Star Wars: Why Did Ahsoka Leave the Jedi Order?

Though we first meet Ahsoka Tano as Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan, a tragic event during the Clone Wars forced her to reconsider her place in the Jedi Order.

Rosario Dawson in Star Wars: Ahsoka
Photo: Lucasfilm

By the time we catch up with Ahsoka Tano in the New Republic era, which is set five years after Return of the Jedi, the Jedi Order is no more, and the few Jedi left are scattered throughout the galaxy. As shown in Revenge of the Sith, Order 66 systematically wiped out most of the Jedi at the end of the Clone Wars, and the few who survived were forced into hiding, turned into Imperial Inquisitors, became mercenaries, or joined the Rebellion. But while this event did greatly impact Ahsoka Tano’s life and her path forward as a Force-wielder, it wasn’t the catalyst that drove her away from the Jedi Order and her Master Anakin Skywalker.

The last four episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars fifth season follow an investigation into a bombing of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. The investigation is led by Ahsoka and Anakin. The two were off-world at the time of the attack, and therefore the least likely to be involved, at least according to Yoda. However, as the investigation goes on, enough circumstantial evidence surfaces for Ahsoka to be framed for the crime.

Ahsoka goes into hiding, trying to find enough evidence to clear her name, but when she is eventually captured, Republic Admiral Tarkin (yes, that Tarkin) insists that she be tried as a civilian in military court instead of tried by the Jedi. The Jedi Council complies, stripping Ahsoka of her Padawan status and kicking her out of the Order without much hesitation. There are some, like Anakin, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Plo Koon, Ki-Adi-Mundi, and Saesee Tiin, who remain on Ahsoka’s side through the whole ordeal, but most of the Order effectively abandons her.

Ahsoka’s name is finally cleared by Anakin, who discovers that the Padawan Barriss Offee is responsible for the bombing. Even though Ahsoka considered her to be a close friend, Barriss had become disillusioned with the Jedi and believed that they had become more warmongers than peacekeepers. Ahsoka is freed, but the damage has already been done.


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