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Ahsoka Tano is space Gandalf

These are some of my thoughts after seeing the two part Season 2 finale of Star Wars Rebels, “Twilight of the Apprentice.”


This isn’t a review, it is my thoughts as I might share them with a friend who is already conversant with Star Wars lore as far as the 6 movies plus The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. As well as being familiar with Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

If this is all Greek to you, you can catch up at wookiepedia, but more satisfying will be to watch The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels first. See you next month in that case.

Let me just lay out the character correspondences I see between the principals in LotR and Rebels.

Ezra = Frodo
Zeb = Samwise
Chopper = Pippin
possibly that other new droid = Merry (if the comically sociopathic Chopper doesn’t kick him off the ship from a great height like he did the last new droid)
Kanan Jarrus = Aragorn
Ahsoka Tano = Gandalf
Rex = Boromir?
Hera = ???
Sabine = ???
Maul = Gollum
Vader = The Balrog
Emperor Palpatine = Sauron
The Inquisitors = Orcs, the cave troll
The Sith Holocron “containing all the knowledge of the Sith” and great destructive power = The One Ring

Star Wars intentionally follows the heroes journey particularly as described by Joseph Campbell with the Jedi characters Yoda and Luke. Each has a “descent into the Underword” experience during which they come near the brink of death and arise as it were from the grave, now infused with great spiritual power and innoculated against fear of death which is one of the great temptations of the Dark Side. So too, at Moria, Gandalf falls, to later be reborn as Gandalf the White.

So if you want to trace the narrative of the Fellowship of the Ring at Moria vrs the three (former) Jedi from Rebels, it would be as follows.

Yoda/Elrond sends the company on a quest which will lead them into darkess in order to evade the snares of the enemy.

The Watcher in the Water/Initial fight with Inquisitor 8th Brother

Ezra becomes separated from the group and meets a denizen of the darkness who has been trapped there a long time. Ezra and Maul parallels Bilbo and Gollum in The Hobbit here.

Fight with the inquisitors/Chamber of Mazarbul. The Seventh Sister/cave troll and the other Inquisitors/orcs are soundly defeated. Ezra/Frodo is saved from being skewered.

Now comes the big bad, Darth Vader/The Balrog. Everyone is scared. Only Ahsoka/Gandalf can stand unafraid and alone.

There’s also another direct callback to the Lord of the Rings here with Ahsoka/Eowyn defying the spirit of evil with I am no Jedi/I am no man.

You shall not pass! Protecting Ezra/Frodo.

Ahsoka force pushes Ezra out of the fight at the last moment/Gandalf: Fly you fools!

The company flees, disconsolate at losing their most moral, most powerful member and leader.

Meanwhile, Ahsoka/Gandalf and Vader/The Balrog fight. Long fight. Vader is severely injured/The Balrog is destroyed.

There is a last vision of Ahsoka descending deeper into the Sith Temple/Gandalf:

‘Long I fell, and he fell with me. His fire was about me. I was burned. Then we plunged into deep water and all was dark. Cold it was as the tide of death: almost it froze my heart. […] Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things…’
“‘Ice fell like rain. I threw down my enemy, and he fell from the high place and broke the mountain-side where he smote it in his ruin. Then darkness took me, and I strayed out of thought and time, and I wandered far on roads that I will not tell.
“‘Naked I was sent back – for a brief time, until my task is done. And naked I lay upon the mountain-top. […] I was alone, forgotten, without escape upon the hard horn of the world. There I lay staring upward, while the stars wheeled over, and each day was as long as a life-age of the earth. Faint to my ears came the gathered rumour of all lands: the springing and the dying, the song and the weeping, and the slow everlasting groan of overburdened stone.’ ”

So Ahsoka will return, of course. But not unchanged, and not until things look very bleak indeed for the company.

Of course Disney can throw a monkey wrench into all this. Indeed it seems they have insisted that Ahsoka be written out of the story at this point. Ahsoka is so not a Disney princess. She isn’t girly, she wears practical, not sexy armor, she doesn’t need rescuing, and she isn’t going to get married and live happily ever after. Despite that she is the character that the youngest generation of Star Wars fans have come to know and love above all others for the past ten years, Disney seem to instead want to go the Abrams route. For more on that see my article, Force Awakens is a snide parody of Star Wars.

However, the force is strong with Ahsoka and her legions of fans, so I think it more likely than not that we will see her in the live action movies at some point.

