Ahsoka the White: Origin, robes & more explained
Ahsoka the White makes her live-action debut in the Disney Plus series – here’s what you need to know.
In our review of the fifth episode, we called it “a series-defining chapter; it’s the most visually, emotionally, and thematically affecting episode of the show” and a “hyperspeed jump into the highest echelon of Star Wars television.”
We pick up with Ahsoka in a bizarre realm – a space between life and death, a World Between Worlds – where she comes face to face with Anakin Skywalker for the first time in years. This paves the way for a trip through the pair’s past, transporting viewers back to the Clone Wars and the Siege of Mandalore.
It’s a key moment for Ahsoka, finding some semblance of closure with Anakin while also making the defiant choice to “live”, and the wisdom gained from her experience leads to Ahsoka the White. If you’re unfamiliar with this version of the character, we’re here to break it down for you.
Ahsoka the White explained
Ahsoka the White is more than just the color of her robes: it’s a pivotal checkpoint for the character’s growth and an illustration of her allegiance to the Force, and she may even be the physical embodiment of the light.
This version of the character originally appeared in the epilogue of Star Wars Rebels, appearing before Sabine Wren as they both set off to find Ezra Bridger after he disappeared into the Unknown Regions. However, the new series retconned this moment in the opening episodes, with Ahsoka recruiting Sabine while dressed in grey and having not experienced the World Between Worlds.
In Episode 5, she overpowers Anakin and tells him that she “chooses to live”, at which point he returns to the light and tells her: “There’s hope for you yet.” The morning after she’s recovered from the sea, she greets Hera and Jacen in her new white outfit, which she also wears as she communicates with the Purrgil before their hyperspace jump to another galaxy.
At this point, she’s been on an evolutionary spiritual journey that’s deepened her connection to the Force, while also alleviating her guilt of being trained as a soldier, rather than a “keeper of peace.”
The assumption, if all of The Clone Wars remains intact in the canon, is that this follows her second resurrection. Her first was on Mortis, when the Daughter gave her own life to save Ahsoka – which means she’s literally imbued with the holy spirit of the light side of the Force, another reason for her white robes.
Is Ahsoka the White based on Gandalf?
Yes, Dave Filoni has confirmed that Ahsoka the White is based on Gandalf from Lord of the Rings.
The similarities are obvious: Gandalf the Grey became Gandalf the White after he was killed by the Balrog, returning to Middle-earth in glimmering robes with a staff thanks to Arda’s supreme deity Eru Ilúvatar, and Ahsoka returned in white clothes after being ‘killed’ by a Dark Jedi and then battling Anakin in another realm.
Filoni spoke about Ahsoka becoming a Gandalf-like figure in an interview with Vanity Fair after her debut in The Mandalorian. “She is, for lack of a term, a master, because she’s largely an independent at this point. I play her much more as a knowledgeable knight,” he said.
“A wandering samurai character is what she really is at this point. I’ve always made comparisons to her heading toward the Gandalf stage, where she is the one that has the knowledge of the world and can help others through it. I think she’s reached that point.”
Rosario Dawson echoed this while speaking to Entertainment Weekly ahead of her show’s premiere. “In the animation, you saw her go to the white, but what I loved is the idea that there was even another level to her,” she said.
“Dave and I talked a lot about Gandalf the Grey and Gandalf the White – talking about that transition and how she’s someone very capable and excellent and looked up to as a leader, but she still has levels of development to go.
“That push for more, that desire for more, that challenge that she pushes herself to is okay – and it’s actually remarkable and important. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been drawn to her over the years, the fact that even with her excellence, she continues to push further.”
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