Ahsoka: How the series resurrects and reforms the Jedi and Sith

(L-R): Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) and Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) in Lucasfilm's STAR WARS: AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
(L-R): Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) and Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) in Lucasfilm's STAR WARS: AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

As a franchise, Star Wars has always focused on telling narratives centered around the forces of good and evil as they battle against each other for influential control over the galaxy. Its newest television series, Ahsoka, is no different.

However, by this point in the plot, the Jedi and the Sith (the main opposing factions in the story thus far) have long been destroyed or scattered. Gone the way of the Republic and the Empire, all that remains of both Orders are their remnants and a handful of unorganized, devoted believers. Yet, Ahsoka starts to change all that, but perhaps not in the way fans expect.

Granted, there are no Sith in Ahsoka, but that doesn’t mean their former allies, such as the Nightsisters of Dathomir, aren’t acting as a proxy by scheming in their absence. The witches, after all, are why Grand Admiral Thrawn manages to survive exile and now poses a real threat to the galaxy upon his return. Nevertheless, the series doesn’t contain any Jedi either, or at least not in the traditional sense.

Ahsoka, consequently, acts as a staging ground for the return and reformation of both Orders as they learn from their mistakes in the Clone Wars and the Empire’s fall. One that may change how future Force-wielders define and comport themselves.

How Ahsoka Begins The Reformation of The Jedi

Although Ahsoka Tano’s decision to leave the Order in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Season 5 Episode 20 “The Wrong Jedi,” technically makes her a former member, she has stayed more or less faithful to their tenets and mission to aid the galaxy. As an individual, however, she hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye with their ideology or practices, which is why she left.

The show further confirms this after her exchanges with Huyang on whether Sabine Wren is suited to become a Jedi in “Part Three: Time to Fly.” During the discussion, Huyang not only suggests that Ahsoka is part of a “long line of non-traditional Jedi,” but she, in turn, questions the Order’s “standards,” which have fallen short of success in the past.

This indicates that Ahsoka understands that there’s a need for change and alludes to this by stating that Sabine doesn’t need “to be a Jedi” but rather “herself,” implying that she can become something more than what the Order’s basic principles would mold her into with its traditional teachings (if they were even to allow her into the fold). This notion is further credited once Thrawn learns who Ahsoka’s master was in “Part Seven: Dreams and Madness” since Anakin Skywalker was also “unpredictable and quite dangerous” due to his penchant for bending (if not breaking) the customary rules.

The implication, while significant, doesn’t explain what that exactly means yet, but Ahsoka has hinted at it through Baylan Skoll’s thoughts on Bokken Jedi in “Part Six: Far, Far Away.” For Baylan, as a fallen Jedi who grew up within the temple, those trained in the Light side of the Force after its destruction are a different “breed.” Ezra Bridger and Sabine, as a result, are both (due to the events that take place in “Part Eight: The Jedi, the Witch, and the Warlord”) part of a Force-wielding heritage that predominately exists outside the influence of the Jedi’s old guard.

These traditionalists consisted of masters such as Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi, who held on to such beliefs as “Jedi do not carry blasters” (which the latter mentions in Clone Wars season 2 episode 3 “Children of the Force”). Ezra and Sabine, for example, don’t adhere to limitations like these, especially since one hails from Mandalore and the other’s first lightsaber featured such a weapon.

Ezra’s master, Kanan Jarrus, additionally demonstrated to the padawan during his final fight with the Grand Inquisitor in Rebels season 1’s last episode, “Fire Across the Galaxy,” how a Jedi can use a blaster alongside their more “civilized” weaponry — moments like this arguably left a lasting impact on the young boy’s training since he was able to later think outside the box and exile Thrawn in the series finale, “Family Reunion – and Farewell” by using the purrgil and his ship against him.

How The Nightsisters Might Bring Back the Sith to Some Degree

The Dathomiri have never considered themselves to be Sith by any means. During the Clone Wars, they played both sides of the conflict by providing Count Dooku with apprentice assassins like Asajj Ventress and Savage Opress while assisting Anakin and Obi-Wan in their search for Darth Maul’s brother. Still, they worked against both parties. They always had their own agenda, as a result. Regardless, that doesn’t negate that they had close ties with the Sith and even used “some aspect” of the Force, as Darth Maul shared with Ezra in Rebels season 3 episode 11 “Visions and Voices.”

Thus, the Great Mothers who aid Thrawn act as a stand-in for the Sith in Ahsoka, mainly since their magic is on par with, and possibly partially influenced by the Dark side. However, their reasons for aiding the grand admiral are more consequential, which have yet to be witnessed. While Baylan believes they could be running from a “greater” unseen “power” residing on Peridea, as he told his apprentice, Shin Hati, in episode 6, there’s also a good chance that the Nightsisters could be preparing Thrawn to take over as a Sith surrogate after Emperor Palpatine’s demise.

Despite sounding a bit farfetched, Ahsoka makes the idea a possibility in episode 3 by explaining that the Force is inside everyone, but its “training,” “focus,” and “discipline” that make wielding it a reality — attributes that Thrawn has demonstrated he possesses during his engagements against the Empire’s enemies in Rebels, so if Sabine can learn how to harness the Force, why can’t he?

Naturally, Star Wars fans must wait until the next season to confirm this theory. Still, if anything, Ahsoka has definitely placed events in motion that could have a long-lasting effect on a new generation of Jedi and Sith once they emerge — one that brings fresh ideas and methods to both Orders and how they interact with the Force.

Next. 5 burning questions after the Ahsoka finale. dark