Just because Rey heard Ahsoka Tano’s voice mixed in with a bunch of dead Jedi in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, it doesn’t necessarily mean she’s dead. That’s the implication the character’s co-creator Dave Filoni gave Gizmodo when we spoke to him this week.
To recap, right before Rey defeats Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker, she reaches out with the Force and hears the voices of several Jedi. She hears Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu, Luminara Unduli, Aayla Secura, Yoda, Adi Gallia, Kanun Jarrus, and Qui-Gon Jinn. All of whom are dead. She also hears Ahsoka Tano, a character who, as far as we know, never became an actual Jedi, and whose fate has yet to be revealed in a Star Wars story. Many fans believed her inclusion was proof that the former apprentice of Anakin Skywalker was now dead.
“I have to wonder with Star Wars fans,” Filoni said. “They seem to watch the movies but they don’t take all the lessons. They deal a lot in absolutes, which is very much a Sith thing. I remember in The Empire Strikes Back Luke speaking out through the force to Leia. Vader also does this at the end of Empire Strikes Back. There’s no absoluteness that these people are dead. I mean, some of them we know are dead.”
All of them, actually. All except Ahsoka. Thankfully, Filoni still has many more Ahsoka stories to tell, the latest of which will unfold in Star Wars: The Clone Wars when it returns on Disney+ starting this Friday. From there, eventually, most fans expect he’ll continue her story picking up after Star Wars Rebels as well, where she and Sabine Wren go off and search for Ezra Bridger. Filoni wouldn’t confirm that’s happening (“Boy, would that be a scoop, huh?” he joked) but he did talk about The Rise of Skywalker moment in terms of “what I’m doing with the character.”
“It doesn’t really have any big implications to what I’m doing with the character, to be honest,” he said of the moment in the film. “I just thought it was a really fun thing. I thought J.J. [Abrams]’s instinct to be so inclusive with all these various elements of Star Wars and characters [was great]. And I thought it would be a great thing for the actors involved to be a part of something that was just really this celebrating moment of the Star Wars saga. So I didn’t think of it in a literal story [way]. The film, to me, is like a different area.”
He admitted to being surprised by the fan reaction and said the reaction made him think even more seriously about its implications. (Previously, he commented on it with the below image)
“I always take from [fan reactions] that ‘Wow, they really care about this character,’” Filoni said. “They want to know the ins and the outs and everything. And so I take it with a real grain of respect because, well, we’ve got to figure all these things out and how it works. And it is interesting that the voice is there. What does that mean?”
Of course, Filoni didn’t say what it means, but he did again hint that he’s doing more with the character.
“It didn’t really affect what I’m doing especially since I’m before it,” he said. Which could mean, hypothetically, Ahsoka and Sabine’s story during the sequel trilogy, but more than likely means Ahsoka’s story during The Clone Wars. “So when we get to that point [after The Rise of Skywalker] or if we’d ever reach that point again, I don’t know. I’m in this other timeline. I’m in a couple right now. I just honestly love that people ask about the character. To take it from where we did in 2008 to now is pretty exciting.”
It is. And we’ll see the first pieces of it when Filoni brings back Star Wars: The Clone Wars starting Friday on Disney+. We’ll have more from our interview with Filoni in the coming days.