- "It's every citizen's duty to challenge their leaders, to keep them honest, and hold them accountable if they're not."
- ―Ahsoka Tano
Ahsoka Tano, nicknamed Snips by her Master, was a Jedi Padawan who, after the Clone Wars, helped establish a network of rebels against the Galactic Empire. A Togruta female, Tano was discovered on her homeworld of Shili by Jedi Master Plo Koon, who brought her to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant to receive Jedi training. Following the outbreak of the Clone Wars, Jedi Grand Master Yoda assigned the young Tano to be the Padawan learner of Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, whom she joined at the Battle of Christophsis. Whereas Tano was eager to prove herself, Skywalker had a reputation for recklessness, and they had a rather difficult start as Master and apprentice. Yet, they worked together to rescue Rotta, the son of crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure, and returned Rotta to his father, thus facilitating a crucial alliance between the Hutt Clan and the Galactic Republic.
As a commander in the Grand Army of the Republic, Tano found a mentor in Clone Captain Rex of the 501st Legion, with whom she and Skywalker collaborated to lead frontline campaigns against the Confederacy of Independent Systems. In her first command position at the Battle of Ryloth, Tano disobeyed orders and lost her entire squadron of pilots, but she managed to rebound and helped secure a victory at Ryloth. Her assignments pitted her against a variety of opponents, from General Grievous and Sith apprentice Asajj Ventress to such bounty hunters as Cad Bane and Aurra Sing. Over time, she matured into a respected leader, contributing to key Republic victories like the Second Battle of Geonosis and the Battle of Mon Cala. She even died during a series of events on Mortis, but the Force wielder known as the Daughter sacrificed herself to bring Tano back to life.
Tano gained much experience on and beyond the war front, leading a group of Jedi younglings to revolt against their Trandoshan captors, helping rescue a colony of Togruta from enslavement by the Zygerrian Slave Empire, and serving as an advisor to the Onderon rebels—with her close friend, Lux Bonteri, among them—as they liberated their world from the Confederacy. In a stark turn of events, Tano was framed for the bombing of the Jedi Temple hangar and other homicides, and she escaped into the Coruscant underworld to clear her name. Though she formed an unlikely alliance with Asajj Ventress, she was detained by Republic forces and was consequently barred from the Jedi Order. Ultimately, Skywalker uncovered the true culprit, Tano's friend and fellow Padawan Barriss Offee, and prevented his former apprentice from being convicted of sedition. Nevertheless, the ordeal dislodged Tano's faith in the Jedi. She refused the Jedi Council's offer to rejoin the Order, instead departing in search of a new path.
As the Galactic Empire came to power, Tano became an integral figure in a network of rebel cells that she assembled alongside Senator Bail Organa. Under the codename "Fulcrum", she provided intelligence to various insurgent factions, including one cell based on Lothal that was led by Hera Syndulla. Tano took a particular interest in Syndulla's rebels because one of their members, a former Jedi named Kanan Jarrus, had begun to train his own Padawan, Ezra Bridger. In addition, Tano's efforts against the Empire brought her into contact with Skywalker, who by then had become the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader, as well as the Imperial Inquisitors known as the Fifth Brother and the Seventh Sister.
Thirty-three years before the Battle of Yavin, Ahsoka Tano was discovered by Jedi Master Plo Koon among her people on the planet Shili at the age of three and accepted into the Jedi Order. Like all Jedi of her era, she was then raised at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.
The Clone Wars
- "I'm the new Padawan learner. I'm Ahsoka Tano."
- ―Tano introduces herself
When she was 14, Tano was assigned to Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker by Jedi Grand Master Yoda, having been granted the rank of Padawan, and she demonstrated an eagerness to prove herself worthy to be his apprentice. Yoda did this to alleviate Skywalker's fear and inability to lose loved ones, as he believed that by becoming a teacher, Anakin would develop emotionally and understand that his excessive bonding to those he loved was unnecessary once Tano would be ready to go.
