While Obi-Wan Kenobi will be the next live-action Star Wars TV series to stream on Disney+, the fanbase continues to ponder the possibilities the upcoming Ahsoka series may present for the faraway galaxy.
The character of Ahsoka Tano was first introduced in the hit animated show Star Wars: The Clone Wars, in which the Jedi fights alongside the likes of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi during the three-year-long titular wars. At the end of that show, following the events of Order 66, Ahsoka fell off the map and disappeared just like every other surviving Jedi.
She later appeared in Star Wars: Rebels, 14 years after the events of The Clone Wars. And it's really this animated show that might give us a clue about what we can expect from the upcoming live-action show, which will see Rosario Dawson reprising her role as the Togruta Jedi, having also appeared in The Mandalorian Season 2 and The Book of Boba Fett.
In the years between The Clone Wars and Rebels, Ahsoka went under the rebel alias "Fulcrum", operating in the shadows and working for Bail Organa, gathering intelligence about the Galactic Empire and assisting other rebels out in the galaxy. And this is how we first meet Ahsoka in Rebels - she's a rebel herself, and something of a denounced Jedi.
But as we know, Ahsoka will always be a Jedi, and the fact that, since the Clone Wars, she has forged her very own crystal-white lightsabers helps her case. Not only that, but she's still very attuned to the Force by the time we're reunited with her in Rebels. On the other hand, this is nothing compared to where her journey takes her by the Season 2 finale.
In the two-part "Twilight of the Apprentice", Ahsoka is reunited with her old Jedi Master Anakin Skywalker, but not in the way she'd have hoped. He is now the Sith Lord Darth Vader, and while in a Sith Temple on Malachor, the two engage in a duel. As the two Force-wielders battle, Ezra and the other rebels seize the opportunity to make a reluctant escape.
Ahsoka is left to fend for herself against Darth Vader, and though the two share a very brief moment - Anakin recognizes Ahsoka - as we know, Anakin is truly lost, at least until the events of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. It isn't until the episode's epilogue that we find out how that battle concluded, and even then, we aren't given the full picture.
We know, of course, that Darth Vader leaves unscathed - he's got the original Star Wars trilogy to prepare for (some five years later, that is). But what about Ahsoka? She's fine too, of course, and we see her walking down the temple steps, having also survived the battle. And that's it for Ahsoka's brief run in the show - she doesn't return until Season 4.
But her appearance in the final season is perhaps the most important part of her journey. And while it answers questions about her battle with Vader, it also raises many questions in the process, while also throwing everything we thought we knew about the faraway galaxy into question. In other words, her Season 4 appearance is a huge game-changer.
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In the Season 4 episode "World Between Worlds", Ezra Bridger discovers an ancient mural that doubles as a portal into a mystical dimension that, seemingly, only Force users are able to enter. This strange realm is suspended in a space-like setting and is made up of interconnected pathways, each of which leads to a doorway.
Inside, Ezra hears the voices of Jedi past, present, and future, from Qui-Gon Jinn from the prequel trilogy to Rey from the sequel trilogy. Before Ezra puts another foot forward, we already now know that time travel exists in the Star Wars universe, something that has never been revealed until now. And as Rebels is completely canon, then so is time travel.
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And what happens next is equally unprecedented. Ezra discovers a doorway that shows him the moment in which Ahsoka and Darth Vader previously engaged in a lightsaber duel at the Sith Temple on Malachor. Believing that Ahsoka dies in that battle, having not seen her since he was forced to abandon her, Ezra pulls her into the World Between Worlds with him.
While in the mind-bending and time-twisting realm, Ahsoka and Ezra end up doing battle with Emperor Palpatine, who is looking to seize control of the World Between Worlds, as it is said that whoever has control of it, will have control of the entire galaxy. The two Jedi manage to beat Palpatine, but not before Ezra faces a major dilemma.
Through another doorway, he sees his master Kanan Bridger, moments before his recent death. Ezra is determined to change the course of his master's fate, but Ahsoka manages to convince him not to - that if he does, he and the other rebels will perish, as Kana died in order to save their lives. Reluctantly, Ezra decides not to intervene with the past event.
Ahsoka also returns to her place in time, back to the duel with Vader. However, as we know, she never does die in battle, because Ezra always pulls her from that moment, meaning it is caught in an isolated time loop. So when we see Ahsoka walking down the temple steps at the end of Season 2, it's because she's just returned from the World Between Worlds.
Exactly what happens to Ahsoka after this point is mostly unknown. In the Rebels finale epilogue, we seemingly arrive at some point after the Empire has been defeated in the original trilogy, and we see Ahsoka - who is dressed all in white, giving off spiritual vibes - approach Sabine Wren, as the pair plan on finding Ezra, who disappeared into the Force.
It is believed that the upcoming Ahsoka series will revolve around this concept, which has been teased several times since Ahsoka's appearance in The Mandalorian Season 2, during which she reveals that she's searching for Grand Admiral Thrawn, with whom Ezra disappeared in the Rebels finale.
We also know that Sabine Wren will be making her live-action debut in the show, and will be played by 27-year-old actress Natasha Liu Bordizzo. So it certainly looks like Ahsoka is shaping up to be a sequel to Rebels, which makes sense given the fact that Ezra Bridger's storyline remains completely unresolved.
So, how will Ahsoka and Sabine set about finding Ezra? After all, he disappeared into hyperspace with Thrawn - where does one start to look? Well, while the mural that led into the World Between Worlds was destroyed in Rebels, it's still entirely possible that, over the years, Ahsoka has mastered the ability to move through time.
But what evidence do we have? Well, while it's possible that Disney and Lucasfilm do not intend to introduce time travel into live-action, the fact that it's completely canon cannot be ignored. As for Ahsoka's whereabouts after her time in the World Between Worlds, producer Dave Filoni has teased this in a series of Ahsoka-themed Topps' Star Wars cards.
We learn that having been spiritually transformed by her brief time in the World Between Worlds, Ahsoka chooses to remain in the Sith Temple on Malachor to become more attuned to the Force like never before. This could account for her whereabouts between Rebels and The Mandalorian, which is some 14 years.
Or perhaps, for Ashoka, no time has passed at all...