There are a number of callbacks to the Old Republic in Twilight of the Apprentice, notably the Sith temple on Malachor and the female who made the great Sith Holocron, who would then be Jedi Master Arren Kae/Darth Traya/Kreia.

As far as in-universe, what does Ahsoka do next?

I would suggest that she gains knowledge of future events enough to know that not only will all of the known Jedi either fall or turn to the Dark Side, but that Luke’s New Jedi Order will fail and fall to the Dark Side and be destroyed as well.

What would she do in such a circumstance?

I suggest Ahsoka will get as many force sensitive kids as she can and head to Tython to begin a new order, which will be effectively a Grey Jedi order dedicated to the living force, like the predecessors of the Jedi, the Je’daii Order and the Dai Bendu.

By going back to the original homeworld of the Jedi, Tython, Ahsoka would be following in the footsteps of another female Jedi Master from the Old Republic era, Satele Shan. Shan went to Tython after the Sith defeated the Republic and sacked the Jedi temple on Corescant during the Great Galactic War.

This will take her off the stage indefinitely but not put her out of play if things get really bleak and suddenly the space cavalry needs to ride to the rescue as it were. Maybe literally if she can commune with the Purgill space whales like Esra. Or the Duinuogwin space dragons mentioned in early histories of the Old Republic.

Well those are my thoughts thus far. What do you think?

Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy

5 April, 2016 - Posted by | Ahsoka Tano, Gandalf, Jedi, scanlyze, scaylyze, Star Wars, Tython | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I don’t know if you’ll see this, but I think the Ahsoka=Gandalf theory is dead on (you seem to be the only person to have figured it out). While I don’t know what form her return will take, she WILL return.

    For another piece of evidence that supports your theory that you didn’t mention, check out the Star Wars Rebels season 2 trailer from NYCC around the 1:29 mark. It pretty much clinched it for me.

    Comment by Joe | 8 August, 2016 | Reply

    • Good catch. In the video you pointed to at 1:29 Ahsoka says, “There are questions, questions which need answering” which is a direct quote from Gandalf in the Fellowship of the Ring.

      There’s also this from showrunner Dave Filoni:

      “I love to give a lot of Tolkien references,” Filoni said. “But [in those stories] Faramir is kind of doing his thing, Frodo is doing his thing, Aragorn is doing his thing, everybody’s got their different movements. If you really study, Elrond was doing his own thing, Galadriel was doing her own thing, in the Iron Hills they were doing their own thing and it’s amazing how he orchestrated all that. So even bits that weren’t necessarily in the books, he knew what was going on. And when you take on mass continuity like this, that’s what you’re really getting at. You have to understand the world and all the moving parts of it. And I think the challenge is you want each story to be original and exciting.”

      Comment by scanlyze | 14 August, 2016 | Reply

  2. I’ve somewhat amended my theory that Ahsoka will go to Tython. I’ve been thinking about that owl monkeybird thing. The “Convor.” It has followed Ahsoka on several planets in Clone Wars and Rebels since Mortis, most notably on Malachor both watching Vader limp away and in the Topps cards Filoni did, it was observing Ahsoka’s progress through the underworld of the old Sith temple/Academy. The owl thing has the same color palate as the Daughter in Mortis. Ahsoka has the essence of both the Son and the Daughter, the Son having bit her and turned her into Sithsoka and then “killed” her, and the daughter sacrificing her (im)mortal form to revive Ahsoka.

    Maybe she realizes that as long as the Ones are not in their Tho Yor or whatever that thing was, the Force will be unregulated and out of balance, so maybe she goes to Mortis to take up the mantle of the Ones which Anakin refused.

    What do you think?

    Comment by scanlyze | 14 August, 2016 | Reply

    • I think the second theory is much more likely, with Ahsoka taking up the mantle of the Daughter, or as you said, maybe the Daughter and the Son. The Convor is definitely a reference to the Daughter though, the color schemes are too similar. It HAS to have something to do with Ahsoka possessing the essence/life force of the Daughter.

      However, none of this explains how she survived her encounter with Vader. Filoni has outright stated she’s not a force ghost, and the Mortis beings were far from immortal, so unless she’s utilizing a completely new method to stay “alive” after death, Vader let her live for some reason. Why? What did Ahsoka do that caused Vader to spare her?

      Comment by Joe | 15 August, 2016 | Reply

      • Given that she walks away from the fight and Vader limps away slowly, I kind of assume it was Ahsoka who spared him.

