If it was supposed to be a secret, it is perhaps the worst-kept secret in nerd history. Dave Filoni is a fan of the work of J.R.R. Tolkien. He’s paid homage to Tolkien in several different ways. He has shared some doodles and concept images on his personal social pages. He has mentioned the world of Tolkien in several interviews. But he may have saved the best for Season 1 of Ahsoka.
There are some clear nods to Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings throughout this season, particularly in the season finale. There is also The Chronicles of Narnia reference slid in there too. Let’s go over some of the Tolkien Easter eggs in Season 1 of Ahsoka!
1. The Howlers
On Peridea, we meet up with ridable animals called Howlers. These Howlers may be a subtly nod to the Wargs of The Lord of the Rings. Oversized wolf-like creatures that can be ridden. The difference is that the Wargs were unfriendly, and the Howlers seemingly had a sense of humor. Most notable is the interaction between Sabine and her Howler.
It could also be argued that this was just a way for Filoni to introduce a wolf because, as another poorly kept secret, Filoni loves wolves.
2. The Noti
Pretty much all of social media came together and agreed that the Noti, the nomadic inhabitants of Peridea, were a bit Hobbit-like with their mobile Hobbit holes and waistcoats. They were small, but very resourceful. Sadly, not a single mention of potatoes, though, poor Samwise. It’s not a major nod in any way, but the comparison stands out when looking at Ahsoka through a Tolkien lens.
3. The Dead Troopers
The Night Troopers who volunteered for their special assignment were of physical form, as best we can tell, unlike the Deadmen of Dunharrow in Lord of the Rings. While Tolkien’s deadmen were spirits, Ahsoka’s Night Troopers have one thing in common: Being raised from the dead by a call to fight and having a green mist around them. The two franchises share a similar look when manifesting the undead.
4. Ahsoka and Gandalf
When Gandalf fell to the depths and had to fight the Balrog, he was Gandalf the Grey. When he came out of that fight and returned to Fellowship, he was Gandalf the White. It wasn’t just his clothes that were different, but his personality had changed as well. We see a similar storyline with Ahsoka, dressed in all grey and very stoic. After fighting Baylan Skoll and surviving her personal Balrog, Anakin Skywalker, who was shrouded in the smoke and fire in the World Between Worlds, Ahsoka emerges dressed in all white and seemingly a much different person.
She became Ahsoka the White.
5. The Mortis Gods
In the concluding moments of the season 1 finale of Ahsoka, we see another clear homage to The Lord of the Rings imagery. Baylan Skoll stands upon a statue carved into the mountain of the Father, the Son, and what used to be the Daughter of Mortis. This scene instantly calls to mind the scene from the Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings where we see the Argonath at the Gates of Gondor.
Wait, what about Narnia?
If we took the time to make the comparisons, I am sure we could find more. But this one just jumps off the screen and seems to be a pretty obvious nod to the work of C.S. Lewis, who was very good friends with Tolkien. Episode 8 was entitled “The Jedi, The Witch, and the Warlord,” which isn’t a far leap from “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” from The Chronicles of Narnia series.
With season 1 in the books, we get to look forward to season 2. Future J.R.R. Tolkien references on Peridea will rely significantly on whether or not Lucasfilm recasts Baylan Skoll after the death of Ray Stevenson. His storyline will have much to do with future imagery and homages to the works of Tolkien. But clearly, Dave Filoni has other ways to work in reference to those who have influenced his works.
For more on Star Wars and Ahsoka, keep following Dork Side of the Force.