Who is Ahsoka Tano?

Still from the Star Wars T.V. show Ahsoka. Here we see Ahsoka (orange face with white markings and blue and white stripped head tails) holding her lightsaber out in front of her, with her pointer and middle finger angled upwards as she uses the Force.
(Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney)

With the third season of The Mandalorian behind us and season 1 of Ahsoka almost here, we thought it'd be a good idea to fully explain who Ahsoka Tano is and the role she plays in the Star Wars universe.

If you've watched The Clone Wars and Rebels on top of the "Mando era" live-action Star Wars shows, you'll know that Ahsoka Tano has gone through a great deal!

The Ahsoka series will essentially act as a direct continuation of Star Wars Rebels while also tying into The Mandalorian and the overarching post-Return of the Jedi narrative that will culminate in a theatrical event movie written and directed by Dave Filoni, the creator of the Togruta Jedi and Jon Favreau's partner in shepherding this corner of Star Wars television.

(Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney)

There's a lot to catch up on, so if you want a quick crash course on the other key Star wars characters who have made the move from animation to live-action, then check out our pieces on Bo-Katan Kryze and Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Not enough Star Wars for you? Well, after Ahsoka, we're looking forward to Skeleton Crew and we also have our ranked lists of all the Star Wars movies and  Star Wars T.V. shows, plus the top 10 best Star Wars video games of all time.  You'll definitely be strong in the Force after all that!

Who is Ahsoka Tano?

(Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney)

Ahsoka Tano was a Togruta female that was trained during the Clone Wars by the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker. After a rough start, Ahsoka and Anakin quickly developed a strong master-apprentice relationship. However, that didn't stop her from leaving the Jedi Order before its fall after she lost faith in the institution. Still, she played a pivotal role in the Siege of Mandalore, which happened right before Order 66.

After the rise of the Empire, Ahsoka went on the run, but kept herself busy by further developing her skills, learning about the past of the Jedi, and helping the proto-Rebels (and later the Rebellion we all know). We also know that she met Luke Skywalker before her appearances in both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, but it seems her main focus for a long time – all the way through the events of the original trilogy – was searching for Grand Admiral Thrawn and the lost Jedi Ezra Bridger as well as learning more about the Force.

Ahsoka: Early history

(Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney)

As told in the animated anthology series Tales of the Jedi, Ahsoka Tano was born on the planet Shili to the Togrutas Pav-ti and Nak-il. Early in her life, Ahsoka had an impactful encounter with a raxshir feline where the beast did not harm her, but also gave her a ride back to her village. This prompted the elder Togruta Gantika to declare that Ahsoka would become a Jedi because of her Force-sensitive abilities.

Indeed, she was only three years old when Jedi Master Plo Koon discovered and took her to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Like every Jedi before her, she travelled to Ilum to acquire a kyber crystal for a lightsaber, and later constructed her weapon alongside Jedi architect droid Huyang.

Ahsoka during the Clone Wars

(Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney)

Ahsoka eventually became one of the greatest Jedi commanders in the Grand Army of the Republic, but not before facing many obstacles and a difficult start as the sudden apprentice of Anakin Skywalker, who had just earned the rank of Jedi Knight himself. Under normal circumstances, a Padawan would need a Jedi Master, but the Clone Wars demanded a faster training of young Jedi and pulled many Masters away from the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.

Anakin nicknamed her "Snips" due to her snippy attitude when she joined him and Obi-Wan Kenobi during the Battle of Christophsis. This led into a mission to rescue Rotta, the son of crime lord Jabba the Hutt. Although difficult, the operation was a success and facilitated a special alliance between the Hutt Clan and the Galactic Republic during those difficult times.

During the many undercover missions and major battles Ahsoka was a part of, she developed a strong bond with Clone Captain Rex of the 501st Legion, who essentially became her second mentor. However, an unexpected turn of events put young Ahsoka in the sights of the Jedi Order and political figures – she was framed for the bombing of the Jedi Temple hangar as well as a handful of homicides. Anakin uncovered that it was Barriss Offee (one of Ahsoka's closest Jedi friends) behind the crimes, so the charges were dropped by the Jedi High Council. Nevertheless, Ahsoka's faith in the Jedi was severely hurt, so she departed in search of a new path and became an outcast.

(Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney)

Right before the fall of the Jedi and after meeting with Bo-Katan Kryze, however, she reached out to Anakin and Obi-Wan to offer the Clone Army key information about the dire situation of Mandalore after the rise to power of Darth Maul and his forces. After a short debate, the Republic and the Jedi Council alike accepted that Mandalore's conflict could no longer be ignored. Ahsoka was briefly reinstated as Jedi commander while Anakin and Obi-Wan urgently departed to save Chancellor Palpatine from the claws of General Grievous and Count Dooku on Coruscant.

The Siege of Mandalore happened in parallel to the events depicted in Revenge of the Sith. Ahsoka Tano and her 501st division clones joined the Kryze heir and her forces, and succeeded in liberating the capital city of Sundari from the traitors. Moreover, the former Jedi dueled and captured Maul, who warned her about Palpatine's true nature and intentions to no avail.

While en route to Coruscant, Order 66 happened and the clone forces turned on her. She managed to free Rex from the control that made the clone troopers turn on their leaders, and the two of them – plus Maul on his own – managed to escape the Republic cruiser by crashing it and faking their deaths.

Ahsoka during the Age of the Empire

(Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney)

After the rise of the Galactic Empire, Ahsoka went into hiding like most Jedi survivors. Early on, she stayed on planets such Thabeska and Raada under the name of Ashla. In spite of some encounters with Inquisitors (who were felled by her), she mostly managed to avoid Imperial heat. Eventually, she set up an intelligence network to help people that wanted to fight against the Empire and adopted the codename Fulcrum.

Ahsoka was particularly interested in the Rebel cell led by Hera Syndulla because of the presence of Jedi Knight Kanan Jarrus and his newfound Padawan, Ezra Bridger. Their collaborations led to encounters with Darth Vader, her former master. During a mission to the Sith ruins in Malachor (which also involved an old but dangerous Maul, Ezra, and two Inquisitors), she had to face Vader one last time. The duel ended with Vader besting her, and both Kanan and Ezra believed her to be dead.

(Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney)

However, she was saved at the last moment by a future Ezra Bridger who had found an entry point into the World Between Worlds before Palpatine could access it. This weird and mystical plane of the Force connected all time and space, and Bridger managed to extract Ahsoka from the past through a portal. After a confrontation with Darth Sidious himself, access to that powerful plane was seemingly cut forever as the gate on Lothal was destroyed.

Ahsoka headed back to Malachor through another portal, where she found another entry point into the World Between Worlds. What happened during her further exploration of the mystical plane remains a mystery for now, but she came out of it a more spiritual Force user.

Ahsoka after the fall of the Empire

(Image credit: Walt Disney Pictures & Lucasfilm)

Her next on-screen appearance happens in the very last (and post-Return of the Jedi) scene of Star Wars Rebels, which may or may not have been recreated in live-action for her upcoming series. In it, Ahsoka joins Sabine Wren in hopes of finding Ezra Bridger after he disappeared into deep uncharted space alongside Thrawn during the Liberation of Lothal.

During the time of the New Republic, Ahsoka's journeys – which could have happened before the aforementioned Rebels' closing scene – took her to backwater worlds such as Corvus. Here she faced Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth, a villainous figure who somehow was in contact and collaborating with the long-lost Thrawn. Elsbeth was brought down and interrogated by Ahsoka with the help of the Mandalorian Din Djarin, who needed guidance as to what to do with the Force-sensitive youngling Grogu.

(Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney)

Ahsoka refused to train Grogu given the urgency and dangerous nature of her quest to find Ezra and prevent Thrawn's return to bring together Imperial remnants that were largely ignored by the New Republic. However, she pointed Din in the right direction: the calm and ancient Jedi planet of Tython. There, Grogu successfully reached out to none other than Luke Skywalker and later joined him as his Jedi apprentice for a period of time.

Ahsoka was seen again at Luke's Jedi Temple, though their first meeting had already happened off-screen. There, she eased Din Djarin's mind when he briefly returned to make sure Grogu was okay and to gift him a shirt of beskar chain mail. At that point, the search for Ezra and Thrawn was still ongoing.

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Fran Ruiz

Fran Ruiz is our resident Star Wars guy. His hunger for movies and TV series is only matched by his love for video games. He got a BA of English Studies, focusing on English Literature, from the University of Malaga, in Spain, as well as a Master's Degree in English Studies, Multilingual and Intercultural Communication. On top of writing features and other longform articles for Space.com since 2021, he is a frequent collaborator of VG247 and other gaming sites. He also serves as associate editor over at Star Wars News Net and its sister site, Movie News Net.