        Or maybe she wounds him, tells him “You are defeated” and he force-pushes her into a nearby convenient Pit of Doom(tm). We know she can do huge force leaps, including to and from moving ships and vehicles in the air, as well as her long leap to freedom in “The Wrong Jedi.” She even survived falling badly when Vader force pushed her off the temple zigurat, she fell onto her side but was able to come right back and fight Vader again.

        Comment by scanlyze | 17 August, 2016

  3. Just found this post from Katharine Trendacosta at io9 last year:

    “Creator and executive producer Dave Filoni said that Ahsoka was not a new crew member, but “she serves the story, because you can’t just bring Darth Vader into this crew. Because he’d kill them. They need a Gandalf.” And Ahsoka is their Gandalf.

    “She shows up when necessary. She’s dealing with bigger, darker problems,” said Filoni.”

    Ahsoka Will Be the Gandalf of Star Wars Rebels

    Comment by scanlyze | 26 August, 2016 | Reply

  4. I wrote this before the season III trailer hit so I found it very interesting to see Tom Baker as the neutral force-using “Bendu.”

    Maybe the reason that for Luke, “the last of the Jedi will you be” is that the remaining former Jedi and those Children of the Force which could be saved joined a neutral order such as the Dai Bendu all except for Obi-Wan and Yoda.

    Comment by scanlyze | 26 August, 2016 | Reply

  5. Although it would not have fit the epic tone of the episodes, when the confrontation between Vader and Ahsoka happened I found myself wishing she had tried harder to turn him, like:

    “Hi, Skyguy, it’s me, your Snips!

    Remember when the clones were chasing me through the industrial area of Corescant and you told me, ‘I will never let anyone hurt you?’

    Remember how you were warned on Mortis that you needed to stay there to balance the force or you would become this metal man? Oh right you don’t because the Father removed those memories but you remember Obi-wan and me telling you, right?

    We need to go to Mortis now and take over for the Son and the Daughter. Are you ready?”

    Comment by scanlyze | 26 August, 2016 | Reply

  6. One further comment. When she fights the 7th Sister and 5th Brother, Ahsoka appears to turn off the 7th Sister’s lightsaber with the force, Maybe she presses a button but it doesn’t look like that. Or maybe she presses the button using the force. But the effect looks like how the Father and the Son remotely deactivated lightsabers with a wave of the hand on Mortis, which is where maybe Ahsoka learned this technique.

    Comment by scanlyze | 26 August, 2016 | Reply

  7. Filoni talks briefly about Ahsoka as Gandalf starting at 18:51 on this video.

    Comment by scanlyze | 9 October, 2016 | Reply

    • So we know that she will return, Filoni confirmed this, and we know she will return in a way similar to Gandalf. I guess the next question is, when? Filoni said they had originally planned on the season 2 finale being her goodbye on Rebels and that her story would be finished elsewhere. But after all of the fan response they decided to bring her back on Rebels. Do you think it will be in season 3? Or will we have to wait until season 4 or 5? Will Rebels even have 5 seasons? What do you think?

      Comment by Joe | 9 October, 2016 | Reply

  8. I think Filoni said Ahsoka would not be in season 3 which is either finished or in post-production. They are actively making season 4 now so I think it will be a “Helm’s Deep” moment in early/mid season 4, where the Rebels are beleaguered and all hope is almost lost. If you think back what allies/IOU’s she could call on in an extreme emergency it’s a pretty impressive list–Cristophsis, Mon Calimari, Ryloth, Onderon, Jabba the Hutt and Tatooine, Naboo and the Gungans and Bombad Jar-Jar, Alderon, Felucia, the lower levels of Corescant, Pantora, Mandalore, Kiros, Chewbacca and the Wookies, as well as Sugi and her crew, Lando, Princess Leia, Hondo, Ventriss, Yoda.

    Based on the third episode of season 3 where the holocrons combine and we get “The key to defeating the Sith–Twin Suns” for Ezra and “Hope–He lives” for Maul everyone presumes that these both refer to Tatooine and to Luke and Obi Wan respectively. Another possible clue in lore is that in old canon lore rare white kyber crystals like Ahsoka’s were also called Durindfire gems and came only from Tatooine. Possible there is a whole hero of another story story in the back ground of New Hope where Maul comes to Tatooine to hunt down Obi-wan and Darth Vader is looking for Luke happening during season 3/4. Ahsoka’s original name in the first drafts for Clone Wars is Ashla… the old canon name for the light side and also used by The Bendu just this episode (3.3). Also did you notice the Convor fly up to Bendu and land on him?

