The fifth episode of Ahsoka, “Shadow Warrior,” was a treat for fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) relives some of her most memorable and traumatic moments from the animated series, thanks to some mind-bendy World Between Worlds occurrences. She goes back to when she was a teenage Padawan under the tutelage of Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen). As an apprentice, she’s played by Barbie and Avengers: Infinity War’s Ariana Greenblatt. But these weren’t just random moments from the years-long Clone Wars we saw Ahsoka relive. They were specific references to battles that took place over the course of the animated series—ones which had a profound effect on her. These are the Clone Wars arcs that Ahsoka revisited in its fifth episode.
The Battle of Ryloth (Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 1)
The first battle Ahsoka finds herself in is the battle of Ryloth. We saw this battle in a sequence of episodes in Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ first season. These were “Storm Over Ryloth,” “Innocents of Ryloth,” and “Liberty on Ryloth.” In this arc, the forces of the Separatist Army invade the home planet of the Twi’lek people, named Ryloth (naturally). Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter) and his new apprentice Ahsoka (Ashley Eckstein) lead a squadron of fighters against a Trade Federation battleship. Neimoidian Captain Mar Tuuk commanded the ship.
Although we never saw Anakin and Ahsoka in the ground battle in those episodes, we know they were there. So the World Between Worlds sequence on Ryloth fits right in, taking place between scenes. The animated series introduces us to Cham Syndulla, the resistance fighter and father of Ahsoka’s ally, General Hera Syndulla. Ahsoka says this was one of her earliest campaigns fighting in the Clone Wars. Therefore, it was very traumatic for the young teen Padawan. It makes sense she’d find herself right back there.
The Siege of Mandalore (Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7)
The next battle we see Ahsoka relive as her younger self takes place at the very end of the Clone Wars. In fact, it’s in the show’s seventh and final season. Ahsoka, no longer part of the Jedi Order, leads a squadron of Clone Troopers to liberate the planet of Mandalore. During the Siege of Mandalore, former Sith Lord Darth Maul stole the Darksaber from the Mandalorian group Death Watch.
As their leader—thanks to acquiring the Darksaber—Maul transforms Death Watch into his own personal army. He uses them to take over Mandalore for his own Shadow Collective. These episodes of The Clone Wars are both the final episodes aired and the last chronologically. They consist of “Old Friends Not Forgotten,” “The Phantom Apprentice,” “Shattered,” and “Victory and Death.”
Mandalorian Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) leads the resistance against Maul. She was the sister of the late Duchess Satine Kryze, who ruled the planet and was a pacifist. Bo-Katan asks for the Republic’s assistance in freeing her homeworld. She gets help, but from only Ahsoka and Captain Rex and his squad. Ahsoka fights Darth Maul in these episodes, who tries to tempt her to the dark side of the Force. The Siege of Mandalore takes place at the same time as Revenge of the Sith.
In the episodes, we see how Ahsoka has to deal with her own clone troopers turning against her during Order 66. It would certainly be one of the worst moments of her life, and one can see why she returned to it in the World Between Worlds. Until she reconciled with the events of that battle, which kept her away from her Master at his most crucial moment, she was never going to be able to grow past it.
Finally, because of “Shadow Warrior,” it seems Ahsoka is ready to let go of these past traumas and grow into the Jedi she was always meant to be.