September 27, 2023



Anakin Skywalker’s Unexpected Return in “Ahsoka” Explored Through the Enigmatic World Between Worlds

Anakin Skywalker’s Unexpected Return in “Ahsoka” Explored Through the Enigmatic World Between Worlds

If you find yourself a bit perplexed by certain aspects of “Ahsoka,” you’re not alone. The show faces the challenging task of being both a sequel, catering to longtime fans of the Star Wars animated series (specifically The Clone Wars and Rebels), and an entry point for more casual viewers who may have only watched the films and live-action Disney+ series. If you’re curious about what you should know before diving into “Ahsoka,” we’ve got you covered right here.

So far, over the course of its eight-episode run, “Ahsoka” has managed this balancing act reasonably well. The series includes numerous references to characters from the animated universe, with frequent mentions of a hero named Ezra and a villain named Thrawn. However, these references can generally be deciphered with a bit of context.

However, this approach has meant that a significant portion of the early episodes has focused on setting up the story, developing characters, and building situations that will likely pay off later. In Episode 4, titled “Fallen Jedi,” this setup started to bear fruit with the most action-packed episode to date. While there was still substantial character development and action, the highlight of the episode occurred when Ahsoka Tano encountered Baylan Skoll (played by Ray Stevenson), another former Jedi who appears to be her mirror image in many ways. The two engaged in an intense lightsaber battle, with Baylan determined to best Ahsoka and persuade her Padawan, Sabine (portrayed by Natasha Liu Bordizzo), to share the map with Ezra and Thrawn (you can learn more about Thrawn from various Star Wars books centred on his character).

At this point in the story, Skoll clearly surpasses Ahsoka in power and manages to push her to the edge of a cliff, seemingly sending her over. For a moment, it appeared that Ahsoka might meet her demise halfway through her own show. But that wasn’t the case. By the episode’s conclusion, the titular character woke up in an unfamiliar live-action setting, greeted by a very familiar voice saying, “Hey Snips.” She turned and beheld her former master, the very much alive Anakin Skywalker.

For die-hard Star Wars fans, this is a sight to behold. Yet, it raises questions about where exactly we are and what is unfolding before us.

The World Between Worlds is a relatively recent addition to the extensive and enduring Star Wars saga, debuting in the 2018 episode of Star Wars Rebels titled “A World Between Worlds.” In essence, the World Between Worlds is a dimension that exists beyond the constraints of both space and time. In this particular Rebels episode, we witness Ezra Bridger rescuing Ahsoka Tano from her dire predicament, plucking her from a moment when she was locked in a life-and-death duel with Darth Vader and transporting her into this enigmatic realm.

Upon first glance, the World Between Worlds might give the impression of an intermediary afterlife realm, owing to its ethereal nature and the radiant energy emanating from Ahsoka’s presence within it. However, it’s important to clarify that this place is indeed the World Between Worlds. Remarkably, it appears that Anakin Skywalker, portrayed by Hayden Christensen, played a role in bringing Ahsoka to this extraordinary realm, effectively saving her from what would have been a seemingly fatal fall following her duel with Baylan.

To draw a parallel, one could liken the World Between Worlds to a fusion of Marvel’s Ancestral Plane, as depicted in Black Panther, and the Time Variance Authority (TVA) from the Loki series, existing as a dimension detached from the constraints of time as we know it.

Characterizing Anakin as “alive” might be a bit of a stretch, but it’s evident that this particular rendition of Anakin exists in some form, and he has not vanished into oblivion permanently. In some manner, Anakin has made a return.

We can glean from the conclusion of Return of the Jedi that following Darth Vader’s redemption and his pivotal act of defeating Emperor Palpatine, he emerged as a Force Ghost. Notably, in subsequent revisions of the film, creator George Lucas chose to depict Anakin in the form of actor Hayden Christensen, a deliberate choice with specific significance. Lucas elucidated this concept in a 2005 interview with Moviefone, explaining that the idea behind this representation was that one’s inner essence would revert to the point where they had turned to the dark side, prior to their physical transformation and demise. Consequently, when one re-embraces the light side of the Force, it is their original persona that endures, rather than the Darth Vader persona.

However, it’s important to acknowledge that Force Ghosts, as demonstrated in that pivotal scene in Return of the Jedi, do not necessarily require a specialized, out-of-temporal realm like the World Between Worlds for their appearances. What transpires in the World Between Worlds appears to be distinct from the conventional manifestation of a Force Ghost; it is something different altogether.

One plausible interpretation is that this manifestation of Anakin signifies his unique method of saving Ahsoka and establishing a connection with her. Another conceivable notion is that this Anakin originates from an alternate timeline, one in which he never succumbed to the allure of Palpatine and remained firmly on the path of the light side, diverging from the familiar narrative we know.

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Jhon Steve