Episode 5 of ‘Ahsoka’ allowed us to see Ahsoka Tano finally having the face-to-face moment she had been waiting for with Anakin Skywalker. In that regard, many things happened in this meeting between them, as Anakin made Ahsoka choose between living and dying when he attacked her and challenged her to a duel in the hopes of completing her training. Ahsoka eventually triumphed and told Anakin that she chose to live. So, what did Ahsoka mean by “I choose to live?”
When Ahsoka said that she chose to live, she wasn’t choosing to return to the real world and live. Instead, she was telling Anakin that she now chose to have her own path in life instead of being weighed down by her upbringing as a soldier and the different traumatizing events that held her down in the past.
The most important thing about Ahsoka in this series is that she was always meant to go through a transformational journey that will allow her to become wiser and stronger, just like how Gandalf did in ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ In that regard, facing her own past and making a choice in life finally allowed her to unburden herself with her past and her personal issues, as she now has a future to look forward to.
Anakin trained Ahsoka to be a soldier
As mentioned, Anakin quickly challenged Ahsoka to a duel where we saw him giving her a choice between living and dying. Of course, Ahsoka was up to the challenge regarding her skills because Anakin taught her well. The experience of fighting Inquisitors during the Imperial era also allowed her to hone her skills with the lightsaber.
But Anakin forced the playing field to shift when he transported himself and Ahsoka back to the Clone Wars. Ahsoka was now her younger self during the Ryloth Campaign, one of the earliest missions she and Anakin participated in during the Clone Wars. While she was confused about the situation, Ahsoka still fought in the battle but was visibly scarred when she saw how many clones died under her leadership.
Anakin told Ahsoka that there was no use getting upset about seeing allies and comrades dying because they were at war. On top of that, he also trained her to be a survivor and a soldier instead of a keeper of the peace. In that regard, Ahsoka’s purpose during the Clone Wars was to fight a war as a soldier instead of as a Jedi. And that was why Anakin also made it a point to train her to learn how to survive.
Even after the Clone Wars ended, it was clear that Ahsoka still continued living her life as a soldier. Just a year after Order 66, Ahsoka returned to the field as one of Bail Organa’s agents during the era of the Empire. After that, she fought alongside the Spectres and plenty of other Rebels during the Rebellion. And now, she is fighting as a soldier who is trying to stop a war from breaking out once more, as it has become apparent that Ahsoka has only been fighting her entire life without even thinking about getting a life of her own.
Sabine also noticed this when she asked Ahsoka early on if she had a place to call home, only for Ahsoka to tell her that she had been living on her ship. It was clear that Ahsoka never stopped fighting, even after the fall of the Empire. And one of the reasons she never tried to live her own life was that her past was weighing her down.
Ahsoka can now choose her own path
When we said that Ahsoka’s past was weighing her down, we weren’t only talking about the fact that she was raised to be a soldier by Anakin. We are also referring to the fact that she never truly tried to face her past or even accept what happened to her and her master. She even avoided talking about her past when she dueled with Baylan, as she was visibly affected when the fallen Jedi told her that her legacy was that of death and destruction, just like her master’s own legacy.
As such, in one of the final flashback scenes in the World Between Worlds, Anakin told Ahsoka during the Siege of Mandalore that she was carrying the legacy of Anakin and all of the other Jedi who instructed Anakin and his master. But Ahsoka rejected this legacy because she knew that a part of Anakin’s legacy involved death and destruction. After all, he eventually became Darth Vader. An angry Anakin, who didn’t want Ahsoka to talk about the fact that he fell to the dark side, reiterated the options he gave her: to live or die.
The duel continued as Anakin, now in his evil Sith Lord form, pushed Ahsoka back into the original World Between Worlds realm, where she was now her adult self once more. Ahsoka, however, was able to disarm Anakin and use his lightsaber against him. But instead of finishing Anakin off, she threw the saber away while telling him she chose to live.
By telling Anakin that she chose to live, she was now accepting her past as it was but was unwilling to allow it to weigh her down anymore. She knew that she was part of a legacy but also understood that the legacy of her master did not define her own legacy as well. But most importantly, she understood that she no longer had to be the same kind of soldier that Anakin raised her to be because she now had a choice in life.
Ahsoka no longer had to be burdened by her responsibility of fighting or preventing a war. She no longer had to be weighed down by what she felt was the only purpose she had in life. Instead, she now had a better understanding of what she needed to do as a Jedi and as an individual. She understood that she had to make her choices in life based on what she wanted to do instead of what she felt she had to do.
It was also clear that Anakin didn’t want Ahsoka to keep on holding back due to her fears. Remember, in ‘The Mandalorian’ and ‘The Book of Boba Fett,’ Ahsoka said that she didn’t want to train Grogu not because she wasn’t a Jedi but because she felt that he was far too attached to Din Djarin. And she understood what attachments could do to a Jedi because Anakin fell to the dark side when he became too attached.
But choosing to live also meant that Ahsoka no longer had to hold back on anything just because her master fell to the dark side. This is similar to Obi-Wan Kenobi’s catharsis moment when he finally accepted that he did not fault Anakin’s downfall to the dark side. He felt more relieved after that because he could now live without ever looking at the past with regret.
In the same way, Ahsoka understood that she no longer had to be weighed down by her past and what happened to Anakin. Instead of allowing the past to make it more difficult for her to keep on going, Ahsoka realized that she could now choose to live as constantly allowing her past to burden her was also tantamount to dying.
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