After Tano met up with her new master and his former master, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, she was involved in the defeat of the Separatist army on the planet Christophsis and was important to Republic efforts during the Battle of Teth. Along with Skywalker, Tano was instrumental in acquiring the Republic's safe passage through Hutt Space, due to her part in rescuing the son of Jabba the Hutt, which ensured an alliance between the Republic and the Hutt Clan.
Continuation of the war
During the next two years, Tano and her master achieved many things during the war including stopping the Blue Shadow Virus, freeing Togruta slaves, saving her Master and many others on multiple occasions, and even halting a plot masterminded by Darth Sidious himself. She also engaged some of most deadly people in the galaxy, most notably Asajj Ventress, General Grievous, and Cad Bane several times, always surviving without any serious injury. Tano had a brief brush with the dark side on Mortis after being infected with it by the Son and even died, but she was resurrected by the Daughter. Tano formed close bonds with many members of the Order, which included Plo Koon, Barriss Offee and Obi-Wan Kenobi, as well as people outside the Order such as Padmé Amidala and Lux Bonteri, to whom she developed a romantic attraction.
Bombing at the Jedi Temple
Towards the end of the war when Tano was 16, her friend Barriss Offee, who believed the Jedi Order had become evil, corrupt and overly belligerent during the war, orchestrated the bombing of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, killed the bomber, Letta Turmond, and caused the deaths of clone troopers while framing Tano for these crimes. While running away from Republic authorities and Skywalker, who still believed her to be innocent, Tano met her longtime nemesis Asajj Ventress and briefly allied with her, since both were on the run from their masters. Tano was led by Offee, the only Jedi whom she still saw as an ally, into a trap at an abandoned Coruscant warehouse in Coruscant's undercity, where she was captured by Skywalker's forces. The Jedi Council then expelled Tano from the Jedi Order and turned her over to the Republic for trial, where she was prosecuted by Admiral Wilhuff Tarkin. Tano came very close to a conviction and death sentence, but due to the tireless efforts of her master, she was acquitted at the last minute by the forced confession of a captured Offee.
A new path
- "I'm sorry, Master, but I'm not coming back."
- ―Tano, to Anakin Skywalker
The Council pardoned Tano and offered to bring her back into the Order. Instead of admitting their mistake, they stated that the Force worked in mysterious ways. They considered her ordeal in hindsight as being her great trial, having proven herself ready and worthy of being promoted to Jedi Knight. However, Tano refused.
Tano's experience had shaken her beliefs in the Jedi to the very core, and gave her a clearer understanding of the ways the Order had compromised its duty to the Force by serving the political needs of the Republic. Having been taught all her life that attachments can bring ruin to a Jedi and although it was a difficult decision, she chose to leave the only home she had ever known. Thus, putting her trust in the Force to reveal her new path, she left the Jedi Order on a new journey.
Tano's departure from the Jedi Order had a deep impact on those she knew. During a quest to discover the secrets of immortality, Yoda was faced with visions of the Jedi Purge. In one such vision, he saw Tano dying in the halls of the Jedi Temple, with the vision of her asking if she could become one with the Force after having been expelled from the Jedi Order. The vision of Tano was a result of Yoda's guilt over having placed her on the path that led to her departure from the Jedi Order.
Her former mentor Skywalker was particularly affected by her departure and felt even more alone in having to fulfill the expectations of being the prophesied Chosen One. While on a mission with Kenobi, Skywalker confided that he was still struggling to come to terms with her absence, describing her as "one of us." When Skywalker criticized the Jedi Council for creating the conditions that had led her to leave the Jedi Order, Kenobi reminded him that she had made the choice to leave. Later, Skywalker also left the Jedi Order after falling to the dark side and becoming Darth Vader. Like Tano's decision to leave the Jedi, Skywalker's fall to the dark side was partly influenced by his belief that the Jedi Council did not trust him, fears that the Sith Lord Darth Sidious had manipulated to great effect.
Due to her decision to leave the Jedi Order, Tano escaped Order 66, the devastating order that wiped out most of the Jedi across the galaxy one year after she left, including her mentor Plo Koon. She became a key figure in the resistance movement against the Galactic Empire, now working in direct opposition of the goals of her former Master, who was a key figure in the Empire's efforts to quash such rebellion.
