Star Wars

How Grief, Loss and Trauma Shape The Women Of Ahsoka

Sabine, Hera, Ahsoka

Grief and loss are themes that occur in Star Wars. It has from the beginning. Luke Skywalker experiences the deaths of his uncle and aunt, Owen and Beru Lars, in A New Hope, along with his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi around the same time. His father, Anakin Skywalker, dies a few years later after he deserts the Dark Side to save his son from Emperor Palpatine. The same occurs to the women of the Ahsoka series. Ahsoka Tano has suffered the most among the three leads of her titular show. She lost her master and everyone she knew to Clone Wars or the Empire. Hera Syndulla lost her mother after the war. Kanan, the father of her son, dies protecting their family from a fireball. Meanwhile, Sabine Wren struggles after losing her friend Ezra Bridger and has spent almost a decade looking for him.

In this post, we’ll explore how Hera, Sabine and Ahsoka were shaped by their loss, the grief and the pain.

The Child Wartime Soldier – Ahsoka Tano

[Credit: Reddit]

Skywalker’s Padawan – Grief and Loss Of A Friend

No one knows grief and loss quite like Ahsoka Tano. She was assigned to Anakin Skywalker as a padawan when she was 14. Over the two and a half years since she was his student, she became friendly with many people, including Padmé Amidala, Anakin’s wife, who she saw as a big sister. She witnessed many things between the couple but promised the senator to keep it to herself, her master, not knowing about it until she walked away from the Jedi Order.

Towards the war’s end, Ahsoka’s views on the Jedi changed after her best friend, Barriss Offee, framed her for terrorism. The Jedi instantly withdrew their support for her, expelling Skywalker’s apprentice. Anakin, frantic to save her, recruits Padmé as his student’s legal defence. At the same time, he reluctantly allies with Asajj Ventress, who was also implicated as Tano’s accomplice as her lightsabers were found at the crime scene.

Freed But Traumatised

After the situation is revealed to have been Barriss’ doing, Ahsoka is freed, but her belief in the Jedi Order is shaken. She leaves everything she knows behind, including Anakin. They reunite a while later when she is given a squadron of her own, made up of 501st soldiers loyal to only her. She heads to Mandalore to stop Darth Maul. Palpatine activates Order 66 upon Skywalker’s fall, and Ahsoka senses Anakin’s fall to the dark side, but she has bigger things to worry about. Maul escapes, and Captain Rex is under the effects of Order 66.

Ahsoka frees him from control by removing the biochip from his head. The friends then go on the run, faking their deaths.

The Loss Of Padmé And Bail Organa’s Rallying Call

Ahsoka had a close friendship with Padmé and attended her funeral on Naboo. It was crushing for her to lose two of her dearest friends in such a short amount of time. On Naboo, Bail Organa rallied Ahsoka to his cause to stop the Emperor. However, she declined, not wanting to take him up on the offer as she had already fought in one war. Also, she was mourning the loss of her two closest friends, as she didn’t know if Anakin was alive or dead. She only knew he’d fallen to the dark side.

A few years later, Ahsoka saves a farming village from an Inquisitor, and Bail approaches her again. This time, however, she agrees to join his cause, making her a founding member of the early rebellion.

The loss of Padmé and Anakin shook Ahsoka to the point she shut herself off as she didn’t want to face her past. This is why she initially didn’t take Bail up on his offer.

The Discovery

Upon Ahsoka’s time with the Ghost crew and Phoenix Squadron, she discovered that Darth Vader was Anakin. This information devastated her and prompted her to go looking for answers. On Malachor, Ahsoka faces off against her former master, breaking open his helmet, getting a firm confirmation that Skywalker and the Sith Lord she was fighting were the same person.

Her fate was unknown until Ezra pulled her back through the World Between Worlds, saving her life. She later returned to her time before reemerging to help Sabine find Ezra.

Different Attitudes Per Live-Action Appearances

Losing Anakin was probably the most significant blow for Ahsoka. When we catch up with her in The Mandalorian and the Book of Boba Fett, she has two very different views in each appearance.

During her Mando appearance, she refuses to train Grogu, fearing what will become of him since he is attached to his adoptive father, Din Djarin. However, in the Book of Boba Fett, she is more upbeat, almost teasing Luke when she says he reminds her of his father.

It is possible that Ahsoka realised after meeting Luke that Anakin had been redeemed and that it wasn’t on her to save his soul.

The Loss Of Eleni And Kanan – Hera Syndulla

[Credit: Wiki of Nerds]

Hera Syndulla is no stranger to loss and grief. After the Clone Wars, her mother, Eleni, died, leaving her father, Cham, widowed. Her mother’s death prompted the estrangement between Hera and Cham.

Also, Cham disagreed with Hera’s choice of career to be a pilot. During an argument with Hera, he even admitted that he only cared about Ryloth. However, the estranged father and daughter later made up. It would be a vital relationship as Hera would need her father’s support when she gave birth to her son, Jacen.

The Death Of Kanan

Hera’s grief over her mother would return when her partner, Kanan, was killed in battle. Sometime after this, she would learn she was pregnant with Jacen. Kanan’s death hit their little family hard, especially Ezra, who was tempted to pull his master through the World Between Worlds as he did with Ahsoka. However, he chose not to and had to let Kanan die.

However, Jacen is the only piece of Kanan she has left with Hera. If he turns out to be Force Sensitive, that would be hard on her. She has little experience training someone with the Force, which was always left to Kanan or Ahsoka whenever she was around.

A Friend Goes Missing – Sabine Wren

[Credit: Den of Geek]

Sabine felt Kanan’s death as the rest of the Spectres did. She mourned him. However, she had a pressing issue; Ezra’s disappearance, a different type of loss. For almost a decade, she would search for him, which appears to have caused tension with Ahsoka, who prioritised Thrawn over Ezra. This is a theory based on the footage we’ve gotten so far.

For a decade, Sabine has failed countless times to find her missing friend and bring him home. Her journey in Ahsoka will be no different.

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About Author

C.J. Hawkings has written for the now-defunct Entertainment website, Movie Pilot and the still functioning WhatCulture and ScreenRant. She prides herself as a truth seeker and will do (almost) anything for coffee or Coke No Sugar. Oh! And food!

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