The past three episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars have seen Ahsoka Tano wrestle with her sense of identity in a time of crisis. What is she without the Jedi Order? What is the Jedi Order in a time of war? What has become of a galaxy of beings pushed to the brink? This week, she learns another hard lesson: Sometimes, she doesn’t get to deny the fate history demands of her.
“Together Again,” the culmination of this long, strange Ahsoka journey”from the lower levels of Coruscant to the spice mines of Kessel, further still to the prison complexes of the Pyke Crime Syndicate”is essentially a tale of the hero momentarily admitting that, for better or worse, she can leave the Jedi Order behind, but not the fact that she once strode their temple hallways as one of its members. Initially, this is a gambit she does out of desperation. After spending her time alongside her new friends Trace and Rafa as their likewise desperate gambit smuggling spice exploded in their faces, Ahsoka has been holding back who she is. That includes her status, her power, even her differences in worldview when confronted with the most normal people a war-torn galaxy has to offer. It’s an attempt to not just move on from her Jedi past, but keep her new friends from being caught up in the mess inherent to that past.
But now, after a failed prison break (multiple failed breaks, to be fair) lands them all in hot water with the Pykes again, she realises she has to use her past as leverage. Outing herself as a Jedi, a Republic undercover agent no less, Ahsoka cuts a quick deal with the Pykes to try and allow Trace and Rafa to get away while leaving her to deal with the Pykes on her own.
At first, it seems like heartbreak for Trace, and vindication for Rafa’s untrusting view of the Jedi that let her family down”this secretive Jedi worming their way into their lives just so she could crack down on them further than the hardships the galaxy beset upon them already has. But they quickly realise the reason Ahsoka hid her Jedi heritage from them was that she didn’t want to see them hurt because of it. That for all the Order’s failings as an entity, there are still people like Ahsoka who represent the best of its ideals. So, one zany plan and a fistfight with a Trandoshan dock manager later, the two sisters pass up the chance Ahsoka gave them to escape in order to rescue her.
In some ways, it’s freeing for Ahsoka to be able to finally let loose in her abilities as the trio now makes their combined escapes for the final time from the Pykes. She no longer has to limit what she can do with the Force or her combat training, clearing a path for her own escape while sabotaging the Pyke’s manufacturing operations. When Trace and Rafa pick her up in their ship, she doesn’t have to hide that she’s held a gunnery position many times before, happily taking point on defending the group from chasing fighters.
But opening herself back up to that former self brings with it another complication. While planting detonators to lay the Pyke’s facility low, Ahsoka learns that the syndicate’s true master is none other than Darth Maul, operating in the shadows from the throne of Mandalore. And what she quickly realises is that, even though she’s left Anakin and Obi-Wan behind and no longer has a duty to fight this war, this is information she can’t just keep to herself. Above all, even if it means confronting the grief she faced leaving her Jedi life behind, she realises that letting her former comrades know of Maul’s plans with the Crimson Dawn is just the right thing to do.
But as she and the Martez sisters make their escape back to Coruscant, Ahsoka is confronted by the fact that she doesn’t have to make that choice herself anyway, because it’s been made for her. Ahsoka, Trace, and Rafa’s escapades have put them in the watchful scope of another interloper on Pyke territory: a disparate trio of Mandalorians. When our trio lands back at the Martez repair shop, this new trio steps forward to reveal itself as former Deathwatch, now lead by Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) and in need of help liberating their world from Darth Maul.
Bo-Katan’s request is more of an order than it is a plea. After all, she doesn’t know Ahsoka’s recent past, she doesn’t know what the Jedi Order has been up to while her world has fallen under Maul’s thrall. As far as she knows, Ahsoka is a Jedi, and what Jedi do is leap into action, saber in hands, and fight the fight raging across the galaxy. This is just what they should do, right?
Ahsoka is initially reluctant to go along with all that, of course”even as she struggles to tell Bo-Katan that she’s not the Jedi she and her fabulously caped friends are looking for. However, Rafa reminds her that Ahsoka would’ve probably found herself swept back into all this war and heroism anyway. After all, she may not be of the Order, but she is still a Jedi”in the sense that she, deep down, is we meet once again in Star Wars Rebels, now more set on that path than ever.
But for now, the continuation of that longer journey must wait. Ahsoka has a familiar fate to confront first: one we’ve all been waiting a very long time to see.