrams]’s instinct to be so inclusive with all these various elements of Star Wars and characters [was great]. And I thought it would be a great thing for the actors involved to be a part of something that was just really this celebrating moment of the Star Wars saga. So I didn’t think of it in a literal story [way]. The film, to me, is like a different area.”
Reading between the lines, it sounds like Filoni is actually a bit pissed off with Abrams. It doesn’t seem like he was consulted about Ahsoka’s appearance and given that he’s spent so much time writing the character, it’s totally understandable that he wouldn’t be happy with someone else casually killing her off. He has to be somewhat cordial and friendly given that he still works at Lucasfilm, but saying that he didn’t think of The Rise of Skywalker‘s story ‘in a literal way’ is actually a pretty big burn from a writer.
Either way, let’s hope the long-awaited final episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars live up to the hype.