The Rebels Season 2 finale delivered some of the most dramatic moments of the series so far. In a previous article, we went through the episode and discussed the implications it has for some of our favorite characters. But the real question is: what really happened to Ahsoka at the end of the episode?
Keep reading after the break to read the most circulated theories so far.
Last time we saw Ahsoka Tano she prevented Vader from getting the Sith holocron and decided to stay with him inside the temple while it was collapsing. She tells Anakin (Vader) that this time she won't leave him, Vader answers to that with an ominous "then you will die here." But did she? In the aftermath of the battle we get to see Ezra taking his first steps towards the dark side, Kanan is completely blind, Maul and Vader escaping (in separate ships). But we don't clearly see Ahsoka, we just see a cave under the temple's remains with an image that appears to be her. So, what does this mean to the character? It seems that those involved in the show are trying to push the phrase what just happened? in social media to describe the season finale. which leads us to believe that they have left an open door for the character to make a comeback. but in what condition?
Take a look at the images below. It is (almost) for sure that that is Ahsoka down there. But this doesn't mean that she is necessarily alive. Let's explore the possibilities:
#1 She survived the destruction of the temple, escaped through the cave but died afterwards and turned into a force ghost.
Ahsoka and Vader were still fighting when the temple collapsed. Vader needs to kill her because she represents his past, the live (as a Jedi) he destroyed. So he either kills her or had to stop fighting so he can escape the temple alive.
We know Vader escapes and leaves the planet. We could asume that Ahsoka escaped through that cave. But, what if she is badly hurt? what if Vader wounded her before escaping. Or even worse, what if she helped him escape (thinking, or even foreseeing, that Anaking will prevail over Vader in the end) and gets mortally wounded in the process? let's say she crawls down that cave, and in her final moments she sees Yoda who guides her into becoming a force ghost (or maybe she already got the training from him). Maybe what we see in the scene above is just her force ghost. The only remaining question would be: why is she walking towards the temple? That might just be Filoni's way to keep us wondering about her final fate until he gives us the answer (hopefully sooner than later).
It would be interesting to see her appearing to Ezra or Kanan as a force ghost and telling them this story on how she became one with the force.
Note: This theory also works even if she died in the temple fighting Vader.
#2 She didn't survive the destruction of temple, Neither she turned into a force ghost.
For all we know, showing us the cave under the rubble was just Dave Filoni's way to end the character as she always lived, with hope. It will keep us wondering for ever and ever about her fate. But the truth is, she died. She didn't have the training that allows her to come back as a force ghost. Yoda didn't appear in her final moments to guide her, and just like that, she is gone. Also, keep this in mind: Rebels is mostly a kids' show. So killing such a beloved character in an explicit way would have shocked and angered many young fans and their parents. Remember, This is Rebels we are talking about, not The Clone Wars.
So what is that image we see above? it could be her spirit passing. Just a symbolism to show us that she become one with the force (and to confuse us too).
Update: This theory doesn't make much sense if we consider that Filoni had said that all our questions will be answered. So is she is dead and doesn't come back as a force ghost, then who will explain her fate to us?
#3 She survived the destruction of temple, escaped through the cave but decides not to get involved in the war anymore
It is a big possibility, She has seen and suffered too much. This theory would make even more sense if somehow, she isn't able to fight any more. If she got wounded in a way that she is no longer useful to the rebellion. Or if her emotions and closeness to Anakin/Vader had her confused. She clearly feels responsible for what happened to Anakin (more on that later). After all, she is walking away, just like she did at the end of The Clone Wars (the TV show).
Leaving Ahsoka's apparent end to our imagination makes this a big possibility. Some fans wanted her to live after confronting her Vader. Others think that the only way to bring the character full circle is for her to die in the hands of her former master. But the character came full circle just by confronting him. She really didn't need to die to finalize her journey. So, if we never hear anything about the character ever again, we could have some solace in the fact that her death wasn't certain, and that she might have decided to step away from the fight.
Update: Although her fate has been left uncertain for now, Dave Filoni has said that all will be clarified and answered. So if she actually walked away from the fight one more time, she might return again to it.
#4 She is alive, but she feels like she is a liability for the rebellion because of her ties to Anakin/Vader
If she survived and what we actually saw is her in that temple entrance/cave, then she might feel like she failed the rebellion. She was the only one capable of destroying Vader, but she didn't, and she probably won't. In her eyes, her emotions and unwillingness to kill the dark lord of the Sith will endanger the Rebellion and her friends. We also have to consider that Vader will hunt her. He will sense that she survived and will stop at nothing to destroy the last reminder of his live as a Jedi, and he will kill all her friends in the process. So the only way to prevent this is to stay away from them, to have them believe she died in Malachor.
#5 She is alive, but she goes crazy and can't fight anymore
Ok, she survived Vader and the destruction of the temple, but, what does this mean to her?
If she has this inner conflicts and remains inside a Sith temple, it could literally drive her crazy. All that knowledge and dark power emanating from the temple could destroy her sanity. She might even become obsess with defeating Vader or the past and how she failed Anakin. So the next time we see her, she might be unrecognizable, she might just be a shadow of the padawan we once knew.
#6 She survived, but we won't be seeing her for a while until she is healed and ready to face Vader again.
Poor Ahsoka went through a lot in this season finale. If she is alive, she might need to pull back, heal and get more knowledge/training before she confronts Vader again. Doing it on her own wouldn't be out of character. She has walked away from the fight before, just to come back stronger and when she was needed.
Seen her walking towards the temple could symbolize that she wants to explore it to find any knowledge she could use to defeat Vader. Defeating Vader will become her purpose in life. Maybe even her obsession. After all, as she said it herself, she is no Jedi, so the idea of her becoming obsess with Vader (thus avenging Anakin) is not too far fetched. Seeking Sith knowledge is not against her believes anymore. A second confrontation with the Dark Lord wouldn't be as dramatic as the first one, and might be the right moment for him to actually kill her.
#7 She will return for the Rebels series finale to save Ezra from the dark side.
One thing is for sure, Ezra and Ahsoka aren't in the original trilogy. And it seems that they are not in the sequels either. So what happened to them? If Ahsoka is alive and Ezra is moving towards the dark side, a good ending for both, without killing them, would be for Ahsoka to save Ezra from the darkness. This will certainly redeem Ahsoka. Because, in her mind, she feels responsible for Anakin's fate. Her words were very clear "I won't leave you this time." why would she say that is she din't feel that leaving him was instrumental in pushing him towards the dark side? If this is the case, she might just have decided to stay in the temple to study the Sith and the dark side of the force thinking that she might be able to help her former master, but in the end she will end up saving Ezra.
As for Ezra, the only way for him to stop himself from fully turning into the dark side might be to stay away from the conflict all together.
There are only two seasons left in the show (update: It might be only one season left). So if Ahsoka is ever coming back, will know it soon enough. In other news, Rex might survive the dark times. As Filoni explained, he might the white bearded guy we all saw fighting in the Endor forest in Return of the Jedi.
One thing is for sure: leaving this kind of open ending for the character is the best thing Filoni and his team could have done. A clean, explicit ending wouldn't have had the dramatic effect this episode delivered. Seeing Vader killing Ahsoka could have pleased many fans, but the truth is, it is what everybody was expecting, so it wouldn't have neither surprised nor shocked anyone in the audience.