DISCLAIMER: The opinions stated in this article are purely my own. You are more than welcome to your own opinions on this subject, and this isn’t an attempt to change anyone’s minds. Also, this article will contain spoilers for Season 2 of The Mandalorian and the series finale of Star Wars: Rebels, so if you’ve not caught up or watched either, don’t read this.
We’re on the verge of another milestone for Star Wars in the upcoming episode of The Mandalorian, “Chapter 13”. Directed and written by Dave Filoni himself, this landmark episode will apparently bring a much beloved, fan favourite character from animation into the world of live-action Star Wars: Ahsoka Tano, the former Padawan of Anakin Skywalker. As an Ahsoka fan since day one, from when I first saw The Clone Wars animated film with my dad back in 2008, watching her journey into one of the best-developed characters in the franchise has been an incredible experience, and I am so excited to see her make the transition like her old ally, Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) earlier this season. And with Filoni himself handling it, I’m sure we’re in for a treat.
I have seen so much discussion over Ahsoka going live-action in the fandom in the past couple of months, but in all of that discussion, I feel like the full extent of what this character appearing in The Mandalorian means hasn’t really been touched on, and this has occurred to me more and more in these last few weeks leading up the episode. So I thought it would be a good idea to just lay it all out, give my thoughts on everything, and maybe start a bit of discussion on the topic. With that said, let’s take a look at how her appearing in The Mandalorian could impact another highly anticipated project: a sequel to Star Wars: Rebels.
Chronologically, the latest we see Ahsoka in the timeline was in Season 4 of Star Wars: Rebels, where it was revealed that she survived an encounter with Darth Vader, the dark side persona of her former master. Ahsoka escaped the duel when a young Jedi and ally of hers named Ezra Bridger pulled her out of her battle with Vader from The World Between Worlds, a mystical plane that linked all time together. Bridger had entered the world in an attempt to stop Darth Sidious from gaining access and was able to reach two years into the past and save her life. Following a confrontation with Sidious himself, Tano returned to her own time but vowed to find Bridger once she had made it back. Shortly afterward, Ezra vanished during the liberation of his homeworld of Lothal, taking himself, Grand Admiral Thrawn, and the crew of his flagship, the Chimera, into the Unknown Regions. Having successfully freed his home and his people from the Emperor’s grasp, Ezra left behind his Mandalorian friend and trusted companion, Sabine Wren, to watch over Lothal in his stead.
Five years after Ezra’s disappearance, following the Rebel Alliance victory at the Battle of Endor, Ahsoka managed to make it back to Lothal and reunited with Sabine. With Lothal free and thriving, the two departed to find Ezra, making good on the promises they both made to find him.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Back in 2018, when the finale of Rebels first aired, Dave Filoni revealed that both Ezra and Thrawn survived their encounter and shared sketches of Ahsoka and Sabine travelling the galaxy in search of their missing friend. This is the last Star Wars fans have heard about any of these characters (apart from Ahsoka appearing in Season Seven of The Clone Wars earlier this year), leaving the door opening for a follow-up show to focus on Sabine and Ahsoka and their adventures on their search for Ezra.
I loved this ending for the show, and if I could choose one Star Wars story to be told, it would be this. Sabine, Ezra, and Ahsoka are all some of my favourite characters in the franchise, and this cliffhanger has kept myself and many other Rebels fans wanting to see what’s next for them. I think there is so much potential for a show about these two teaming up, travelling to all-new locations, meeting new characters, and having adventures along the way; the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to what they could do with a sequel series starring them.
Which brings us to The Mandalorian and the role that Ahsoka could (potentially) have in it. While it is fantastic to have Ahsoka make the jump to live-action, it does make me have concerns for the Rebels sequel; whether it be another animated show or maybe we’ll see it in live-action, I’ll take it in whatever form it comes in.
Given what we know about the last time we saw Ahsoka, if she were to appear, Sabine is most likely going to appear with her, which is also something to be excited about because I love her character too. It makes perfect sense to the timeline, too, seeing as when we last saw them both, they were heading off together. However, that does leave me wondering is how their search for Ezra will factor into things if it even does at all because it seems to have no bearing on the story being told in The Mandalorian at the moment.
The show is set about five years after Return of the Jedi and the epilogue of Star Wars: Rebels. It’s very much possible that Sabine and Ahsoka have found Ezra in that time, so we could also potentially see him show up as well, but personally, I don’t want that to happen, the reason being that I feel it would take away the tension and purpose of a Rebels sequel if we know that they do find him in the end. The suspense of “Will they find Ezra?” is what’s most compelling about the idea, so I hope that it’s not answered unceremoniously in “Chapter 13” as I feel it would be very disappointing and throw away the potential set up by the ending of Rebels.
On the flip side, it’s also equally possible that they’re still searching for him and that the planet Bo-Katan has pointed Din and Baby Yoda towards is simply one of the duo’s stops on their journey but again, to me, that is not ideal. I have been against Ahsoka or Sabine appearing in The Mandalorian because I feel they deserve their own series focusing on what they’re doing post-Rebels. I feel they deserve better than having to piggyback off the story of Din and the Child, and the idea of a backdoor pilot seems slightly redundant to me, seeing as the setup has been there for almost three years.
Now I’m not saying that their inclusion can’t be done well, not at all. I have good faith in Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau, they haven’t disappointed me with any of their shows so far, and I have no doubt this has been thought through thoroughly by both, especially Filoni. I would be very happy to be proven wrong, and the inclusion of one or both of them is done well and still remains true to the anticipation of their new journey. It’s just a testament to how much I love and enjoy these two characters that I want a show with them at the lead to be the next step, whether it’s animation (though I think I would prefer that) or a live-action series. I just really want that story to be told. Ezra is also one of my favourite characters in the whole franchise, so of course, I want to know what happened to him and Thrawn after they went missing. I simply don’t want it to suddenly be dropped in The Mandalorian and feel like the anticipation and waiting was for nothing. I’d be very disappointed if that were the case. I really hope I’m wrong and that we do get some news on that potential sequel soon as I’m sure many fans of Rebels, like myself, are dying to see what’s in store for Ahsoka, Ezra, and Sabine and where they go to next.
But of course, those are just my thoughts. Please feel free to let me know yours, and I hope you enjoyed this discussion piece. Hopefully, there will be more of these coming in the future. Thank you for reading!