How Star Wars: Ahsoka furthers Anakin Skywalker’s redemption arc

Image: Star Wars: Ahsoka/Disney+
Image: Star Wars: Ahsoka/Disney+ /

Hayden Christensen made a much-anticipated return as Anakin Skywalker in the Disney+ series Star Wars: Ahsoka, appearing as vision to guide his pupil Ahsoka Tano and later as a Force ghost watching over her in the season finale.

Before this, the last time we saw Anakin on the big screen was in 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, where gave into his hated and fear and became Darth Vader. In the original Star Wars movies, the last thing Darth Vader does is save his son Luke from Emperor Palpatine at the end of Return of the Jedi. Darth Vader also turns up as a Force ghost at the end of the movie, then played by Sabastian Shaw.

In one of the more controversial changes made in the 2004 DVD release release of Return of the Jedi, George Lucas swapped out Shaw for Christensen in the final Force ghost scene. That was not well received by fans back then. In fact, Christensen in general wasn’t well received; it was pretty common to criticize his acting. But years have passed. Christensen is now adored by the fandom and greeted with thunderous applause at every franchise-related event.

Despite the undeservedly harsh criticism he received for the prequel movies, Christensen has successfully built a legacy within the Star Wars franchise. With every appearance he has made since Revenge of the Sith, he’s brought new layers of complexity to his character. Christensen has definitely had a redemption arc in the eyes of fans. His appearance in the Ahsoka season 1 finale cemented that redemption.

“My master was always on my side”

Early on in the finale, Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordzizo) apologizes to Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) for choosing to go after Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi) instead of destroying the map to Peridea. She is surprised to see that her master is not angry about it.

In a sincere moment of bonding, Ahsoka admits that she has made her share of difficult choices over the years. But the one person who always supported her was her master. “He always stood by me,” Ahsoka says, “even when no one else did.”

Fans first saw the relationship between Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano develop on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. That show was created by Dave Filoni, the same guy behind Ahsoka. On The Clone Wars, Anakin never stopped believing in Ahsoka’s innocence when she was falsely accused by the Jedi Council. Even when she left the Order after being exonerated, Anakin told her he understood.

On this new show, Ahsoka is paying forward Anakin’s generosity by extending it to Sabine. This scene also reminds viewers of who Anakin Skywalker was before he was corrupted. He paid with his life for what he later became, but as his redemption arc continues, he is remembered for the good that he left behind.

“There will be no negotiating with the apprentice of Anakin Skywalker”

When Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) learns who Ahsoka’s master was, it wipes the ever-present smirk from his face. Thrawn and Anakin have a long history that begins before the rise of the Empire. Their first meeting is chronicled in Timothy Zahn’s novel Star Wars: Thrawn Alliances, where Thrawn helps Anakin search for a missing Padme on the outer rim planet of Batuu. They also teamed up to destroy a Separatist factory that was manufacturing lightsaber-resistant droids and (suspiciously) clone trooper suits.

They later teamed again years later, when Thrawn was an Admiral of the Galactic Empire and Anakin was Darth Vader. Throughout this mission, Thrawn hints that he knows who Vader is beneath the black helmet. It can be assumed that Thrawn is well aware of Anakin Skywalker’s reputation, both as a Jedi knight and a Sith lord.

In the Ahsoka season finale, when Ahsoka, Sabine and Ezra charge toward Thrawn’s hideout on Peridea, Thrawn orders his minions to “rain hellfire upon them,” as there would be “no negotiating with the apprentice of Anakin Skywalker.” Thrawn knew Anakin had turned to the dark side, but to him, it’s clear that Ahsoka represents the good parts of his legacy.

Star Wars: Ahsoka final scene

The finale ends with Ahsoka spotting Anakin’s Force ghost in the distance, wrapped in his Jedi robes, keeping an eye on his ‘Snips’.

This mirrors the closing scene of Obi-Wan Kenobi, where Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan sees his master Qui-Gon Jinn’s Force ghost (Liam Neeson) on Tatooine. This could mean that with his dark past behind him, Anakin would go on to share a master-apprentice relationship with Ahsoka as a Force ghost similar to what Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon always had.

While fans are confused and even angry about Force ghost Anakin showing up for his pupil but never for his son and daughter in the Star Wars sequels, this is a sign that we might still see more of Anakin’s redemption arc as Disney makes more Star Wars TV shows, particularly if Dave Filoni is involved.

Next. The Ahsoka finale is everything wrong and right about Disney Star Wars. dark

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