Does Ahsoka Know That Anakin Turned To The Dark Side in ‘Star Wars’?
There was a lot to process in Episode 11 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Season 7 is shortened and has a lot to get through to close out the series, but “Shattered” really did a number on its fans. It finally showed Order 66 from a different perspective than what audiences saw in Revenge of the Sith when it came out in 2005. With that moment came Ahsoka’s experience with Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side, even though she wouldn’t actually come to find out about it until more than a decade later. Does Ahsoka really not know her former master became a Sith Lord? It’s complicated. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7, through Episode 11].
Maul told Ahsoka Anakin was groomed to be Darth Sidious’ apprentice and she didn’t believe him
When Ahsoka finally came face-to-face with Maul in their massive battle on Mandalore, he actually came forward with an open proposal to Ahsoka. He was telling the truth and expressed that something bad was on the horizon and if they worked together, they could take on Darth Sidious. Even though Ahsoka didn’t know about the impending Jedi Purge, she could feel the growing Dark Side and knew her odds were possibly better if she made an alliance with Maul.
However, she asked him why he wanted to bring Anakin Skywalker to Mandalore in the first place. Maul shared that Anakin was groomed by Sidious to become his next apprentice and destroy the Jedi. Ahsoka absolutely could not believe that her former master would turn like that, and fought Maul instead of joining him.
Now, all of The Clone Wars has lead up to Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side. And there are clear moments when Anakin’s darker tendencies come out. It’s very gradual, but so obvious when you know where his story ends. However, those that love him just can’t fathom this man ever doing such a thing. All three of his closest people — Ahsoka, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Padmé — deny that possibility. And Anakin is a good guy and one of the best Jedi at the time. He was just so warped and beaten down that his intense emotions betrayed him and Palpatine was able to twist his mind and logic.
Ahsoka has a Force vision of Anakin’s betrayal but doesn’t specifically know what happened
Even though the audience is going, ‘Come on, he killed a village of men, women, and children too! He’s, of course, capable of such a thing,’ the three that loved him most had so much faith in him, the Dark Side wasn’t even an option for him.
But, alas, it is what happened. And when Ahsoka is on the ship in hyperspace on her way to deliver Maul to the Jedi on Coruscant, she feels Anakin’s betrayal and fall. The audience hears Mace Windu’s attack on Sidious and Anakin intervening. The actual scene from Revenge of the Sith plays over Ahsoka, as she buckles under the horror. However, it’s unclear how much she can hear or knows. She knows Anakin’s in trouble, but she doesn’t know why or what happened. Then Order 66 is executed and she has her own problems to deal with.
The season finale, which premieres on Star Wars Day, Monday May the fourth, will show how Ahsoka and Rex escape a ship full of clones armed to kill Ahsoka. Maul is presumably the one cutting through the door into the room they’re in, but the episode is basically a mystery since it’s touching on parts of the narrative no one knows the end to.
Years later, Ahsoka doesn’t actually know Anakin turned into Darth Vader until she sees for herself
In the Ahsoka novel, which takes place one year after Revenge of the Sith, Ahsoka cuts herself off from the Force, and when she does tap into it again, the Force connection she shared with Anakin is gone. She takes this to mean he’s dead, and never entertains the idea that he turned into Darth Vader, Sidious’ new apprentice like Maul said he would.
When audiences meet up with Ahsoka again on-screen, it’s in Season 2 of Star Wars Rebels. This is 15 years later, and Ahsoka is now a Rebel spy and creator of Fulcrum (a name for a sector of spies, which Cassian Andor belonged to). When Ezra asks about her former master, Ahsoka sadly talks about Anakin. She says nothing but good things, but it’s obvious that she thinks he died in Order 66.
She has a vision where Anakin accusingly says she left him when he needed her. He then asks her if she knows what he’s become, with Darth Vader’s breathing in the background. It’s this scene that truly shows how much she’s repressing the fact that Anakin turned into Darth Vader. Between Maul’s vision and what she feels in the Force, Ahsoka is in denial. When she finally duels Vader, she reveals that she was starting to think the two were one person, but still denies it. However, when she cuts Vader’s mask and Anakin’s voice comes through, the horrible truth is confirmed for Ahsoka.
It’s a tragic part of Ahsoka’s history, but so is Anakin’s story. But what’s Star Wars without a dramatic identity reveal, right?