Age of the Empire
"Ahsoka. My name is Ahsoka Tano."
- ―Tano introduces herself to the Lothal rebels
Fourteen years after the rise of the Galactic Empire, Tano was part of a rebel movement against Imperial rule. Now 31 years old, she worked with Senator Bail Organa of Alderaan and Senator Mon Mothma of Chandrila and took on the codename "Fulcrum," which she used to communicate with rebel cells across the galaxy. One of these cells was the crew of the Ghost, which operated on and around the Outer Rim world of Lothal. She spoke only with Hera Syndulla, the owner and pilot of the Ghost, and identified herself only by her codename. As Fulcrum, Tano provided the Ghost rebels with intelligence for missions in order to hit Imperial forces or interests, and those missions were part of a larger plan that the rebels were part of—one that, amongst the rebels, only Syndulla knew. Tano's intelligence was generally accurate, but sometimes only partially so. One mission that Syndulla, along with Ezra Bridger and Sabine Wren, went on was an attack on an Imperial convoy. The intelligence that Fulcrum provided was correct about the route and timing of the convoy, but underestimated the Imperial defenses. As a result, the Phantom—the shuttle used by the rebels—sustained minor damage while outrunning a squadron of TIE/LN starfighters.
Shortly thereafter, Syndulla—along with Wren, who insisted on knowing more about Fulcrum and the missions the rebels were being sent on—travelled to Fort Anaxes, an asteroid base used by the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars, in order to pick up supplies from Tano. Tano contacted Syndulla while she en route and informed Syndulla that the supplies were unloaded and ready for pickup. Wren, eager to know more about the individual giving them their intelligence, suggested that "Fulcrum" wait for them at the rendezvous, prompting Tano to wonder if something was wrong. Syndulla convinced Tano, however, that Wren was just there to help with the mission. Nonetheless, Wren felt untrusted and wanted to know why the rebel missions were becoming so dangerous, but Syndulla assured her that the less she knew, the safer she would be if captured by the Empire. Once they arrived on Fort Anaxes, Tano was already gone.
Sometime later, the rebels rescued Tseebo, a Rodian in the Imperial Information Office whose AJ^6 cyborg construct headpiece contained vital Imperial information, including a five-year plan for the entire Outer Rim. After fleeing Lothal, the Ghost rendezvoused with Tano's vessel. Syndulla turned Tseebo over to Tano, who would be able to analyze the information contained within Tseebo's headpiece.
After the capture of Kanan Jarrus, the leader of the Lothal cell, by the Empire, and the Ghost crew's subsequent transmission of messages intended to inspire the public, Tano contacted Syndulla and dissuaded her from attempting to rescue Jarrus. After reminding her that Jarrus understood the risks he took, and that Bridger—the crew's remaining Jedi—was too important to be risked, Tano informed her that their message had reached beyond Lothal and had attracted attention from the top ranks of the Empire. Tano urged Syndulla to take her crew into hiding to avoid further jeopardizing their mission. The crew ignored Tano's warning and set out on a mission to rescue their captive leader.
The rebels soon learned that Jarrus was being held on the Sovereign, the personal Star Destroyer of Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, in orbit of Mustafar. The crew set out to rescue him and succeeded, but were overwhelmed by Imperial forces. The crew's astromech droid, C1-10P, contacted "Fulcrum" and requested reinforcements. Tano and a fleet of rebel ships arrived at Mustafar and helped the crew of the Ghost escape. When the rebels were safe and away from Mustafar, Tano revealed her identity and told them that they were part of a wider rebel movement.
The Siege of Lothal
After the crew of the Ghost joined the Phoenix rebel cell, Ahsoka Tano acted as a mentor and adviser to the newer rebels. She had a particular affinity with Kanan and his apprentice Ezra Bridger, fellow Jedi who were resisting the Empire. During the Imperial Siege of Lothal, Ahsoka along with Hera, Kanan, and the Phoenix Commander Jun Sato sanctioned a mission to rescue the Imperial Minister Maketh Tua, who wanted to defect from the Empire. The crew of the Ghost returned to Lothal but stumbled into a trap set by Darth Vader, Ahsoka's former mentor and friend.
