Anakin’s Remaining Lesson Rejuvenates Grasp and Apprentice

Estimated read time 6 min read
Anakin’s Final Lesson Rejuvenates Master and Apprentice

This week’s episode of Ahsoka gave its titular hero one final alternative to study from a Grasp with lots to study himself, as Ahsoka’s time-bending journey by her life took her facet by facet, and up in opposition to, Anakin Skywalker. However in doing so, each Grasp and Apprentice alike seemed to a future for themselves past the crucible the Jedi Order made them in.

“Shadow Warrior” takes Ahsoka on a journey by the battles that outlined her childhood—some extent distressingly made as her spirit is put into the physique of her youthful self, performed by 16-year-old Ariana Greenblatt, making clear in methods Clone Wars by no means may simply how younger Ahsoka was. Guided by a imaginative and prescient of her former grasp, Anakin Skywalker, the ultimate lesson he’s to show her is one in every of development, and shedding the legacies of the previous that they’re each tied to. Nevertheless it’s additionally one rooted within the jail Ahsoka and Anakin’s spirit yearn to be freed from: an countless battle, from their youth all through to even no matter lies past within the cosmic Power.

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Screenshot: Lucasfilm

At first, it’s hammered house actually as Anakin’s imaginative and prescient self ignites his lightsaber and swings repeatedly at his former pupil—battle or die, the lesson that at all times was and would be the crux of their relationship as Grasp and Apprentice. They’d no different alternative, in any case: the Clone Wars thrust this life upon the Jedi Order, and the Jedi Order embraced it with open arms and blindness that had been damning their decline for generations. There was no alternative for Ahsoka, a baby, to be something aside from Commander Tano. She, and hundreds of youngsters like her—hundreds of youngsters like Anakin, too—had been became weapons the by no means wished to be. And so she was, a warrior on the entrance strains of conflict, charging into battle alongside her grasp, essentially the most legendary warrior of all of them. A legacy Anakin equally had no alternative in, and feared making his apprentice’s in flip. The Jedi Order made peacekeepers troopers, and as Clone Wars intoned: good troopers observe orders.

It’s telling that the three battlefields we’re taken to in “Shadow Warrior” are all moments within the Clone Battle the place the true actuality of that legacy hits Ahsoka hardest. Teth, her first full fight expertise alongside Anakin, Ryloth, a marketing campaign the place she was pressured to confront her standing as a Jedi and a frontrunner of troopers whose lives had been in her fingers as a lot as her personal was, Mandalore, a grim reminder that at the same time as Ahsoka may escape the system of the Jedi Order, the battle that Order formed her in nonetheless had her in its grasp. Is it any marvel that she discovered herself returned as Fulcrum within the age of the Riot, eternally destined to wander the galaxy partaking in a single battle after one other like some wandering Ronin?

Image for article titled An Elegant Weapon, For a More Civilized Age

Screenshot: Lucasfilm

What Ahsoka’s imaginative and prescient, and the reflection of Anakin in it—and one in every of an Anakin nonetheless wrestling together with his personal relationship to a legacy of violence—offers her is an opportunity to maneuver on from the crucible that had outlined her so lengthy. It’s telling that the one second she stumbles on this non secular journey is when she displays the lesson again on Anakin’s spirit, when she doubts that she might be greater than an countless warrior—and in doing so turns his reflection darkish and twisted, to offer herself one other factor to battle. It’s not a lesson about Anakin in any respect, even when he himself confronted related struggles, cast in that very same crucible, however about Ahsoka, so horrified by a lifetime of battle, not having the ability to see past it for therefore lengthy. “You lack conviction,” Anakin growls, nevertheless it’s not the conviction to face and battle, however the conviction to be greater than that—greater than her doubts of what she and her legacy might be. Till she makes the selection, disarming Anakin and tossing his saber apart, that there’s a life to steer past that of a warrior.

And it’s like a change flips. From nearly the second Ahsoka returns from her visions, there’s a lightness and heat to her that would by no means actually floor in Ahsoka’s first 4 episodes, or her prior appearances in The Mandalorian and The Guide of Boba Fett. Whereas there, and right here, she may push again in opposition to this legacy and cycle of battle she thought had doomed her since childhood—be the Ronin, reject Anakin’s direct legacy in Luke’s Jedi academy, and the luggage that comes with it, try and, and fail, to show her personal rebellious pupil—she may by no means actually escape it till this second of catharsis, one cast not in battle however in letting go. Anakin’s ultimate lesson is a present that Ahsoka can form herself anew, and be past the conflict that pushed them down their darkest, loneliest paths. Not a device cast in battle, however an individual who can merely be, can select to battle if wants be, however can even select to simply dwell.

Image for article titled An Elegant Weapon, For a More Civilized Age

Screenshot: Lucasfilm

Who precisely Ahsoka Tano is has lengthy been the central battle of her character arc—from the legacy of her grasp, to her exit from the Jedi Order, to who she was and what she meant to the galaxy within the age of the Empire. Now, in the end, she is free to form that definition herself, as an alternative of getting it formed for her.

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