Ahsoka (not Anakin) is the true hero of The Clone Wars


Ahsoka’s growth throughout The Clone Wars makes her the real hero of the series.

Ahsoka Tano’s place in the Star Wars universe might be more of a prominent role than you might think.

Arguably, one of the most prevalent literary devices is that of the hero’s journey. It appears in everything from Shakespeare to Star Wars. Essentially, it is an outline of the growth of the principal character. Luke Skywalker is the principal hero in the original Star Wars trilogy.

In the prequels, Anakin takes on the role of, first, the hero and then the fallen hero. In the animated series The Clone Wars, which takes place during the period between Episodes 2 and 3 of the prequels, it would be reasonable to assume that Anakin is the hero of the story.

Photo credit: Lucasfilm

However, I would argue that it is, in fact, Ahsoka Tano that fills the role of hero in this saga. Though her story does not adhere completely to the stations of the hero’s journey, it mirrors it the most closely.

There is, of course, change that Anakin experiences throughout the series, but no character experiences more growth than Ahsoka.

The hero’s journey begins with the introduction of the hero into a situation that makes him or her sympathetic to the audience so that they can begin to identify with the hero.

Ahsoka is introduced to us amid the crisis on Christophsis. Only 14 years old, she has been thrown headfirst into a galactic conflict. She is paired with a master who, at first, has no interest in her.

Desperate to prove herself a good Jedi, she displays a deep level of insecurity and vulnerability, but, in the end, she also displays great potential.

Photo credit: Lucasfilm

The call to adventure comes in the form of Anakin accepting her as his Padawan. She has spent most of her life in the Jedi Temple, but it is now that she becomes fully immersed in the lessons of what it truly means to be a Jedi. Along her journey, she faces many of the same struggles that we have seen Anakin confront thus far: fear, attachment, death, betrayal. Her growth is rapid and immense.

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The climax of this growth is when Ahsoka finds herself accused of murder and acts of terror against the republic that she has risked her life – on so many occasions – to protect.

What makes her the hero of The Clone Wars series, and arguably one of the best heroes of this universe, is that instead of giving into her hatred and turning against the Jedi, she makes the brave choice to simply leave.

This act represents the final station of the hero’s journey: The Return with the Elixir. The idea behind this is that the hero either returns home or continues their journey, but now with a crucial knowledge or treasure that has the power to change the world.

Photo credit: Lucasfilm

Ahsoka may have left the Jedi order, but what she learned she will eventually pass on to others in the animated series Rebels. Her training will empower others to fight the good fight and oppose the great evil in the galaxy.

This is the mark of a hero: that she can rise from the ashes, hold on to the value of the lessons she has been taught, and use her knowledge to make a great change in the world.

For these reasons, Ahsoka Tano is the lovably flawed, powerfully redemptive hero of the Star Wars animated series The Clone Wars.

Next: 50 Most Memorable Moments from Star Wars: The Clone Wars

If you want to learn more about Ahsoka’s journey, make sure to watch The Clone Wars!