With much difficulty, the crew of the Ghost managed to escape Lothal in a shuttle. However, Vader had planted a tracking device on that shuttle which allowed him to track down the Phoenix rebel fleet. When Vader attacked the rebel fleet with his TIE Advance starfighter, Tano joined the crew of the Ghost aboard their ship. During the battle, Ahsoka and Kanan used the Force to probe the mysterious TIE pilot only to learn that he was none other than Anakin. Vader also sensed her presence and Tano collapsed unconscious in shock.
After escaping Vader, Ahsoka questioned Kanan and Ezra about their earlier confrontation with Darth Vader on Lothal. Kanan recalled that he had not sensed a presence as evil as Vader since the Clone Wars. When Bridger asked Ahsoka about the identity of the Sith Lord, Tano feigned ignorance of his identity. However, she told them that she knew that Vader would be coming for the rebels again in an effort to destroy them. Whether they chose to fight Vader and the others who would try to destroy them, the Ghost crew told her that they would fight them together. She also told them that she had to depart "to answer questions that need answering."
Reuniting with Rex
Following the destruction of the Phoenix flagship Phoenix Home, the Phoenix rebels were on the run. When the rebels discussed their next move, Ahsoka suggested that the crew of the Ghost seek out an old friend: the former Clone Captain Rex. For their mission, she gave Sabine and the crew of the Ghost the head of an old tactical droid and sent them to the desert planet of Seelos. Prior to departing, she told Kanan to trust her friend. After some difficulty, the crew of the Ghost managed to win over Rex, who supplied them with a datacard containing a list of Republic installations in the Outer Rim and Mandalore. After fighting off an Imperial assault, Rex agreed to join the Rebellion. After returning from Seelos, Ahsoka reunited with her old friend, who commented that she had grown old. Tano responded by saying that it "has to happen sometime."
Learning about the Inquisitorius
With Rex's datacard, the Phoenix rebels gain access to a list of abandoned Republic bases and installations. During a salvaging mission to an abandoned Republic medical station, the crew of the Ghost encountered two more Inquisitors—the Seventh Sister and the Fifth Brother. These Inquisitors were aware about the existence of Ahsoka and attempted to force Ezra and Sabine to divulge all information they knew about her. However, these rebels escaped with the help of Garazeb Orrelios.
While monitoring transmissions from Mustafar, Ahsoka discovered that the Empire's Inquisitors had a secondary mission which involved kidnapping Force-sensitive children. Traveling to the planet Garel, she related her discovery to Kanan. Tano had also managed to decode two coordinates. While she investigate the first set of coordinates, she sent Kanan to investigate the second set. Kanan accepted the mission and was accompanied by Ezra, Zeb, and the astromech droid Chopper. The first set of coordinates led her to the planet Chandel where she encountered a derelict passenger ship. She quickly encountered an elderly woman named Darja, who revealed that the Seventh Sister and Fifth Brother had abducted her grandchild Alora. Tano comforted the grandmother and promised to find her grandchild.
Meanwhile, Kanan and his fellow rebels traced the second set of coordinates to a flat in Hammertown, a settlement on the planet Takabo. After rescuing Alora and an Ithorian infant named Pypey, the rebels ran into trouble with the Seventh Sister and Fifth Brother. Following a protracted pursuit and confrontation, the rebels were bested by the Inquisitors outside the spaceport where they had parked their ship, the Phantom. However, Ahsoka arrived and engaged the two Inquisitors in a lightsaber duel. Through her mastery of the Force and lightsaber skills, Tano defeated the two Inquisitors. Before she could finish them off, she was corned by Imperial reinforcements. Ahsoka managed to escape Takabo with Kanan's rebels who fled aboard the Phantom. As the Rebels departed from Takobo, Tano recalled that a similar attempt had been made by a Sith Lord to abduct children during the Clone Wars. In the past, the Jedi had protected them, but since they died out the Rebellion was now their only protection.
Powers and abilities
- "I admit, Ahsoka's a little rough around the edges, but with a great deal of training… and patience… she might amount to something."
