One of the things that we saw in episode 5 of ‘Ahsoka’ was the literal transformation of the character when Ahsoka Tano experienced a series of different life-changing events within the World Between Worlds after she met Anakin Skywalker there. She survived the events in the World Between Worlds and could return to the real world, carrying the experience she gained while her consciousness was off somewhere. The most glaring transformation was that she was now wearing white robes. So, what is the significance of Ahsoka’s white robes?
Ahsoka’s white robes symbolize a new beginning for her character after undergoing a harrowing experience in the World Between Worlds. Her transformation was inspired by ‘The Lord of the Rings’ Gandalf the Grey, who underwent a similar spiritual transformation after he became Gandalf the White.
It goes without saying that there are a lot of parallels between Ahsoka and Gandalf because Dave Filoni wrote her ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ story to be very similar to what Gandalf went through as a character in LOTR. In that regard, the white robe she is now wearing symbolizes this huge character transformation that she experienced. So, with that said, let’s look into this topic in greater detail.
The Gandalf inspiration
Ahsoka Tano’s entire character is one of the most unique people we’ve met in the storyline of Star Wars because of the very fact that she went through some of the most life-changing experiences any character can go through. On top of the fact that she has been around since the time of the Clone Wars, she is one of the few Jedi to live through the Imperial era and make it all the way to the New Republic era.
But while there are a lot of things that we can say about Ahsoka’s character, one of the things that we saw during the events of ‘Rebels’ was the fact that she went through a drastic transformation in the sense that we can see her wearing a white robe in the epilogue of the series. Of course, this was further highlighted during the events of ‘Ahsoka,’ wherein she was seen wearing a grey robe during the earlier episodes.
Dave Filoni, the creator of ‘Rebels’ and ‘Ahsoka,’ once said that he drew inspiration from Gandalf of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ when he wrote more about Ahsoka’s character in both ‘Rebels’ and ‘Ahsoka.’ Of course, this inspiration wasn’t there in ‘The Clone Wars’ due to how young Ahsoka was. But the fact was that the storyline of ‘Ahsoka’ allowed us to see the character showcasing parallels and similarities to Gandalf’s character.
While he was never the star of the entire story, Gandalf served a specific purpose during the events of LOTR as he was the heavenly figure guiding the people of Middle-earth against a mighty threat. His purpose was not to become a leader or a powerful figure. Instead, the only thing he was supposed to do was to push the people of Middle-earth in the right direction while helping them fend off the darkness that had enshrouded the land.
In the same way, Ahsoka’s character in ‘Rebels’ was meant to be a guide or a mentor to Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger. Her wisdom and experience were invaluable to them during the series’ events as they were in the middle of their own life journeys while trying to find a way to defeat the Empire. Then, in ‘Ahsoka,’ her role as a mentor was highlighted even more when she was thrust into the role of Sabine’s master while they were trying to prevent another war from breaking out.
Of course, Ahsoka also went through her own near-death experience in both ‘Rebels’ and ‘Ahsoka.’ In ‘Rebels,’ Darth Vader nearly killed her before Ezra Bridger rescued her. Then, in ‘Ahsoka,’ she was defeated by Baylan Skoll as she ended up in the World Between Worlds after the fallen Jedi struck a blow that he thought should have been enough to kill her.
Gandalf went through a similar experience when he fell after his fight with the Balrog of Moria, known as Durin’s Bane. While he did indeed die, the power of Eru Ilúvatar, the supreme god of Tolkien’s legendarium, allowed him to return to Middle-earth because his task wasn’t done yet. He assumed the role of Gandalf the White, which was a role that was meant for Saruman. Gandalf started wearing a white robe after returning.
In Ahsoka’s case, her near-death experience allowed her to return to the real world because it was clear that she still had a mission that she needed to complete. Upon returning, she also wore a white robe that paralleled Gandalf’s transformation.
Ahsoka “returned from the dead” as a new person
Gandalf the Grey was always a laidback and chill wizard who befriended a lot of people all over Middle-earth. But he understood his role as one of the deterrents to the evil plaguing the land, which was why he always found a way to fight the agents of darkness. While he was already wise and powerful as he was, the experience of dying and becoming one with the supreme god of the Tolkien universe changed him.
Upon returning to Middle-earth, Gandalf the White was seemingly a new person because he was wiser, more powerful, and had a deeper understanding of the role that he needed to play. He was still Gandalf in every sense. However, he also had a more serious approach when it came to his role because he now had a deeper understanding of the threat that needed to be stopped.
In the same way, Ahsoka’s character transformation showed a drastic change after she woke up from her spiritual journey in the World Between Worlds. Upon returning to the real world, she was seemingly rejuvenated. She was now smiling more than ever as it is possible that meeting Anakin and finally completing her training under him in the World Between Worlds gave her a better understanding of what she needed to do as a true Jedi Knight.
The white robes symbolize her parallelism with Gandalf the White and her renewed will to keep living. In The World Between Worlds, Anakin gives her a choice between living and dying, and it is clear that she chose to live. Choosing to live made her understand and accept her role in the galaxy even though she previously rejected the fact that she carried Anakin’s legacy as his Padawan.
As such, Ahsoka had now transformed into a wiser and more powerful version of herself after experiencing catharsis while she was in the World Between Worlds. She had already faced her past and understood what her master had been preparing her for her entire life. And that is why her white robe is now a symbol of her renewed faith in the Force and the role of a Jedi and herself.
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