Ahsoka leaving the Jedi Order is still Star Wars’ most powerful twist

Rosario Dawson is Ahsoka Tano in THE MANDALORIAN, season 2. Photo: Justin Lubin /Lucasfilm Ltd.
Rosario Dawson is Ahsoka Tano in THE MANDALORIAN, season 2. Photo: Justin Lubin /Lucasfilm Ltd. /

Star Wars is no stranger to jaw-dropping twists. The “I am your fathers” and “you’re a Palpatines” that left droves of movie theater audiences speechless have and will continue to shock fans for decades to come. But among unexpected deaths, tragic explosions and numerous galaxy-altering events depicted on-screen, even the smaller, lesser-known Star Wars moments stand out as some of the most memorable twists of all time.

The one that stands out above the rest also happens to be the conclusion to Season 5 of The Clone Wars, what was originally meant to be the series finale before more episodes were later added to Netflix (and long before #CloneWarsSaved became the now officially final Season 7).

At the end of this episode of the series, Ahsoka Tano and her master Anakin Skywalker stand outside the Jedi Temple at sunset. In one of the most powerful yet heartbreaking moments in Star Wars history, Anakin offers Ahsoka her Padawan braid, extending his hand asking for forgiveness and welcoming her home.

Though you would expect Ahsoka to step willingly back into her role in the Jedi Order in that moment, the biggest twist of all occurs: She declines.

Despite finally being given the chance to return to the only life she has ever known, Ahsoka Tano chooses instead to walk away from all of it in search of a new life, new purpose, and a different perspective on the galaxy at large.

Even before we knew how the rest of the story would play out years later, her decision to leave the Order was the reverse of everyone’s expectations based on previous stories told in Star Wars. The good ones don’t just win in the end: They also get everything they’ve earned. But faced with that option, Ahsoka chooses her own path. She knows the Jedi Order no longer aligns with her beliefs. She has lost faith in what it stands for.

To watch a character act with such agency and decide her own destiny — especially a female character whom fans have also coded a member of the Black community — is extremely moving and motivating for fans of all backgrounds. This was the first time Ahsoka truly got to choose what she believed was best for her and her future rather than going along with what the Jedi masters told her to do.

As we later witnessed, the further Ahsoka strayed from the Jedi from that point forward, the more powerful she became. No longer Anakin Skywalker’s apprentice, no longer bound to the rules of a culture preoccupied with status rather than its original true intention, she became a hero not just for all watching, but also for herself.

Sometimes, when Star Wars does what you’re not expecting, it’s better than it has ever been. When Ahsoka walked away, everything changed. She went on to help save the galaxy from evil multiple times over. And as far as we know, she probably will again sooner than we think.

Related Story. Theory: Ahsoka Tano was meant to spy on Anakin, not be trained by him. light