- ―Anakin Skywalker, on Tano
Ahsoka Tano was very skilled in lightsaber combat for someone of her age. She made use of the unorthodox reverse grip during combat, however she would utilize the standard grip at the insistence of her master. When she was made a Padawan by Yoda, she was already proficient in Form V and capable of doing so even in less than ideal positions. Tano's combat skills were clearly quite considerable, as she was able to defeat three IG-100 MagnaGuards single handed and at least temporarily hold her ground against the skilled assassin Asajj Ventress and the Jedi hunter General Grievous.
At some point during the Clone Wars, Tano began to learn Jar'Kai, wielding a shorter yellowish-green blade with a hilt that matched with her original lightsaber. She still sometimes used only her main lightsaber, such as when she dueled Skywalker on Mortis before Kenobi arrived, but would use Jar'Kai when facing multiple opponents and was able to hold her own against both Skywalker and Kenobi on Mortis, even though both of her opponents were more experienced warriors than she was. During her second encounter with Grievous, Tano showed that her skills had improved vastly as she was able to hold off all four of Grievous' lightsabers and survive for the second time, whereas previously she only lasted a short time when Grievous was only using two lightsabers.
Whilst fleeing from Clones after being framed for murder, Tano lost her second lightsaber and was forced to use only her main lightsaber to fight Barriss Offee. Her duel against Offee showed that she had become too reliant on her second lightsaber, something she had in common with Asajj Ventress, and although she put up a considerable fight Offee ultimately proved to be too powerful for her. By the time of the Galactic Empire, Tano had learned to fight with two lightsabers. During a skirmish at Hammertown, she was able to best two Inquisitors in lightsaber combat and even managed to deactivate the double lightsaber of the Seventh Sister.
- "Because of Ahsoka's advanced abilities, I forgot how young she is."
- ―Anakin Skywalker
Tano possessed a strong connection to the Force, and often performing Force-enhanced jumps and other acrobatic feats. Although Tano's Force powers required more training, she was capable of performing extensive telekinetic feats, as seen during the Battle of Christophsis where she pulled down a large wall in order to save Skywalker from a group of retail droids. In another instance, Tano was able to deliver a strong push at Ventress and flung her back far away, saving the life of Luminara Unduli.
Tano also had a strong ability to sense things in the Force, able to feel the presence of Plo Koon after his fleet was destroyed by the Malevolence and the presences of the children who were kidnapped by Cad Bane. She also eventually learned how to perform mind tricks. In addition, Tano's Force powers enabled her to leap to incredible heights. She used this to her advantage when leaping into the Phantom in order to escape two Inquisitors.
- "When I was out there, alone, all I had was your training and the lessons you taught me. And because of you, I did survive. And not only that, I was able to lead others to survive as well."
- ―Ahsoka Tano, to Anakin Skywalker
Tano also displayed skill in hand to hand combat as she was able to easily overpower Cad Bane before dropping her guard and being incapacitated by the bounty hunter. She later used her hand to hand combat skills on Mandalore by single handedly defeating a group of the Mandalorian Secret Service and later holding off several guards and subduing Prime Minister Almec despite being handcuffed at the time. However, on that occasion, she armed herself with one of the guards' shields, which she used to fend them off and defend herself from a stun gun. While she was a prisoner of Trandoshan hunters, Tano was able to kill the hunters Dar, and his father, Garnac, by only using hand to hand combat and her Force powers.
Tano also showed a considerable knowledge of mechanics which she had learned from her Master. She was able to use her mechanical skills to contact Skywalker and save her and Barriss Offee's lives when they were trapped under a destroyed droid factory on Geonosis. She also knew how to repair vehicles. While on Mortis, she repaired the shuttle that she, Kenobi and Skywalker had crashed on the planet. Tano had the ability to understand Shyriiwook, as demonstrated by her translations for Chewbacca while captured on Wasskah.
Behind the scenes
In an interview with the official Star Wars website, Rebels co-creator and executive producer Dave Filoni stated that Vader wouldn't want a memory of Tano, a relationship that he considered a failure, and that he would be angry with her in a twisted way.
Notes and references
- Ahsoka Tano on Wikipedia