How Ahsoka Played a Part In Anakin Skywalker’s Turn To The Dark Side
The story of Anakin Skywalker is a tragic one. He went from being a slave on Tatooine to joining the Jedi. His passionate emotions, especially those leaning towards hate and fear, were too much, and he steers closer and closer to the Dark Side. As we all know, Palpatine seduces Anakin, and he helps destroy the Jedi Order, becoming Darth Vader.
It’s a long journey to this point, one that might seem inevitable to some. But it was egged on little by little thanks to things Anakin faced in his life. One moment that left an impact and leads to further disillusionment with the Jedi is his Padawan, Ahsoka Tano.
Ahsoka Tano became one of Anakin’s greatest friends and most-trusted partners
As a quick backstory, Ahsoka Tano was introduced in The Clone Wars movie that jumpstarted the series in 2008. The Jedi Council assigned her to Anakin as his Padawan, and even though it got off on a rocky start, he realized that she’s a little like him.
He tells her that she would never have made it as Obi-Wan’s Padawan, but Anakin is the perfect one for the job of training her. Throughout the series, they form a strong bond, one rivaling Anakin and Kenobi’s.
The Jedi Council admitted little responsibility in wrongly accusing her of murder
In Season 5, Ahsoka is falsely accused of bombing a Jedi temple and killing Clone troopers. What’s worse, though, is that the Jedi believe she did it. There’s staged video evidence that she killed the bomber. However, she was adamant that she didn’t use the Force. Again, no one other than Anakin believed her innocence.
He clears her name at trial, bringing Barriss Offee to confess. The former Padawan admits she did it because the Jedi were straying from the path of Light, leaving Ahsoka to go free. But Ahsoka doesn’t hear apologies from many Masters on the Council. They instead commend her for showing “great strength” and “true signs of a Jedi Knight.”
Mace Windu made the worst statement, though. “This was actually your great trial. Now we see that” he told Ahsoka when they tried to welcome her back. “We understand that the Force works in mysterious ways. And because of this trial, you have become a greater Jedi than you would have otherwise.”
Needless to say, she left the Jedi Order.
Anakin is hurt that she leaves and also admits he would too
Anakin runs after her and tries to persuade her to stay. But she reasons that if the Council didn’t believe in her, how can she do that for herself? She seemed annoyed by Windu’s statement as well, so it’s probably a mixture of not being believed about and the way the Jedi Order treated the situation.
“I understand,” Anakin tells her before she goes. “More than you realize, I understand wanting to walk away from the Order.” He’s not as conflicted in the show as he is by Episode III, but those feelings are there. He has to hide his marriage to Padmé, Ahsoka was just dragged through the mud, and now she’s leaving him
Ahsoka’s “I know” is full of meaning because she genuinely does know him so well that she senses that conflict rising in him. And although she doesn’t explicitly know about his marriage to Padmé, she probably senses there’s a relationship there that he struggles with.
You can see Anakin’s disillusionment further in ‘Revenge of the Sith’
Going forward to Episode III, and it all comes together to create a Sith. The Clone Wars came after the prequels, so, unfortunately, we don’t hear of Ahsoka or her impact on Anakin in Revenge of the Sith. However, you can already see how frustrated he’s become with the Jedi and their role within the Republic. So it’s all too easy to link his growing irritation back to Ahsoka’s wrongful conviction that led to her leaving.
Also, the Council gave him a Padawan and then added him to their leadership in Episode III, but never granted him the ranking of Master. He was furious about this, which created yet another thing to add to the list of ways the Jedi have wronged him.
This makes it too simple for Anakin to fall for Palpatine’s scheme. Anakin might have been doomed to fall from the start, but Ahsoka’s situation and his doubts created the perfect storm for him to destroy the Jedi.