One of the most important parts of the entire Star Wars storyline was the fall of Anakin Skywalker to the dark side, as this event turned him into Darth Vader. But this downfall wasn’t something everyone close to Anakin knew. But while that may be true, we eventually saw that Anakin’s former Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, became aware of her former master’s fall to the dark side. So, how did Ahsoka find out that Anakin was Darth Vader?
Ahsoka Tano sensed that Darth Vader may have been Anakin Skywalker all along. Since then, she started having hunches about the Sith Lord’s identity until she finally confirmed it during their battle on Malachor V when she broke a part of his mask to reveal his face.
Of course, when Ahsoka sensed her old master’s presence, she initially doubted whether or not Anakin and Vader were the same because she couldn’t believe how far her master had fallen. That was when it became clear she wasn’t privy to what led to Anakin’s downfall. So, with that said, let’s look at how Ahsoka found out about Darth Vader.
Ahsoka sensed Anakin
We all know that an important part of the events of the Star Wars Skywalker Saga revolved around Anakin Skywalker’s downfall to the dark side of the Force. This event turned him into Darth Vader, as we all know that a huge chunk of the storyline of Star Wars revolved around Vader’s evil actions and his eventual redemption when he destroyed Emperor Palpatine out of parental love.
But we also know that Anakin had a Padawan that he trained for nearly three years. Ahsoka Tano was Anakin’s Padawan learner during the events of the Clone Wars until she decided to leave the Jedi Order when her views were no longer aligned with what she thought the Jedi Order stood for. As such, Ahsoka wasn’t there when Anakin fell to the dark side. In fact, only a few people were aware that Anakin was Darth Vader, and none cared to tell Ahsoka about what happened to her former master.
As such, after surviving Order 66 herself, Ahsoka went on with her life thinking that Anakin had died when the Jedi order had fallen. She lived 15 more years without realizing that her master was still alive in the form of Darth Vader. And it was only during the events of ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ that Ahsoka started having hunches about her master’s fate.
During the events of ‘Rebels,’ Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger told Ahsoka Tano about a powerful wielder of the dark side of the Force that was far stronger than the Grand Inquisitor. They learned that this figure was called Darth Vader, but not even Ahsoka knew who this dark entity was. And that was when she told Kanan they should work together to learn more about the Sith Lord named Darth Vader.
In one of the earlier episodes of season 2 of ‘Rebels,’ the crew of the Ghost was trying to gun Vader down while he was in his TIE Fighter. Meanwhile, Ahsoka told Kanan to help her as they used the Force to sense who this dark figure was. And at the very moment that Ahsoka could feel Vader’s presence, the sheer strength of the malice within the Sith Lord and the shock of what she found out caused her to faint.
What that means is that Ahsoka was able to feel Vader while she and Kanan were using Force to try to learn more about this mysterious enemy. Working together with Anakin for so long allowed her to understand what his presence felt like. And when she felt a familiar yet very malicious presence within Vader, she started having suspicions regarding her former master’s fate.
How does Ahsoka feel about Vader?
Ever since she felt Anakin within Vader, Ahsoka had her hunches about who this Sith Lord was. She couldn’t immediately conclude that Vader was Anakin because she had no definite proof. On top of that, she didn’t want to admit that her master had become the very Sith Lord that contributed to the destruction of the Jedi Order and the rise of the Empire. And that’s why she decided to try to piece things together first before concluding that Vader was Anakin.
During the season 2 finale of ‘Rebels,’ Ahsoka went to Malachor V, an ancient Sith planet, together with Kanan and Ezra because that was what a Force vision of Yoda told them to do. On that planet, they went up against the Inquistiorius and Darth Vader, who learned about the ancient Sith weapon on Malachor and tried to claim it for his master.
After Vader quickly defeated Ezra at the top of the Sith Temple on Malachor, Ahsoka stepped in to fight the Sith Lord. She showed that she had her hunches about his identity as Anakin but was in denial because she couldn’t believe that her former master could become the monster that Vader was. And Vader even told Ahsoka that he killed Anakin because he was weak.
To that end, Ahsoka fought Vader with a vengeance in her mind as she wanted to take revenge for the death of Anakin Skywalker. But when a portion of Vader’s mask got broken, Ahsoka could no longer be in denial.
When a portion of Vader’s mask was broken, Ahsoka could now finally see her former master’s eye and hear his voice. That was when she realized that Vader was indeed Anakin and that the former Jedi Knight that she called master was now an agent of the dark side of the Force. Ahsoka could no longer deny that Anakin and Vader were the same.
But while Ahsoka could no longer deny what happened to her master, she blamed herself for what happened to him. She was not angry toward Vader because she thought Anakin became this monster partly because she left him and the Jedi Order when her master needed her the most. In that regard, Ahsoka even told him she wouldn’t abandon him again as they continued their duel on Malachor. It was this distraction that allowed Kanan and Ezra to escape the planet.
Did Vader know Ahsoka was alive?
Like Ahsoka, Vader initially wasn’t aware of what happened to Ahsoka. In season 7 of ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars,’ Ahsoka and Rex could live through Order 66 while their ship crashed on a nearby planet. The ship’s destruction led to everyone’s deaths, as Ahsoka and Rex visited the crash site to honor their fallen friends of the 501st Legion. And Ahsoka had to deposit her lightsabers there to honor her former comrades and to fake her death.
Sometime later, Darth Vader visited the crash site, where he saw Ahsoka’s buried lightsabers. This allowed him to conclude that his former Padawan had also died. On top of that, when the mysterious Inquisitor of ‘Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi’ came to Raada to hunt down the Jedi there, he was equally surprised that Ahsoka Tano was alive. That means that the standing conclusion among the Imperials was that Ahsoka was believed to be dead.
However, in ‘Rebels,’ Darth Vader was also able to sense Ahsoka when she and Kanan used the Force to try to learn the identity of this mysterious Sith Lord. He said, “the apprentice lives,” when he also felt through the Force that Ahsoka was alive. That was when it was made clear that Ahsoka and Kanan opened up a two-way channel between them and Vader when they used the Force to try to learn who he was. And it was through that two-way channel that Vader found out that Ahsoka was alive.
Before the events of ‘Rebels,’ Darth Vader believed that Ahsoka was dead. He had no reason to believe otherwise, especially after seeing her lightsabers buried in the ship’s crash site that carried her and a part of the 501stLegion. But when he felt her through the Force, he no longer had a reason to doubt that his former apprentice was still alive.
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