Ahsoka Tano's Death Explained: When Did She Die and How Did She Return?

By Nathan Johnson Posted:
Ahsoka Star Wars Darth Vader

Ahsoka has become one of the most important characters in the entire Star Wars universe, but saying that her journey so far hasn't been eventful and full of ups and downs would be an understatement.

The character's own Disney+ series, Ahsoka, recently premiered its first two episodes on the streaming platform, showcasing the continuation of her story in the galaxy far, far away during the post-Return of the Jedi era.

Many fans and critics have praised the start of the series thus far, even though there was a scene that seemed to frustrate prequel trilogy fans and another sequence broke one of the biggest rules in Star Wars.

While Ahsoka seems to be as sharp as ever in this current series, that was not always the case. Past projects have seemingly featured her demise at different points, but the character keeps coming back.

How Did Ahsoka Die?

It's important to note that Ahsoka Tano technically died on-screen before - twice.

However, it is a bit more complicated than that, as she was resurrected both times and is now still a part of the Star Wars canon.

The first time that the character was killed was near the midway point of the animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

During the Mortis arc that took place in Episodes 15-17 of Season 3, Ahsoka was killed for the first time by a powerful dark-side character known as the Son.

Her death specifically took place in Episode 16, which is titled "Altar of Mortis," and occurred at the hands of the Son.

After he possessed her and she aided him in retrieving a dagger for him to use, the Son stated that he no longer needed her, so he took her entire life force away by simply touching her, ultimately leaving her lifeless.

Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars

The second time that Ahsoka was killed came later on in the timeline during another animated show, Star Wars Rebels.

This time it occurred on the planet Malachor in the finale of Season 2, "Twilight of the Apprentice."

In this episode, Ezra Bridger found a Sith Holocron and took it to the top of a temple underneath the planet's surface. After he placed it in the top of the temple, the entire structure became a ticking time bomb.

While Ezra, Kanan, and Ahsoka were trying to escape, however, Darth Vader was also present trying to prevent them from leaving.

Ahsoka Tano and Darth Vader in Star Wars Rebels

Ahsoka eventually locked herself and Vader inside the temple to allow Kanan and Ezra to get away, and the temple exploded with both Vader and Ahsoka inside.

The Temple on Malachor, Star Wars Rebels

How Was Ahsoka Resurrected?

Even though Ahsoka has been completely killed twice on-screen, she is still an important piece in the entire puzzle of the current Star Wars canon.

After Ahsoka was killed by the Son on Mortis, Anakin and Obi-Wan were prepared to do anything they could to save her.

However, her fate was out of their control as she had already died.

Another extremely powerful character on Mortis known as the Father, who is an embodiment of the balance of the Force, was able to take the Daughter's life force and insert it into Ahsoka's body.

The Daughter and Ahsoka Tano in The Clone Wars

The Daughter was unfortunately stabbed a few moments earlier, and since she was on the verge of taking her final breath, she requested that the Father use her to spare Ahsoka's life.

After her duel with Vader on Malachor where Ahsoka, once again, seemed to have died, she was absent for all of Season 3 of Rebels and the majority of Season 4.

However, in Episode 13 of Season 4, she was ultimately brought back to life yet again.

This time, Ezra was the one who saved her, using a realm known as the World Between Worlds.

Ezra Bridger in Star Wars Rebels

As explained in Rebels by Darth Sidious, the World Between Worlds is a "mystical realm" that "connects all of time and space, creating a conduit between the living and the dead."

When Ezra entered the World Between Worlds, he was able to use one of the portals to travel through time to the exact moment when Ahsoka was dueling Vader on Malachor.

Ezra Bridger, Darth Vader, and Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars Rebels

Ezra was then able to actually reach through the portal and pull Ahsoka away from Vader's grasp and the collapse of the temple they were in before she was killed.

Ezra Bridger and Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars Rebels

The two characters then returned to the normal dimension in the galaxy, allowing Ahsoka to continue on with her journey.

Is Ahsoka Dead in The Rise of Skywalker?

The current Ahsoka series takes place around 11 ABY (After the Battle of Yavin), so fans obviously know that she is still alive and well during that time.

However, from that point forward, it is entirely unclear what happens to her and if she is ultimately still alive by 35 ABY, which is when The Rise of Skywalker takes place. It is also important to note that no canon project has explored any time period beyond 35 ABY.

Many fans believed that Ahsoka actually was confirmed to not only be dead but also be a Force ghost during The Rise of Skywalker.

This is due to a scene in the climax of the movie where Rey is facing off against Emperor Palpatine and ultimately calls for the help of all the Jedi who have become one with the Force after their physical bodies have passed on.

Daisy Ridley as Rey in Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker

As Rey is staring up into the stars, the Jedi's voices speak back to her offering her words of encouragement and providing her strength. Some of these voices include Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Kanan Jarrus, Luminara Unduli, Qui-Gon Jinn, Mace Windu, and, yes, Ahsoka Tano.

Hearing Ahsoka's voice all but confirmed that she had died sometime between the Rebels finale and The Rise of Skywalker.

However, on December 25, 2019, just five days after the movie's theatrical premiere, Ahsoka's creator Dave Filoni posted a photo via Instagram of a drawing featuring Ahsoka standing beside The Lord of the Rings' Gandalf the Grey.

Gandalf had a text bubble beside him that read, "People thought I was dead too. Look how that turned out..."

For fans that aren't familiar with The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf the Grey seemed to have been killed by a mystical creature at one point in the series only to return as a more powerful character later on.

This caused many to believe that Filoni was stating that Ahsoka wasn't dead in The Rise of Skywalker and that she could be featured in the future once again.

Filoni was eventually asked by Gizmodo in February 2020 to clarify the Instagram post, which led him to say that he thought it was more of director J.J. Abrams' way "to be so inclusive" of different major figures throughout the history of Star Wars.

Filoni also stated that "[he] didn't think of it in a literal story [way]," which seemed to be his way of confirming that Ahsoka isn't truly dead by that time:

“It doesn’t really have any big implications to what I’m doing with the character, to be honest. I just thought it was a really fun thing. I thought J.J. [Abrams]’s instinct to be so inclusive with all these various elements of Star Wars and characters [was great]. And I thought it would be a great thing for the actors involved to be a part of something that was just really this celebrating moment of the Star Wars saga. So I didn’t think of it in a literal story [way]. The film, to me, is like a different area.”

The first two episodes of Ahsoka are available to stream on Disney+, with new episodes premiering every Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. ET.

- In This Article: Ahsoka
Release Date
August 22, 2023
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Natasha Liu Bordizzo
- About The Author: Nathan Johnson
Nathan is a writer at The Direct where he covers Star Wars, the MCU, and DC news. He joined The Direct in April 2021 and currently writes news and feature articles about all three brands mentioned above, but his main specialty is his knowledge about anything and everything Star Wars.