Anakin Skywalker and Ashoka Tano's Journey - From Master and Apprentice to Rivals & Back

13 April 2023

The relationship between Anakin Skywalker and Ashoka Tano is one of the most compelling and emotionally charged relationships in the Star Wars franchise. As Anakin's apprentice, Ashoka was not only a student, but she also became a close friend to him, and their relationship was one of the key dynamics explored throughout the Clone Wars animated series.

Their bond was built through shared experiences, and as they went on missions together, they developed mutual respect and admiration for each other. Anakin saw a lot of himself in Ashoka, and he took a paternal role towards her. Ashoka, on the other hand, looked up to Anakin as a mentor and trusted him implicitly.

anakin skywalker ashoka tano

The tension between the two came to a head during the events of the Clone Wars, where Ashoka was falsely accused of a crime she did not commit. This incident caused a rift between Anakin and Ashoka, as he struggled to reconcile his loyalty to the Jedi Order with his belief in her innocence. However, his loyalty to Ashoka prevailed, and he went to great lengths to clear her name, putting his own reputation and position within the Jedi Order at risk.

When Ashoka left the Jedi Order, Anakin was devastated, as he saw her as a surrogate daughter. This departure added a layer of complexity to their relationship, as they were no longer bound by the same institution, but their bond remained strong.

Their relationship took a dramatic turn in the Rebels animated series when Ashoka confronted Darth Vader, her former master, now consumed by the dark side. The emotional weight of their past relationship was palpable in their confrontation, as they both struggled with the reality of the other's transformation.

In the final season of the Clone Wars, the relationship between Anakin Skywalker and Ashoka Tano was brought to a new level of complexity and emotional depth. The season's storyline focused heavily on the Siege of Mandalore and Ashoka's involvement in the events leading up to Order 66 during with Vader truly lived as a villain.

One of the most significant moments in the season was the reunion of Anakin and Ashoka after a long separation. This meeting was highly emotional, as the two characters had not seen each other in years. Anakin was overjoyed to see his former apprentice and expressed his pride in her growth as a Jedi.

Their reunion was bittersweet, as Ashoka's departure from the Jedi Order had created a distance between them that was palpable. The show's creators used subtle visual cues, such as the characters' body language and the lighting of the scenes, to convey the complex emotions they felt towards each other.

As the Siege of Mandalore unfolded, the tension between Anakin and Ashoka grew as they struggled to navigate the challenges of the war. Anakin's loyalty to the Jedi Order was at odds with Ashoka's disillusionment with their actions, creating a rift between them.

Despite this tension, their bond remained strong, and they continued to work together to achieve their objectives. Ashoka proved herself to be a capable leader, and Anakin continued to support and guide her, even as he struggled with his conflicting loyalties.

The final episodes of the season were some of the most emotionally charged in the entire series. The events of Order 66 and the fall of the Jedi Order were devastating, and Anakin's transformation into Darth Vader was heartbreaking.

In the midst of this chaos, Ashoka's relationship with Anakin took on a new level of significance. As she confronted Darth Vader, she was not just fighting a former mentor, but also a symbol of everything that had gone wrong with the Jedi Order.

Their final confrontation was filled with raw emotion, and the show's creators used powerful visual imagery to convey the intensity of their relationship. The scene in which Ashoka removes Darth Vader's helmet and sees Anakin's scarred face for the first time was particularly poignant, as it highlighted the pain and loss that had come between them.

In the Rebels episode "Twilight of the Apprentice," the relationship between Anakin Skywalker, now Darth Vader, and his former apprentice, Ashoka Tano, reaches its climactic conclusion. Their final confrontation is a powerful and emotionally charged moment that illustrates the depth of their relationship and the impact it had on both characters.

As the two former Jedi face off against each other, the weight of their past relationship is palpable. Ashoka knows that the man she once knew and loved as her master is now consumed by the dark side, and she is determined to try to bring him back to the light. Darth Vader, on the other hand, sees Ashoka as a threat to his power and is determined to eliminate her.

anakin v tano

The confrontation between the two former Jedi is intense, with both characters using all their skills and abilities to gain the upper hand. The fight scenes are beautifully choreographed, highlighting the skills and fighting styles of both characters.

Throughout the confrontation, Ashoka tries to reach out to Darth Vader, appealing to his sense of humanity and hoping to bring him back from the dark side. She acknowledges the pain and suffering that he has experienced and tries to connect with him on a personal level, appealing to their shared history.

Darth Vader, however, is too far gone, and he refuses to be swayed by Ashoka's appeals. He is determined to eliminate her and remains committed to his allegiance to the dark side.

The outcome of their confrontation is left ambiguous, with viewers left to interpret the events that follow. Ashoka is seen limping away from the confrontation, and it is heavily implied that she survives the encounter. Darth Vader, on the other hand, is severely injured, but his fate is not explicitly shown.

Overall, the final confrontation between Anakin Skywalker and Ashoka Tano in "Twilight of the Apprentice" is a powerful moment that highlights the emotional complexity of their relationship. The fight scenes are stunning, and the emotional stakes are high as Ashoka tries to reach out to her former master and Darth Vader remains committed to the dark side. While the outcome of their confrontation is left ambiguous, it is clear that their relationship had a lasting impact on both characters, even after their paths diverged.

All is not lost...

The Ashoka show has created an addendum for this relationship. Ashoka, now an adult with much experience since their last meeting faces death at the hands of Baylan Skoll. Anakin, now a Force ghost, gives Ashoka the gift of the opportunity to not die by means of facing challenges within the World Between Worlds. In Shadow Warrior Anakin takes Ashoka through past shared experiences in The Clone Wars to try and give her insight.

Ultimately Anakin decides he must fight Lady Tano in a duel to the end. Anakin presents himself as a Sith Lord with his piercing yellow eyes and forces Ashoka to fight. She is able to relieve Anaakin of his saber. She tosses the saber aside, as Luke Skywalker did before his father in Return of the Jedi. The parallel has been made, and Ashoka has chosen to live. Force Anakin returns, happy with the choice his padawan has made. 

Ashoka is rescued by the Rebels from the ocean. As she awakes, her transformation is conveyed through her clothing and happy manner. She is now as, the fans call now her, Ashoka the White

This transformation is modeled somewhat on Gandalf the Grey's journey in Lord of the Rings. Indeed, keen fans will know that George Lucas used parts of Tolkien's text as stand-in for scenes with Obi-Wan in his initial draft of ANH.  


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

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