It’s not a secret that The Clone Wars wouldn’t be the same without Ahsoka Tano. The Star Wars’ prequel era was greatly expanded upon when Ahsoka came into the picture. Plus, the show does an excellent job of showing just how important she is to Anakin, the Order, and the franchise in general.
She went on to have a major position within the Rebel Alliance as Fulcrum and showed up in Star Wars Rebels. Her future is ongoing as well, but that wasn’t always the case. George Lucas actually wanted to kill her off, which would’ve been devastating to say the least.
Ahsoka Tano’s ending was originally different
In season 5, Ahsoka has to deal with the toughest experience she had ever faced, followed by a hard decision. She’s framed for a bombing at the Jedi Temple and then expelled from the Jedi Order without much evidence. She decides to leave the Order to figure out what she wants in life. She’s also seen the true colors of the Order and doesn’t feel like she could be a part of it again.
But originally, Ahsoka’s path would have brought her back as Anakin’s Padawan. “This was something that in the original discussion of the episode, we were just gonna have her brought back into the Jedi and be done with it,” supervising director Dave Filoni said in 2013 when the episode aired. “But I thought we have an opportunity here to do something different.”
Not to mention if Ahsoka rejoined the Jedi, she likely would have died in Order 66, aka the Jedi Purge. But that’s also exactly what George Lucas wanted.
“I don’t think it’s a mystery that I’ve always been a bit more into the ‘Ahsoka Lives’ camp. And George has been very full-on in the ‘Ahsoka Dies’ camp,” Filoni said. “So I thought expelling her from the Jedi Order is a good move towards that end. And we stand on that bold, new frontier for her. Things have changed. She’s not the same character.”
Ahsoka’s departure allowed for her to live on as a powerful Force wielder but not really a Jedi. And with that, she went on to appear in Rebels and more.
Ahsoka’s final arc heavily impacted her and Anakin
If you watch that season 5 finale, you can see just how hard Anakin takes Ahsoka’s leaving. He’s hurt, but you can also really see how strong their bond got at that point.
“Despite their troubles in these episodes, Anakin and Ahsoka — at the end of it — I think you see also how close they’ve become,” Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka, said in a featurette in 2013. “And this is a huge arc for their relationship. They’ve become in tune with one another.”
Despite parting ways, Ahsoka’s training from Anakin will help her in the long run. But it doesn’t make it any easier.
“She has to make some really life-changing decisions,” Eckstein said. “And all of her education, all of her experience comes to a head and she has to make some choices that are tough.”
Lucas wanted to create Ahsoka to make Anakin more responsible
Despite Lucas wanting to kill off Ahsoka, he brought her on the show for a specific purpose that she ended up fulfilling.
“[With Ahsoka] I wanted to develop a character who would help Anakin settle down. He’s a wild child after [Attack of the Clones],” Lucas said in 2008 when The Clone Wars movie premiered. “He and Obi-Wan don’t get along. So we wanted to look at how Anakin and Ahsoka become friends, partners, a team.”
Their connection ranged from brother and sister to guardian and child, but they always had each other’s backs. Anakin visibly becomes more responsible as the seasons progress, though he always has his immature, reckless side hiding in the wings.
Even though Lucas wanted Ahsoka to die, there’s no denying how important she had become to the franchise and to Anakin. For now, she’s alive, and with that she carries their legacy into whatever adventures come next for her.