In one of the most significant arcs of The Clone Wars, the season three story on Mortis, Obi-Wan Kenobi tells Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano that, “We’ll be fine, as long as we stay together.”
It wound up being a foreboding statement in that arc, as the trio was separated on Mortis and things went downhill from there. But it also wound up being a foreboding statement for the Clone Wars, in general.
Because, by the end of the War, the inseparable trio was separated.
It first started, of course, when Ahsoka Tano left the Jedi Order at the end of season five, having been betrayed and abandoned by the Jedi Council. She leaves, and Anakin is devastated. Because of the show’s cancellation we don’t get to see Anakin’s hurt over this quite as much, but it nonetheless leaves Anakin and Obi-Wan fighting together in the Outer Rim Sieges – just without Ahsoka.
But still, as seen both in the Battle of Yerbana and the Battle of Coruscant, Kenobi and Skywalker formed a formidable duo, best of friends and brothers. But as the final days of the War approached, the trio was briefly reunited and then separated again. Ahsoka headed off for Mandalore in search of Maul, while Anakin and Obi-Wan rushed back to Coruscant to save the Chancellor. Then, before long, Anakin and Obi-Wan were separated too: Obi-Wan sent to track down General Grievous on Utapau, and Anakin tasked to spy on Palpatine.
In the final days of the war, the three of them were responsible for stopping three of the major players: Anakin killed Count Dooku, Obi-Wan killed General Grievous, and Ahsoka captured Maul. But even through all of that, Darth Sidious remained at large. And he masterfully manipulated things so that, at Anakin’s moment of most dire need, he was left alone. Not intentionally, of course, but by the necessity of war. A war that the Jedi had no business fighting in the first place.
Would things have been different had the trio still been together? It’s impossible to know for sure, but I’m inclined to think so. After all, Obi-Wan saw Anakin’s need and asked Ahsoka to speak with him – presumably because of her close relationship with him, yes, but also perhaps because Kenobi was leaving Anakin behind and alone.
The tragedy of Anakin Skywalker is that he was left alone at the very moment that his fears of losing Padme came to a head. The only person he felt he could turn to was Chancellor Palpatine, who was like a father to him, and Palpatine seduced Anakin to the dark side of the Force.
I’m not here blaming Obi-Wan or Ahsoka for Anakin’s fall, but I am simply pointing out the masterful storytelling of George Lucas and Dave Filoni that develop close friends to Skywalker, yet at his moment of crisis, leave the only one still present as the Dark Lord of the Sith.
They probably would have been fine, had they stuck together. But war brought them apart. And in the end, they lost everything.