Please be aware that spoilers for “Twilight of the Apprentice” follow!
So the big question, obviously, is what really happened to Ahsoka. Like many people, I was hoping the most fitting end for her would be at Vader’s blade, but upon further reflection and re-watching, I think I genuinely love this ending. To summarize, let’s just go over those final moments. As soon as those Temple Doors closed and Kanan and Ezra got away, Vader and Ahsoka briefly resumed their confrontation. Words were possibly spoken, ultimatums issued, but whatever it was, it was extremely brief, as the Temple exploded almost immediately. Whatever happened in that Temple for those brief seconds is known only to Vader and Ahsoka, and obviously Dave Filoni. But Filoni did indicate in the IGN interview that he would like to see it play out in some way, shape, or form, probably not in the near future and almost certainly not on Star Wars Rebels:
I have already been looking for ways to – in whatever form – play out what happens once that door closes. I just think it’s too compelling and too interesting, and while it might not be something for Ezra’s story, or Kanan’s, it would be interesting down the line if I got to show everybody what happens once that temple closes. I think what we’ve created is an interesting point in Star Wars history and time, and time will tell if we ever actually get to see that.
But what actually happened to her? To me, simply saying “she lived” or “she died” is far too simplistic an answer - not with the amount of imagery, symbolism, and foreshadowing present in just this one episode. I believe something truly monumental happened to her, perhaps spiritually more than physically. The last we saw her, she walking into the Temple seemingly unharmed. This is also an amazing parallel, or contrast, to her final episode inThe Clone Wars where she walking away from a Jedi Temple - here she is walking into a Sith one. I don’t think Ahsoka’s in any danger of turning to the Dark Side - this episode showed that while she may dance on the side of the darkness, she’d never fully embrace it, and remain firmly on the Light Side (even though she’s not a Jedi), although her decision to venture in may be her continuing in her quest for knowledge (something she mentioned numerously this episode). Or maybe she died and that’s her Force ghost or spirit, or maybe she’s leaving the physical world and transcending into the Netherworld of the Force.
Filoni’s made no secret of the fact that he’s a fan of Tolkien, and mentioned him and his works as a direct influence on some of the characters in The Clone Wars. Ahsoka, for example. A wise warrior clad in Grey who went into the subterranean bowels of the Earth, and sacrificed herself in a battle with the enemy in order to let her friends escape. Sound familiar? Of course, Gandalf returned clad in White - older, wiser, and more experienced, and the prospect of a similar “Ahsoka the White” returning later on seems so exciting. I’d love to see Ahsoka at one point - perhaps elderly, maybe even as a Force ghost - encountering with and telling Luke and/or Leia about the good man their Father was, what a good Master he was, and how they fought together in the Clone Wars. And of course, about Padme. A scene like this would ideally take place after the events of Return of the Jedi, and before The Force Awakens, to minimize canon issues, but here I am getting ahead of myself.
Regardless, alive, dead, or maybe somewhere in between, it definitely feels like Ahsoka’s journey has reached an ending, at least for now. Ahsoka, like Maul before her, is the Shadow on Malachor, and what exactly she encounters here in the darkness, or if she ever makes her way out, is a story for another time - but I have a feeling it’s a story that could have massive ramifications for the Galaxy Far, Far, Away.
Vader, meanwhile, absolutely got his ass kicked. We see him hobbling out of the Temple with an even more damaged helmet, just dragging his body along, looking completely dejected. Whether these injuries were wrought upon by Ahsoka, the explosion, or perhaps a combination of both, we won’t know any time soon, but it seems pretty clear that even the most evil Dark Lord of the Sith was shaken by this experience. As he walks across, a single owl-like creature, known as the Convor, flies over him into the distance. Which brings me to my final point of discussion.
“In some ways, I could say that it’s a messenger, it’s an observer. It is definitely something. And I would suggest – I would rather have fans debate – but I would suggest to say that whatever that thing is an avatar of has actually appeared in the animated Star Wars universe before.
Formerly of course, this creature appeared at the end of The Mystery of Chopper Base, silently watching over Ezra as a final, ominous shot of foreboding. The owl is a symbolic creature in numerous cultures, and it definitely has some sort of importance in these episodes. Filoni’s remark that it has previously appeared in the animated Star Wars universe gives rise to a whole crop of fan theories. The leading one, and the one which I most agree with, is that the owl is the “avatar” of the Daughter from the Mortis Trilogy arc of The Clone Wars. She is a character who can obviously shapeshift, and you have to remember that Ahsoka actually died on Mortis - it was only the Daughter’s life energy that restored her. And Anakin, if you remember acted as a conduit in this ritual. Coupled with the fact that the convor shares the same colours as the Daughter, and because it flew right over Vader, really leads me to believe that yes, this truly is the Daughter, in a new form. Acting as a silent guardian, watching over these two desperate souls from beyond the mortal realm. It’s the symbolism and mythology in these small animated programmes that vastly changes the way we look at the Star Wars universe, and it makes me appreciate the body of work that was once Lucas’, and is now the property of many other creative minds like Filoni putting their heart and soul to make the most thoughtful, and thought-provoking, product possible. Just mind-boggling.
Edit: If you liked this analysis, consider reading my even longer in-depth discussion on the rest of the episode! Link is right here. Thanks for reading!