Does The Mandalorian’s Big [Spoiler] Reference Mean An Ahsoka Tano Spinoff Is On The Way?
The following contains MASSIVE SPOILERS for The Mandalorian Chapter 13. Seriously. I'm not kidding. Spoilers don't get much bigger than this. Are you ready for this? Are you sure? Ok, let's go.
We knew from casting announcements before Season 2 of The Mandalorian ever landed that this season was going to tie in very strongly to the Star Wars animated series The Clone Wars and Rebels. Characters who had never appeared in live-action before, such as Bo-Katan Kryze and Ahsoka Tano, have been coming to life before our eyes. A couple of episodes ago, it was Katee Sackhoff's Bo-Katan who set our hero on a quest for that other huge Star Wars name. And now, with Episode 13, Ahsoka's arrival revealed another huge character namecheck, and it has even bigger potential for the future of Star Wars spinoffs than we might have previously thought.
Chapter 13, dubbed "The Jedi" after its iconic new character, was preceded by a lot of pomp and circumstance, along with fans quietly, and not so quietly, losing their minds over the idea of Rosario Dawson making her debut on The Mandalorian as Ahsoka Tano. Had she simply appeared in the episode for a last-second cliffhanger, it probably would have been enough, but Ahsoka amazingly answered a lot of questions that we've had about some of these characters since basically the beginning. It was what she did at the end of the episode, however, that blew the doors off the spinoff speculation, so let's talk some Thrawn, shall we?
How Ahsoka Tano Was Utilized In "The Jedi"
The episode opens not with The Mandalorian, but with Ahsoka Tano herself. She was on the "forest planet" of Corvis – strip-mined planet is more like it – being hunted by soldiers. She dispatched them with a cold efficiency that made her look more like the villain in a slasher movie than a Jedi, but taking out the soldiers was just the beginning. She was after the female magistrate of a walled city, as that woman has information that Ahsoka was seeking, though it wasn't made clear at first what information was up for grabs.
Eventually, she met up with The Mandalorian and casually gave audiences and Mando a highlight summary of The Child's backstory, including his name. She then teamed up with him to take down the magistrate in exchange for Ahsoka agreeing to train The Child in ways of The Force. (If you want more on that spoiler, go here). In the end, that doesn't actually happen, but Ahsoka does get her one-on-one faceoff with the magistrate, at which point we learn who the woman is working for. And if you thought Baby Yoda's real name was a big deal, this more familiar name represented a far more massive bombshell.
Who Ahsoka Tano Is Looking For
With the point of her lightsaber at the magistrate's neck, Ahsoka Tano asked for the location of one Grand Admiral Thrawn. This was the point when fans of the Star Wars: Rebels animated series (along with other projects both canonical and non-) probably started to go slightly mad. Grand Admiral Thrawn was one of the primary antagonists of the Rebels series. In fact, the last time we saw Ahsoka, in the finale of that series, she was heading off into the galaxy to look for a friend, a young Jedi named Ezra Bridger, who had last been seen flying off into parts unknown with Thrawn.
If the magistrate is working for Thrawn, then that would seem to indicate that Thrawn has returned to known space. And if that's the case, then it opens up a number of other questions. If Thrawn has returned, then did Ezra also make it back? Did Ahsoka find the latter? Is Ahsoka looking for Thrawn in order to learn what happened to Ezra? Where is Sabine Wren, the young Mandalorian who was traveling with Ahsoka at the end of Rebels? Of course, there's another huge question we have coming out of this episode which is, did the magistrate divulge any details? We don't actually know if Ahsoka got the information she was looking for or not, though we can only hope that's the case.
Will Ahsoka Tano Be Getting Her Own Series?
There are so many questions about Ahsoka coming out of this Mandalorian episode that one has to wonder if what we just saw was essentially a backdoor pilot to a potential Ahsoka Tano series. Such things have been rumored previously, though with so many rumors currently out there about potential Disney+ Star Wars series, it's difficult to know how legit any of them are. But "The Jedi" ended with Mando and The Child heading off to another planet that, as far as we can tell, will put them on a totally different narrative path than Ahsoka. Still, one does not simply name drop Grand Admiral Thrawn like that without planning to follow up in some way.
Thus, if Ahsoka's story is meant to continue from here, but The Mandalorian will continue following Mando's journey to help the Child, the most sensible thing for Disney+ and Lucasfilm to do would be to sign off on a new spinoff series starring Rosario Dawson, which would follow Ahsoka's attempts to track down Grand Admiral Thrawn. It's hard to not want exactly that after watching this episode of The Mandalorian. As the director for this chapter, Dave Filoni successfully made his creation from the animated series look incredible, and nearly every shot of her within the episode could be a poster. Who wouldn't want to see more of that?
It's certainly possible that all of these story threads could still come together in future episodes of The Mandalorian. For instance, perhaps Moff Gideon and Grand Admiral Thrawn are working together and so all these protagonists – Mando, Ahsoka, Bo-Katan – will find themselves converging on the same location down the line. But The Mandalorian isn't about these other characters, as the journey of Mando and The Child is a unique one, and it should remain that way. This duo has their own quest, and they should be given the freedom to go on it without being beholden to completing stories that are not their own. And on the flip side, Ahsoka Tano is deserving of finally getting her own series.
I for one would certainly love to see a new series for Ahsoka. Her live-action debut was everything fans dreamed of, and the questions this episode brought up need to be addressed. Now that's we've seen live-action Ahsoka, who doesn't want to see live-action Grand Admiral Thrawn? While waiting to see where things go from here, remember that new Mandalorian episodes hit Disney+ every Friday, and our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule and 2021 Winter and Spring TV guide will keep you informed on everything else debuting on the small screen soon.
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