    Presumably when Ahsoka comes back she will maybe still be a grey Jedi in some sense of “I’m no Jedi” but she will be “Ahsoka the White.” Maybe this will be shown by her clothing, or a new weapon, or maybe she will do her face paint more white like her fellow Togruta, Jedi Master Shaak Ti.

    Since Ahsoka and Ezra have essentially taken the role of Starkiller from Force Unleashed–Ahsoka as former Vader Apprentice, reverse-hand dual weilder, founder of the Rebellion, with Kanan as Rahm Kota and Hera as Juno Eclipse–that means the Felucia Jedi are no longer dead by canon so maybe Ahsoka will bring back Master Shaak Ti and her Padawan Maris Brood when she returns as part of her “cavalry.”

    Shaak Ti on Felucia:

    Shaak Ti

    Comment by scanlyze | 11 October, 2016 | Reply

  9. Lol the Doctor says he is like a “space Gandalf.” :)

    Comment by scanlyze | 4 November, 2017 | Reply

  10. […] What about Anakin Skywalker’s former Padewan, Ahsoka Tano? You can see a lot of my previous speculation here. […]

    Pingback by What happens to Kanan, Ezra and Ahsoka in season 4 of Star Wars Rebels? « Scanlyze | 4 November, 2017 | Reply

  11. Just a quick heads-up to anyone watching this post.

    I said, “So Ahsoka will return, of course. But not unchanged, and not until things look very bleak indeed for the company.”

    If that’s going to happen it will be soon of course as the show is in its last episodes.

    But also by the logic I gave above, after the loss of Kanan, this is surely the darkest hour for the Ghost crew and particularly for the always cheerful and indomitable Captain Hera. It is heartrending to see such a hardcore badass reduced to impotent, guilt-ridden, almost catatonic grief and remorse. It’s like when the Fellowship of the Ring cast themselves down on the ground and cry it out after Gandalf’s fall.

    Help us Ahsoka Tano! You’re our only hope!

    What do you think?

    Comment by scanlyze | 21 February, 2018 | Reply

  12. To update my equation above between the Ghost crew and the Fellowship: It turns out Kanan wasn’t Aragorn. He’s Boromir.

    Comment by scanlyze | 21 February, 2018 | Reply

  13. Dave Filoni: “We have to accept that sometimes, Kanan leads the way, Obi-Wan, Gandalf even, “Fly you fool, fly.” Those are the heroes I grew up with. Obi-Wan and Gandalf and Frodo. For me as a kid, reading Lord of the Rings, I realized at one point reading the books that Frodo’s up there on this Mount Doom, he’s never met anybody from Gondor, he’s never met anybody from Rohan, and he doesn’t know the people. He didn’t live there or grow up there. But he’s ready to die for all these people. Because it’s the right thing to do, it’s for the greater good. That’s very powerful to me. Those things lasted with me obviously all the way through my life. Working with George really helped focus my storytelling to help get you guys. And we have a great team here that love these stories and characters too.”

    Comment by scanlyze | 24 February, 2018 | Reply

  14. Just saw “Wolves and a Door” and “A World Between Worlds.”

    Obviously a huge number of callouts and callbacks to all of Star Wars lore. And some pretty obvious ones to the Lord of the Rings too such as Ahsoka’s “You shall not pass” moment against Vader like Gandalf against the Balrog. Extra points for using her sabers to break the bridge just like Gandalf did with his staff. And her subsequent disappearance and journey through the underworld.

    [pats self on back] Oh, um, did you see that? *blush* :)

    There’s so much here it calls for some reflection and another blog post but how do you all think I did in calling it out almost two years ago in April 2016?

    Comment by scanlyze | 28 February, 2018 | Reply

  15. Ha! Ahsoka the White! With a white staff and cloak, no less.

    Yay! lol.

    I’ll have a longer review/reaction piece/analysis after the delayed release on Amazon and other channels tomorrow.

    Comment by scanlyze | 6 March, 2018 | Reply

  16. Star Wars Rebels: The origins of Ahsoka the White

    Ahsoka the White

    Comment by scanlyze | 8 March, 2018 | Reply

  17. What I want to know is, what force power enables Ahsoka to get her horns and headtails through the neck of that white turtleneck? :)

    Comment by scanlyze | 8 March, 2018 | Reply

  18. This illustration from Dave Filoni shows ‘Gandalf the White’ and ‘Ahsoka the White’ together.

    Comment by scanlyze | 27 December, 2019 | Reply

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