One of the biggest characters in the Star Wars TV series is none other than Ahsoka Tano. She debuted as a padawan back in the premiere of The Clone Wars, and she survived Order 66 to appear in Star Wars Rebels. It seemed like the end of Ahsoka in the Season 2 finale after a duel with Darth Vader (and a temple falling on top of her), but she was then spotted descending down into the Sith temple, seemingly alive. Fans have been debating ever since: did Ahsoka survive and simply head down into the temple, or was that a representation of her spirit?
Well, showrunner Dave Filoni may have an answer for us. When he took the stage at the Star Wars Rebels panel at the huge Star Wars Celebration convention in Orlando, he dropped a pretty huge clue... via t-shirt. Check it out!
When Dave Filoni kicked off the Star Wars Rebels panel, he was wearing a shirt reading "Ahsoka Lives?" with a question mark, which seemed to be a fun nod to fans' speculation about whether or not she was still alive. Then, while the trailer for Star Wars Rebels Season 4 was playing, Filoni snuck off and changed his shirt to an "Ahsoka Lives!" shirt, complete with exclamation point. Given that the back of the shirt didn't have "Psych! She's totally dead!" written on it, I'd say we have a pretty solid clue that she's still alive and on her way back into the action.
Unfortunately, Filoni wasn't willing to give any details about what may or may not be going on with Ahsoka. He was asked about her fate at a press conference attended by CinemaBlend's own Sean O'Connell, but he expertly dodged the question. If Ahsoka does indeed live, we might not find out for sure until official footage debuts. Still, I'm inclined to think that Filoni's t-shirt trickery is a sign that she'll be back in the flesh, and not via Force ghost or flashback.
Assuming she is alive, the big question is how she could have possibly survived. Darth Vader clearly outmatched her as a duelist; she only managed to strike a blow on him because he was distracted by Ezra and Kanan. Throw in the temple roof that collapsed on top of both of them, and she really should have been definitively dead. Vader himself was in rough shape after the collapse, and the Ahsoka who was seen descending into the Sith temple seemed just fine, perhaps as her spirit might have looked moving on. Take a look at her final moments in Season 2:
Personally, I was actually hoping that Ahsoka did die at the end of the Season 2 finale, if only because it would have been a totally epic way to go out. After all, it wasn't like she could ever defeat Darth Vader, and he really didn't get back in touch with his non-murderous inner Anakin until Luke came along in the original trilogy, so she was never going to win a one-on-one battle with her. She refused to leave her former master and provided enough of a distraction that the freshly-blinded Kanan and young Ezra were able to escape. What a way to go!
That said, I'm definitely interested in what happened if she did survive. Why would she go down into the Sith temple rather than try to make it off Malachor? Why haven't we heard anything from her since? How could she possibly have survived a showdown with a murderous Vader and a ton of debris?
We'll have to wait and see. Dave Filoni may not have confirmed that Ahsoka lives, but his t-shirt switcheroo would be a pretty mean prank on fans if he doesn't bring her back at this point. Although she doesn't appear in the Season 4 trailer (which you can check out here), there was certainly plenty of footage we didn't see. Given that we now know that Season 4 will be the final season of Star Wars Rebels, the time is right for her to come back.