The middle arc of the seventh and final season of The Clone Wars wrapped up on Friday, and the arc was all about Ahsoka Tano dealing with her decision to move on from the Jedi Order.
But the arc also did some things that will lead directly into the Siege of Mandalore! There are three of them in particular:
1. Ahsoka no longer a Jedi
The Ahsoka arc dealt significantly with her having left the Jedi Order and trying to find her place. This happens through her relationship with Trace and Rafa Martez, who present different viewpoints and ideologies for Ahsoka to have to wrestle with. By the end of the arc, it is clear that Ahsoka is able to maintain her morality even though she has come to see that things aren’t always as simple for others in the galaxy.
But she also expresses apprehension about going back to the Jedi, and it’s only at the urging of the Martez sisters that she takes the step that could lead her back to them. She doesn’t want to pick up that life again (and we know that she doesn’t, technically), yet she knows that’s where going with Bo-Katan will lead.
I enjoyed this arc for what it is, but I think it’s also important for us to understand just how needed this arc is for what it isn’t. Think about it: before this, the last time we saw Ahsoka in the show was her walking away from the Jedi Order. If the very next episode of her in The Clone Wars was her joining with Anakin again, then what changed? We as the viewer, just like Ahsoka, needed time to be away from the Jedi, and to see her life post-Jedi Order. That way, when she does reunite with Anakin, it feels more rewarding. She actually has walked away from the Jedi Order. And while she’s not picking the Jedi mantle back up, she’s come to terms with the fact that she shouldn’t be ashamed of who she is just because the Jedi failed. Ahsoka, as Rafa Martez says, is what you want a Jedi to be.
2. Maul’s on Mandalore
In the most recent episode of The Clone Wars, Ahsoka discovers that Maul is on Mandalore. She overhears a conversation between Maul and Marg Krim of the Pykes, and it is clear that even though the Pykes don’t like it, they’re working for Maul.
This is significant for two reasons. Firstly, it establishes how Ahsoka learns that Maul is back on Mandalore. But secondly, it tells us as viewers that Maul is back as well. When last we saw him in The Clone Wars, he was taken captive by Darth Sidious. The comic Son of Dathomir, which was adapted from unused Clone Wars scripts, explains what happens after that, but long story short, he winds back on Mandalore, with his Shadow Collective basically no longer a thing. I’m guessing that we’ll get a brief explainer of these things for fans not familiar with Dark Disciple, but regardless, this makes it clear to us that somehow, Maul has returned.
Additionally, we see that Maul still has some sort of power in the criminal underworld, and that the Pykes out of fear serve him.
3. Bo-Katan’s plan to stop Maul
In a moment many have been waiting for, Bo-Katan recruits Ahsoka to help her fight against Maul, saying they have a common enemy. This is what most directly leads into the Siege of Mandalore, as the arc ends with Ahsoka leaving with Bo-Katan to help.
It is explained that Bo-Katan is on Oba Diah for reasons not related to Ahsoka – and I assume that it’s because they traced Maul’s business dealings with the Pykes, though I’m guessing we’ll get more on that in the next episode. But Bo-Katan then discovers Ahsoka, remembers when she first encountered her on Carlac, and winds up following her back to Coruscant to recruit her, saying they have a common enemy now.
So that’s how Bo-Katan wound up approaching Ahsoka for help. Now, the stage is set for the Siege of Mandalore. We’ve seen Ahsoka deal with life away from the Jedi, we’ve seen that Maul is now back on Mandalore, and we’ve seen that Bo-Katan has recruited Ahsoka for help. And with that, the end of the war is about to begin.