Over a year since its release, The Mandalorian Season 2 proved to be monumental for the galaxy far, far away. The MandoVerse narrative is still reaping the benefits of the expansions made in the storyline, as The Book of Boba Fett recently brought back several characters for cameo roles. Among them was Ahsoka Tano, who made a shocking appearance at Luke Skywalker's Jedi Academy.
Introduced in 2008 when Star Wars: The Clone Wars debuted, Ahsoka slowly became a fan-favorite character as she evolved from Anakin Skywalker's Padawan into a capable warrior surviving a fateful encounter with her former master in Rebels. After heavy anticipation, Ahsoka finally made her live-action debut in The Mandalorian Season 2 "Chapter 13 - The Jedi," played by Rosario Dawson.
"Chapter 13," written and directed by Dave Filoni, brought Tano into the action immediately, and she soon revealed to Mando and the audience that his lovable green companion's name is Grogu. Mando sought Ahsoka out in the hopes that she would train Grogu, but she ultimately refused, still haunted by what happened to Anakin. However, the culmination of a lightsaber duel with the local Magistrate revealed Tano's true purpose: to find the location of Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Many presumed that Grogu's fate would be tied to Ahsoka's, but Luke Skywalker's surprising return at the end of Season 2 proved otherwise. She provided guidance to the central characters in the story, but Ahsoka has her own path to follow - something that Filoni has been planning for quite some time.
Filoni Talks Ahsoka's Destiny
In The Art of The Mandalorian: Season 2 as obtained by The Direct, executive producer Dave Filoni shared that there were extensive discussions regarding who would take Grogu to pursue the ways of the Jedi:
"There were a lot of debates about [Ahsoka Tano pointing the way to Luke Skywalker]. And Jon and I went back and forth, because if [Ahsoka can't take Grogu], then who will?"
The writer and director noted that teaching Grogu isn't Ahsoka's "destiny," teasing that he has something else in mind:
"Taking care of the Child is not her destiny. That's not what I've been planning for her to do [laughs], so I can't change it up."
An important part of Ahsoka's role in "The Jedi" was ensuring that Mando knew Grogu had his own agency, as well:
"But it is interesting if Ahsoka's there along the way, not as somebody who takes this burden away from Mando but as somebody to say, 'You might be forgetting that this kid has a choice too. It's not just about you and your oath to your covert.'"
What's Next for Ahsoka?
After "Chapter 13" debuted, Dave Filoni likened Ahsoka's role in The Mandalorian to that of Gandalf from The Lord of The Rings, a wandering soul imparting wisdom on those she meets. But the former Jedi has a clear purpose in the MandoVerse beyond serving as a guide. While Rosario Dawson's character passes on what she's learned when she can, there's a clear build-up to the Ahsoka limited series set to begin filming in April.
When fans last saw Ahsoka during her surprise cameo in The Book of Boba Fett, she hadn't yet embarked on her journey to find Thrawn and Ezra Bridger. There was an implied history between her and Luke beyond their shared bond with Anakin Skywalker, and after providing encouragement for the young Jedi Master, she left his temple, presumably to begin the quest to bring her lost friend home.
There was great concern during the lead-up to "The Jedi" that Ahsoka would join The Mandalorian and immediately take Grogu from Din. While he inevitably did lose his little son (for a short time) when Luke rescued them, Ahsoka was clearly never meant to do more than steer the series' tag team in the right direction. Tano's destiny is something bigger than playing the role of caretaker and teacher - her fate is intertwined with Ezra's.
Ahsoka's plot is still being kept under wraps, though it's been revealed that Hayden Christensen will return as Anakin Skywalker. It can be assumed that the titular character's journey towards enlightenment will continue as she makes peace with her old master, and the legacy she leaves behind for the living will be massive - when her time comes to become one with the Force.
That likely won't happen in Ahsoka. Thrawn will reportedly serve as the main antagonist in the series, though there may be greater threats in store for the hero and her allies. At some point, she'll likely come across Din and Grogu again, and the entire narrative will culminate in a bigger project at some point in the years to come. Ahsoka's destiny is unknown for the moment, but it will be something that Filoni has been cooking up for a long time.
Ahsoka will debut in 2023 on Disney+.