What really gets me about Ahsoka’s banishment from the Jedi Order was that it looked like it didn’t even follow their own procedures.
Anakin got angry because it was pretty clear that the council had made the decision to hand her over to the questionable mercy of the Republic court before even talking to her or trying to glean her side of the story.
But when they went into that room, before Council of Masters started speaking, it kinda looked like both Ahsoka and Anakin were expecting at the very least an interrogation if not the opportunity to explain what had actually happened.
But then Ahsoka gets put on that raised platform and they aren’t listening to a word Ahsoka’s saying.
That must have felt like a betrayal all by itself. She might have been set up flawlessly, but them not believing her wouldn’t have been that terrible if they listened to her and then not believed her. That would have allowed her to be angry only at the person who had set her up.
But this? This was so much worse.
Her face as she was banished was so wounded.
I mean I’m not sure how much Ahsoka knew about the politics happening in the background, but the fact they banished her so quickly because they were buckling under the weight of the Chancellor’s demands?
Hell, it all basically read like they didn’t even want to get to the truth, because this way they wouldn’t have to feel guilty about throwing a teenage Padawan to the wolves.
‘The evidence paints Ahsoka Tano guilty. Lets not look too closely on the things that contradict the evidence. It’s the Will of the Force.’
Oh and the fact that the Council wasn’t ‘in total agreement’ in this decision doesn’t really help (though I do hope that Obi-Wan and Plo Koon did try to argue the decision right to the last moment. Though again, their silence would have HURT).
Ah and oh yes. The way Ahsoka flinched as her braid was ripped off was worst of all.
Look at her. They banished her from her home, gave her up to a trial by ‘public opinion’ which is never a fair one and took away the symbol that ties her to them, and to Anakin, and to her very way of life.
The whole proceedings were a theater of Jedi uncomprehending cruelty.
And then there’s the way they try to invite her back.
The Jedi need to be given some lessons about apologies. Seriously.
But lets take a step back for a minute. Look at the scene. This is the sort of setting they should have been in originally. But that wouldn’t have let them take their emotional distance. That wouldn’t have had them looking at her from above like disappointed teachers washing their hands of her.
Look! Yoda and Windu and all other Jedi Council members, when you have just banished a teenager that’s supposed to be in your care and under your protection; and then found out that said teenager had nothing to do with the crime she was accused of, but still had to go through being called a murderer and a terrorist and almost being convicted and being given a death sentence (don’t think I didn’t realize where that was going before Anakin stormed into the room with Barriss); when all that has just happened to her and when a large part of it was because of your negligence and failure to protect her?
What you do is you say ‘sorry’. What you don’t do is try to paw all the blame off on the Force and try to tell her that the injustices that happened to her were her Jedi Trials.
Truly, the Jedi Order’s inability to take responsibility for their shortcomings, or even to admit that they have shortcomings is one of their biggest flaws. And probably one of the main reasons they were doomed to fall under the machinations of Palpatine.
And it was really easy to see what Ahsoka’s decision would be by her face here alone. This time it’s Ahsoka who isn’t really listening to a word they’re saying. Because they aren’t saying anything that actually means something. They’re not admitting blame. They’re trying to purge themselves of it.
And how can she trust people like this? How can she fight for people like this? How can she put her life in these peoples hands? How can she continue looking at them as the picture of what she should strive to be?
She has strength enough to leave. Even if it’s leaving the only life she’s ever known. Even if it’s breaking her heart and her Master’s. Because it’s the right thing for her.
And it is the right thing. The only thing.
And that leads me to something else. I’ve seen people commenting on ‘what if’ scenarios about how it all might have ended differently if Ahsoka had stayed. But I think that’s wrong, she didn’t seal anyone’s doom by leaving, she only ended up saving herself the same fate.
The only thing that might have saved the galaxy from Darth Vader would have been if Anakin had decided to leave the Order here too.
But even that would have been the barest shred of a chance. Because Anakin would still have continued trusting the Sith in the midst of the conspiracy.
And anyway. He didn’t leave. Ahsoka left alone, she stepped down that staircase and vanished into the light of that sunset.
Ahsoka was the symbol of hope in this show. And it’s fitting that she left it by still remaining that hope. The galaxy is doomed. Anakin will become Darth Vader. The Jedi will fall. The Sith Lord will win.
But Ahsoka lives.