The release of “Ahsoka” on Disney+ marks the fourth live-action “Star Wars” series on the streaming service, but it’s the first to revolve largely around characters who, until now, were best known in their animated form. Ahsoka Tano, played by Rosario Dawson in the new show, is a character that was created by George Lucas and Dave Filoni for the animated series “The Clone Wars” back in 2008, and who quickly became a fan-favorite all the way up through the Disney XD series “Star Wars Rebels.”
Dawson’s iteration made her debut in Season 2 of “The Mandalorian,” but for those who never watched any of the animated shows or only have a passing understanding of the character, you might find the new “Ahsoka” series a little confounding. Here’s a quick guide to what you need to know.
Ahsoka Was Originally Anakin’s Padawan
Ahsoka was assigned by Yoda to be Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan apprentice when she was just 14 years old. The two eventually developed a rapport and became incredibly close. At one point during the Clone Wars, Ahsoka was framed and imprisoned for a deadly explosion. It was this event that led her to become disillusioned with the Jedi Council and walk away from the Jedi Order.
As depicted in “The Clone Wars,” when Anakin turns to the Dark Side Ahsoka senses that her former master is in trouble, but doesn’t know why. At that moment, Order 66 – which ordered the purge of every Jedi – is issued and she goes on the run.
She Nearly Died in a Duel With Darth Vader
In the animated series “Star Wars Rebels,” which picks up 14 years after the events of “Clone Wars” and just before the events of “A New Hope,” Ahsoka surfaces as a secretive Rebel agent who eventually joins forces with the crew of the Ghost ship, which includes Jedi members Ezra Bridger and Kanan Jarrus. It’s during these events that Ahsoka learns her mentor Anakin Skywalker didn’t die, but became Darth Vader. The two eventually duel inside a Sith temple on the planet Malachor, where Ahsoka sacrifices herself for other members of the Ghost crew.
Later on in “Star Wars Rebels,” when Ezra finds himself in a void between space and time, he finds a portal to the moment during which Ahsoka died and pulls her out, giving her a second chance. Yes, time travel is canon in “Star Wars.”
In the series finale of “Star Wars Rebels,” Ezra sacrifices himself to stall and defeat the evil Grand Admiral Thrawn. He’s last seen following Thrawn and his ship into hyperspace.
She’s on the Hunt for Thrawn – and Ezra
When Ahsoka made her live-action debut in “The Mandalorian,” she was seeking information on the location of Thrawn, and by extension the location of Ezra. She met Din Djarin and Grogu, but refused to train Grogu in the ways of the Force sensing great fear in him. Instead, she instructed Din Djarin to take Grogu to a Jedi Temple to be trained by none other than Luke Skywalker.
“Ahsoka” takes place after all of these events, a couple of decades before the events of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”