Anakin is one of the greatest characters in fiction but also one of the most flawed. He failed at many things, but being a master is not one of them. Even in The Clone Wars, Anakin’s concern for Ahsoka’s well-being is seen on multiple occasions, and he’s determined to make sure she’s ready for the danger that awaits her as a child soldier during a war. It’s this thorough and rigorous training that eventually saves Ahsoka’s life during Order 66, and it’s just one of many times Anakin took his role as a teacher very seriously. The latest episode of Ahsoka shows just how important that role was to him.
Anakin left not one but twenty different instructional holograms for Ahsoka, the last of which she watches in Episode 7, “Dreams and Madness.” In it, Anakin teaches his Padawan and warns her of the challenges she will face in the war, but the best part is that he encourages her. He wants her to be better than him, to practice lightsaber moves more often than he does, and above all, to not be afraid. Anakin always taught her to be better than him, and she is. She is everything Anakin was and everything he could’ve been had the Dark Side not corrupted him. Whatever darkness there was in him, he never passed it onto Ahsoka, and he never let it get in the way of being there for Ahsoka and being a good master to her.
The extent of his efforts to guide Ahsoka is remarkable if we consider everything he was going through during The Clone Wars. Along with being a busy General, Anakin had just married Padme and was struggling to balance his personal life with his duties as a Jedi. But despite all that, he took the time to record instructional videos for Ahsoka that she proudly watches during Episode 7. She trains as Anakin guides her, and when Huyang walks in and sees and hears Anakin himself, he’s amazed that Anakin did so much for Ahsoka.
In Ahsoka’s own words, “He was a good master.”
This also makes his eventual fall to the Dark Side even more tragic because there was never any hint of it in his own teachings. In the 3 years that Ahsoka was his Padawan, Anakin was every bit the caring, present, and dedicated Master every Jedi deserves.
Anakin was a good master, even if he wasn’t the best Padawan or the best Jedi. Even though he was extremely reluctant to have a Padawan, he did a fantastic job. In Ahsoka Tano, we see the embodiment of the Jedi Anakin Skywalker could’ve been and all the good in him. She continues to be a beacon of light and hope for the galaxy, and Anakin’s vital role in becoming such an indestructible force of good can’t be overstated. Though Anakin couldn’t change his tragic fate, he’s saved Ahsoka from having one herself, and he’s one of the reasons she’s still alive.
Anakin Skywalker was a good master and maybe even a great one.
Ahsoka is streaming on Disney+.