Pioneering is nothing new for Ahsoka Tano in the Star Wars canon. Her arc in The Clone Wars, as the first non-film protagonist in the canon, followed her as she went from being Anakin’s youthful apprentice to a survivor of Order 66.
Ahsoka’s experiences led her to become disillusioned with the Jedi Order, and she made a shocking choice as a result. Now, in her own live-action spinoff program, these ramifications threaten to upend the whole definition of a Jedi.
In the new show, Ahsoka sets out to find her old Rebels friends and track down Ezra Bridger, who has been missing ever since the last episode of the cartoon series aired. She must face her ties to the Jedi Order along the way. She left the Jedi after being framed, but she still has doubts about joining their ranks. She denies Din Djarin’s request to train Grogu because she claims she lacks the skills necessary to do so.
Showrunner Dave Filoni described Ahsoka’s present situation as a “unique solitude” in an interview with Empire Magazine. He argues that she is no longer a part of any stable group since she recognizes the dangers of being a minority in any given setting. Filoni also implies that there aren’t many people like Ahsoka left in the world, implying that she might not be alone. This way of life can be lonely because of the limited social support system and the ongoing battle to overcome social isolation.
With Ahsoka, it seems like we’ll learn more about Force-sensitive people who don’t fit neatly into the Jedi or Sith mold. These people are good with the Force, but they don’t belong to any one group or adhere to any particular code of ethics. As we’ll see in the new Star Wars film, this idea has the ability to transform our future view of Jedi, as seen by characters like Grogu, who celebrates his Mandalorian identity while still wielding his Force skills, and Rey, who aspires to recreate the Jedi Order on her own terms.
The name “wanderer” evokes images of the “wandering Ronin,” a prominent motif in samurai fiction. Chapter 13 “The Jedi,” which included Ahsoka’s live-action debut, accentuated the samurai overtones that have led many to connect The Mandalorian to the Ronin genre.
Filoni’s comments imply that these elements will continue to form Ahsoka’s own series, while also providing insight into how she defines a Jedi and what it means to be an adept user of the Force. The results of this investigation may force us to reevaluate our assumptions and bring about a sea change in how we view the Jedi in the Star Wars canon.