‘The Mandalorian’: While Ahsoka Tano and Luke Skywalker’s Decisions Were so Different, They Make Sense Within ‘Star Wars’ Canon
At the end of the first season of The Mandalorian, Star Wars fans found themselves on another quest with Mando and Baby Yoda. Din Djarin was entrusted with the baby to find his “people” aka Jedi, who would hopefully protect him from the former Empire powers who still wanted to harvest his cells. And with this new journey, The Mandalorian cast grew thanks to the addition of some animated characters brought to live-action. Ahsoka Tano was one of them, and she was also one of the most highly anticipated. And the finale brought another all-too-familiar face with Luke Skywalker.
But while some might not understand why one former Jedi would turn down Grogu while another jumped at the opportunity, these two characters’ choices fit perfectly with who they are.
Ahsoka Tano made her long-awaited live-action appearance in ‘The Mandalorian’ Season 2
There’s always going to be arguments for or against fanservice, but with The Mandalorian, Ahsoka Tano’s introduction was sort of just a natural progression of the character’s arc. But also, there was a sprinkle of that “owing” it to fans after all this time and Dave Filoni’s involvement.
Regardless, it fits, and Ahsoka is now in live-action, played by Rosario Dawson (Ashley Eckstein originated the role). And while she didn’t know Grogu during her time at the Jedi Temple, she got on really well, really fast with The Child since she was able to communicate through the Force.
Grogu interestingly was at the Jedi Temple at the same time as Ahsoka, and somehow escaped during the Jedi Purge. And while there was a lot of emotion when she met Grogu, Ahsoka refused to train him. She explained that she saw what attachment does to a Jedi, referring to Anakin Skywalker her former master. She’s also not a Jedi anymore, but Mando wouldn’t understand that.
Even though Luke Skywalker accepted Grogu’s call, Ahsoka Tano is a different kind of ‘Jedi’
When it came time for Grogu to call on another Jedi, the one that showed up in The Mandalorian Season 2, Episode 8, aka the finale, was none other than Luke Skywalker. While there was still criticism of fanservice and pandering, it’s hard to overlook the emotional pull Luke and R2-D2 have on fans. When he showed up and pulverized the Dark Troopers? Or when R2 spoke to Grogu? There were no restful watchers.
Luke swiftly took Grogu without a question, off to continue his training after all this time. Did Luke Skywalker’s decision somehow cancel out or waste Ahsoka’s choice? Absolutely not.
Ahsoka has first-hand experience with the strict Jedi Code and issues with attachment
The two of them are Jedi of completely different time periods. Ahsoka Tano was trained at the tail-end of the Jedi’s reign. She was taught in the Temple with other Padawans with the strict Jedi Code. She had a master — Anakin Skywalker, no less — who honed her skills and gave her real-life experience on the field as a Jedi. Throughout Star Wars: The Clone Wars fans see that Ahsoka struggles with the concept of attachment and the Jedi rule against love and familial bond.
Ahsoka also saw what attachments do to a Jedi in the most severe circumstances. She knew that Anakin and Padmé were more than just good friends. And then she saw her master turn to the Dark Side. She also knew that he took attachment in other ways too strongly. He never let go of her until she chose to leave for herself. And he couldn’t even lose R2-D2.
Not to mention, Ahsoka probably didn’t want to rip apart Grogu and Mando. She might have seen the same bond she and Anakin had in them and didn’t want to disrupt that. Ahsoka might have wanted Grogu to have the caregiver she was never able to say goodbye to.
Luke Skywalker didn’t have that training
With Luke, he only studied under Yoda for a short period of time on Dagobah and it was mostly skill-based. A lot of the Jedi Code was not touched on, that we see. And considering Luke is way older than any Padawan would ever have been in the Jedi Temple days, it’s safe to say that he’d forgo the Code anyway. He grew up with his aunt and uncle and harnessed a lot of those feelings that come with attachment because of it. This is shown when they die and he experiences grief, like any normal person would.
His emotions are a little less up to “Jedi” standards, too, when it comes to his father because of this lack of training. You know, “Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” In The Empire Strikes Back Luke Skywalker experiences a lot of hate, which he then gets under control by the time Return of the Jedi comes around.
Luke had his own attachements, whether in canon or out
All that is to say, Luke doesn’t have the strict Jedi training with years of following the Code that Ahsoka did. She had to remove herself from a situation because of the bureaucracy, the Jedi Council, and the Code.
As for attachment, again Luke wouldn’t have seen anything wrong with Grogu’s bond with Mando because of his previous ones with his family, especially Leia, Han, and others. And that’s common in this character; even through Legends, which isn’t canon anymore, Luke did go on to have a wife (Mara Jade) and kids. So, it’s not that crazy to think that he’d take on a child or student who also has a strong bond with someone. Look what happened with Ben Solo? Although, we know that didn’t end well…
It was interesting to see these two, powerful Force wielders choose different paths with Grogu, but in the end, it coincided with both of their arcs.