Take the foundling to the city of Calodon on the forest planet of Corvus. There you will find Ahsoka Tano. Tell her you were sent by Bo-Katan…
I was sitting in my chair when Bo-Katan removed her helmet, looked Mando flush in the visor, and uttered Ahsoka Tano’s name. Aloud. In a live-action Star Wars series. My wife, my beautiful/wonderful/amazing wife who is not really a Star Wars fan but enjoys The Mandalorian and deals with my endless prattling about the space saga, turned to me in that moment. She looked me straight in the eyes and asked, “you alright?” I smiled, I may have even giggled, and told her I got dizzy. Because I had. She laughed, maybe even called me cute, and continued on loving me. It was a spectacular moment all around.
Here we are Geeklings, season two of The Mandalorian and something incredibly magical is happening. Let’s look past the fact that LBY has somehow united a fandom through his adorable floppy ears and mesmerizing doe-like eyes. Let’s look past the fact that people were mad that this fifty-year-old infant was eating the eggs of an endangered species just a week ago. Let’s even look past the fact that the season premiere confirmed that Boba Effin’ Fett is alive something most Star Wars fans had secretly known for ages but needed to be confirmed through official canon now that the books are “Legends”. Let’s even look past how ridiculously/unfairly handsome space marshal Timothy Olyphant is. Because these two sentences spoken by Bo-Katan… holy shit, Bo-Katan was in a live-action Star Wars property! No, no, we must look past all this. We have to because what she spoke is the biggest thing to happen to the Star Wars universe since the sequel trilogy was announced. In fact, I would dare say it’s a bit bigger.
Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker’s padawan, known mostly through those who have watched The Clone Wars/Rebels or read articles stating her voice was used in the pivotal Force moment of Rise of Skywalker, is finally on the cusp of making her live-action Star Wars debut. It’s so close that we could almost reach it. It tickles our fingertips as we turn to all the casual Star Wars fans in our lives and tell them that they aren’t ready for how amazing this is. Ahsoka Effin’ Tano is coming. She is in my Top Three favorite Star Wars characters… of all time! Top Three. And there are so many of you out there, maybe even some of you reading this right now, who don’t know who she is. I suspect you will soon enough. I suspect there will be large numbers of you consuming Clone Wars and Rebels to better know Ahsoka Tano. To appreciate her. To comprehend her importance to this galaxy far, far away. To see balance within the Force. Star Wars’ very own Gandalf.
Her impending arrival is massive on a Death Star scale and not just because it will be fulfilling years and years of fan’s hopes and dreams. Ahsoka Tano coming to The Mandalorian brings validation to both The Clone Wars and Rebels. Stories that could easily be passed off as being just “animated adventures” not worth the time of adults. But these stories… these stories are some of the best in all of Star Wars. What The Clone Wars does for the prequels and Anakin especially cannot be understated. The layer and depth enhance the story and allows the prequels to resonate a bit harder especially when you consider that emotionally they could be a bit thin at times. Looking at you Padme and Anakin. Sure, we make fun of Episodes I-II, and justifiably so, but after watching The Clone Wars you start to understand things a bit better as it allows for a deeper exploration not only into the Clone Wars and the clones who fought it but our other heroes as well. Anakin and his descent to the Dark Side becomes truly tragic. Obi and his past and bond with Anakin make the “high ground” scene all the more heartbreaking. Padme moving and shaking within the Senate allows her to be more than someone spouting really crappy romantic dialogue or someone who dies because she’s sad. Even Jar Jar gets a little bit of shine here. And at the center of all that is Ahsoka. The emotional heartbeat that the rest of these characters spin-off of. If you need further proof of this then please watch the last four episodes of the series that came out during the height of quarantine. Including Ahsoka in the timeline of Episode III makes it a better movie and makes her absence from the film all the more glaring. Four episodes that bring Ahsoka to the forefront in a year shaping up to be a massive celebration of the character.
And Rebels, well, Rebels took that foundation built over the course of seven seasons of The Clone Wars and built an empire. No, not that empire more of a Dave Filoni empire. A place where the stories were built with love for what came before and what could be. A place that delivered some of the most heartbreaking/breathtaking Star Wars moments imaginable. I often re-watch “Twilight of the Apprentice” because it might have my favorite Star Wars moment in it. This was a place that gave Darth Maul closure in such poetic fashion. A place that changed what Star Wars could be with “A World Between Worlds”. A place that showed the wounds of Anakin’s transformation and built towards a rebellion. A place where the Dark Saber once again shined it’s blackest in the pursuit to unite Mandalore. And at the heart of this empire was Ahsoka Tano delivering the show’s greatest moments and propelling it forward in a way that truly changed the game.
Don’t be fooled, a live-action Bo-Katan (!!!) proudly name dropping Ahsoka Tano is not an easter egg. This isn’t like seeing the Roxxon building in the background of Iron Man. No, this is legitimizing all the stories that came before it and the characters who journeyed with her. This is validating years and years of excellent Star Wars storytelling. The Mandalorian isn’t just the first live-action Star Wars series, but a show that is doing the heavy lifting and bringing the universe together. It’s proving to us that these animated series belong at the table with the Skywalker Saga. This isn’t just a moment for Ahsoka, it’s a moment for Ventress and Rex. It’s a moment for Cad Bane and Thrawn who was saved from being just another “Legends” character. A moment for Bo-Katan and her sister, Satine. This is recognition for the crew of the Ghost, most importantly Sabine Wren and Ezra Bridger. This is the breath before the next great step.
Ahsoka Tano’s arrival doesn’t just bring joy to countless amounts of fans who have been not so patiently waiting for her arrival, but it starts to propel these stories forward. What will she tell Mando? Will she take The Child? Will she know his origins? Did Yoda confide in her? What about Sabine and Ezra?! Last we saw, Sabine and Ahsoka certainly seemed like they were about to go on a quest for a missing Jedi. Could The Mandalorian propel that story forward? Will it be live-action or will it be another animated series? We already know that Ahsoka helped save Mandalore once, would she be willing to do so again? Where does Boba Fett fall into all of this?! How about the sexiness of Timothy Olyphant’s beard?
The arrival of Ahsoka not only unifies this universe and stories but expands it in the most thrilling possible ways. An introduction that not only brings her to the mainstream but celebrates her importance to Star Wars. Putting her front and center as the spoke that this great wheel spins on. I couldn’t think of a more fitting way for you all to meet Ahsoka Tano. Nothing will be the same after this and it’s all left me feeling dizzy in the best possible way.