Warning: This post contains major spoilers for the season finale of The Mandalorian.
The Mandalorian brought viewers a litany of memorable characters when it made its debut on Disney+ in November 2019. First, we met bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal). Then, we fell in love with the cutest infant in the known universe: the Child, affectionately known as Baby Yoda. We also met Gina Carano's former Rebel shock trooper Cara Dune, who had no qualms about going toe-to-toe with Mando in battle. When the Jon Favreau-helmed Star Wars spinoff returns in October, it's slated to introduce another quintessentially Star Wars personality: Ahsoka Tano, who could be joining the popular series with a very important purpose in mind.
Ahsoka became well-loved by fans as they watched her evolve into a powerful independent warrior. She was first introduced as Anakin Skywalker's Padawan apprentice in 2008's Star Wars: The Clone Wars and later appeared in its animated TV adaptation, followed by the series Star Wars Rebels. Originally assigned to Anakin by Yoda himself in a bid to instill a greater sense of responsibility in his student, the Togruta quickly grew from a scrappy young recruit to a formidable fighter.
Her path to Jedi knighthood took Ahsoka to some dark places. In the Clone Wars animated series, she was framed for murder and treason by traitorous Jedi Barriss Offee, then cast out from the Order for the better part of a Clone Wars season. Her name was eventually cleared, after Anakin Skywalker conducted his own investigation into the matter, but the process left her disillusioned with the council to which she had dedicated her life. Feeling the Order could no longer act as a force for good, she left the Jedi entirely.
The last time Star Wars fans ever saw Ahsoka was in the epilogue of Star Wars Rebels, which takes place before the events of the film A New Hope. Meanwhile, The Mandalorian is set after the events of Return of the Jedi. Considering that Ahsoka’s last onscreen appearance sees her embark on a quest with a Mandalorian (an individual hailing from the planet Mandalore), it's feasible that Ahsoka’s appearance in the Disney+ show will address what the character has been doing since the conclusion of Rebels.
As originally reported by Slash Film, Rosario Dawson is planned to portray Ahsoka’s first live-action role in The Mandalorian. (Dawson has yet to officially confirm her involvement.) The character was invented by The Mandalorian producer, writer, and director Dave Filoni in collaboration with Star Wars creator George Lucas, so it seems only natural that the series should bring her closer to reality. But it remains unclear what Ahsoka would be doing in Mando and Baby Yoda’s neck of the woods. Where, exactly, could she fit into the narrative as it stands?
Here’s where we left off: By the end of the Season 1, the Mandalorian and the Child had escaped quite a few chills and thrills after nearly every bad guy in the galaxy had set their sights on the tiny creature. After Mando’s clever use of a jetpack halted Moff Gideon’s (Giancarlo Esposito) TIE fighter assault, it’s revealed that Moff narrowly survived. Gideon, the show’s main antagonist, is a shadowy personality and conspirator in the initial Great Purge operation to cleanse the universe of the Mandalorians. In one harrowing scene he cuts himself out of the ship's wreckage using the storied Darksaber.
There are a few ways to connect the dots, and Baby Yoda could come into play here. We've glimpsed the Child's burgeoning Force powers, and have come up with even more fan theories on the story behind his adorable little face. The second season of The Mandalorian will almost certainly explore the creature's origins and full potential at least in some capacity. It seems written in the stars that Mando himself may have to help the Child harness his skills before an accident happens; perhaps Ahsoka will harness the powers of her evolution from an aggressive, rash Padawan to the confident, mature hero she is today to nurture the Child, keeping him safe and teaching him the ways of the Jedi.
Throughout her growth, Ahsoka became a beacon of hope for the innocent, even in the darkest of times. Taking care of and guiding the Child is in line with her caring nature. We can certainly expect to learn more about the infant’s true identity and place within the overarching Star Wars lore, and Ahsoka could be part of that journey.
There could also be a much more action-packed explanation for Ahsoka’s introduction to The Mandalorian. At the conclusion of the first season, we know Moff Gideon was in possession of the formidable, ancient Darksaber. Ahsoka has an intimate history with the Jedi artifact, so this twist opens up a few possibilities for potential plot threads.
To recognize those threads, we need to back up to the Rebels saga, where Ashoka made a reappearance. The Darksaber was originally in the care of Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren in Star Wars Rebels, but she ultimately surrendered the powerful weapon to lieutenant Bo-Katan Kryze. Kryze used the Darksaber as a tool to rally the Mandalorians during Rebels. In the series finale, we saw Sabine link up with Ahsoka as they set off on a mission to find the Force-sensitive freedom fighter Ezra Bridger.
It’s not known if Kryze or Sabine will make an appearance in The Mandalorian, and none of these events have been referenced in the first season of the Disney+ series, but this bit of history could arise with Ahsoka's arrival. A Star Wars Rebels spinoff series featuring a partnership between Ahsoka Tano and Sabine Wren is rumored to be in the works at Disney+, with Dave Filoni at the helm once more.
Should Ahsoka's appearance spell the beginning of a new chapter for the Darksaber, we could be looking at a chaotic season. It's unclear how Moff Gideon came into possession of the blade in the first place, as one must defeat the sword’s previous owner in a duel to wield it. Canonically, it was crafted by the first Mandalorian inducted into the Jedi Order, Tarre Vizsla, and it's been mostly in Mandalorian hands throughout Star Wars' extended universe. In Moff Gideon's grasp, the dangerous weapon is a ticking time bomb. What will Gideon do with this power, and is Ahsoka the one who could stop him from wreaking havoc?
At this point, it's difficult to nail any one explanation down. There are many uncertainties that will surely be cleared up as we inch ever closer to the premiere of The Mandalorian Season 2. For now, get to know Ahsoka by revisiting The Clone Wars and Rebels. There’s a lot of lore to sift through, but there’s still quite a bit of time left before new episodes arrive, too.