The following contains spoilers for Ahsoka Season 1, Episode 5 “Shadow Warrior,”which is now streaming on Disney+.
- Ahsoka episode 5 sees its main character “reborn” after a brush with death
- Ahsoka’s rebirth parallels Gandalf’s transformation in Lord of the Rings
- Ahsoka Tano has become a supernatural guide for new Star Wars characters.
Ahsoka has reinvigorated the Star Wars franchise with an epic storyline featuring plenty of fan-favorite characters and jaw-dropping reveals. The eight-episode Disney+ series features the former Jedi Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) as she struggles to keep the galaxy safe from the looming threat of Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) and his acolytes. However, Ahsoka also has to come to terms with her own history, reconciling with the past in order to help train the next generation of Jedi, which includes her own Padawan, Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo).
Episode 5 of Ahsoka proved to be one of the most exhilarating in the series yet. After being transported to the World Between Worlds and reuniting with the Force Ghost of her former master Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), Ahsoka embarks on an emotional inward journey questioning her own self-identity. Thanks to her master’s signature intense teaching style, Ahsoka is able to reach a turning point in her own story, which manifests itself in a massive change for the character upon her return to the land of the living. The new Ahsoka that emerges is officially Star Wars‘ own take on Gandalf the White from the Lord of the Rings franchise.
Ahsoka Tano’s Transformation, Explained
After reuniting with the Force Ghost of Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano is transported back to her days as a soldier in the Clone Wars. Ahsoka relives her missions to Ryloth and Mandalore, all the while wondering if she could ever be anything more than a warrior. Her introspection is interrupted by Anakin, who forces her to duel him in an epic lightsaber battle in the World Between Worlds. On the back foot for a while, Ahsoka finally emerges victorious over her former master. Throwing away his lightsaber rather than giving in to her anger, Ahsoka snarls that she chooses to live–which seems to make Anakin quite proud of his wisened pupil.
As Anakin finishes giving Ahsoka his final lesson, he finally disappears, leaving her in a pool of water. As the waves wash over Ahsoka, she is fully submerged, baptizing her in the waters of new life. When she finally emerges from the water after being rescued by her allies, Ahsoka is visibly different. Once grim and wearied from a lifetime of tragedy, Ahsoka appears to have regained her sense of humor and joy, which many viewers will remember from her earliest days in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Ahsoka’s differences manifest themselves in her appearance as well, with the reborn Jedi now wearing white robes in contrast to the darker hues of her previous wardrobe. The intent is clear: Ahsoka Tano is not the same person she once was.
Ahsoka Has Become Star Wars’ Version Of Gandalf The White
Star Wars has now unveiled Ahsoka the White, its own take on Gandalf the White, Sir Ian McKellen’s iconic character from the Lord of the Rings franchise. After Gandalf the Grey’s supposed death at the hands of the Balrog in Fellowship of the Ring, he returns with a starkly different form in The Two Towers. Having been reborn as Gandalf the White, the benevolent wizard comes “at the turn of the tide,” to guide his allies to victory against Sauron and the forces of evil. Although Star Wars does not copy J.R.R. Tolkien’s work directly with Ahsoka Tano’s transformation, it is clear to see the parallels between the two characters’ rebirths.
In her reunion with Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka fought her own version of the Balrog–but this one came with a once-friendly face. As much as she loved Anakin, he was also her greatest enemy after his fall to the Dark Side. By overcoming him, Ahsoka earned the right to be reborn as a new version of herself. Much like Gandalf, Ahsoka was friendly but tired prior to her rebirth, weighed down by a rising evil in her world. However, this weight seems to be lifted from her shoulders as she returns to her friends, as she expresses a genuine belief that light will win over darkness in the end. And, like Gandalf, Ahsoka has come to guide her friends as things turn in their favor, finding a way to pursue their enemies through hyperspace to a whole new galaxy.
How Ahsoka Will Guide The Next Generation Of Star Wars Heroes
Although Ahsoka does not consider herself a Jedi, she still may prove to be an essential part of the rise of the next generation of Jedi in the galaxy. If she is to truly follow Gandalf the White’s example, Ahsoka the White will now become a wisened guide for a younger array of heroes who will go on to defeat the evils of the world themselves. This would put Ahsoka in a mentorship position over Star Wars‘ next generation of heroes, allowing her to point them in the right direction and watch as they strive to live up to her legacy. Her time as one of Star Wars‘ main heroes may be coming to an end, but her time as a mentor is only just beginning.
Ahsoka has already taken on part of this responsibility by training Sabine Wren as her Padawan, but there are many more heroes in need of her guidance. Ahsoka revealed Jacen Syndulla to be Force-sensitive, suggesting that he too could benefit from being trained as a Jedi. The galaxy is also filled with other young heroes in need of guidance, including Ezra Bridger and Grogu. Ahsoka could become a guide to each of these characters, preparing them for the battle to come against Grand Admiral Thrawn in Dave Filoni’s upcoming Heir to the Empire movie. Rather than taking on a leading role in the film, Ahsoka could instead be seen as the mentor figure, much like Gandalf the White became in Lord of the Rings.
As unlikely as it may seem at first, Ahsoka could also become a mentor to certain heroes who are still several decades out in the Star Wars timeline. Rey Skywalker is returning in a new trilogy which will see her form her own Jedi Order. With her two mentors, Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, both dead, Rey may need guidance in the form of another Jedi who has seen the order rise and fall multiple times. In her elder years, Ahsoka could become an essential guide for Rey as she builds a new order, helping her avoid making the same mistakes as the many Skywalkers who came before her. Ahsoka meaningfully transforms its titular character, as she is reborn into something–someone–new. Where Ahsoka goes from here remains unknown, but Star Wars fans can be certain that whatever she does next will have rippling effects throughout the entire franchise.