14. Battle with Ahsoka in Rebels
Several years after the “death” of Anakin Skywalker, his former Padawan Ahsoka Tano discovers that the evil Sith Lord Darth Vader actually is Anakin Skywalker. The contrast between the compassion and goodness of her former master and the cold cruelty of Darth Vader couldn’t be more extreme, and she struggles to cope with what Anakin has become. In “Twilight of the Apprentice,” the season 2 finale episode of Star Wars Rebels, Ezra Bridger has come to the Sith temple on Malachor to find a Sith holocron. He’s confronted by Darth Vader, and the two have a short lightsaber battle before Darth Vader destroys Ezra’s lightsaber.
Just as Vader is about to strike Ezra down, Ahsoka shows up, finally ready to face the cruel monster her former master has become. Vader assures Ahsoka that Anakin Skywalker is dead because he was weak. Vader separates himself from his former identity, believing that he “killed” Anakin, just as Obi-Wan told Luke in A New Hope. Ahsoka says that if it’s true that Vader killed Anakin, then she will avenge his death, and the two fight, lightsaber against lightsaber. Vader is strong, but so is Ahsoka, and she manages to strike a blow against Vader that destroys part of his mask, revealing half of his face and his yellow Sith eye.
Anakin’s voice calls out to her, no longer modulated by his mask. It’s only one word, but there’s so much weight in that moment as if Anakin is crying out for her help behind the persona of Darth Vader. Ahsoka vows to never leave him again, believing she’s reached Anakin somehow. Anakin’s moment dies quickly, however, as he’s replaced again by Darth Vader, who vows to kill her as the two start fighting again.
It’s a short moment, but a powerful one nonetheless because it’s a rare moment that reveals Anakin still exists somewhere inside of Darth Vader and foreshadows his later redemption.