Ahsoka’s Trial Is Better than The Star Wars Caves – For One Big Reason


  • Ahsoka’s trial in the World Between Worlds provides the missing nuance that previous cave trials lacked, delving deep into her psyche and addressing her identity and choices.
  • Unlike Luke and Rey’s cave trials, Ahsoka’s trial is not just about evolving as a warrior or fulfilling her destiny, but about her own introspection and character development.
  • This trial has the potential to change the future of the Star Wars universe, as Ahsoka’s newfound knowledge and perspective can benefit other characters and help rebuild the Jedi order in a more hopeful and optimistic way.

The following contains spoilers for Ahsoka, Season 1, Episode 5, “Shadow Warrior,” now streaming on Disney+.

When the Ahsoka TV series was announced, a key item fans wanted from showrunner Dave Filoni was to see Ahsoka meet her former master, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen). Luckily, he does return as a unique version of Darth Vader — more human, and as expected, someone with a bit more wisdom. His arrival ties into what many expected: a trial to see where Ahsoka is mentally, at present.

And more so, where she’s looking to go in the future of Star Wars. Interestingly, this lesson really turns out to be a deep, personal one that dives deep into Ahsoka’s psyche. In the process, the show carves out a trial that’s way better than what’s been done in the past movies in one big way.

Star Wars’ Cave Trials Always Felt Externally Driven

In the Star Wars Universe, Luke had his famous cave trial in the swamps of Dagobah when he trained under Master Yoda. There, he killed a Darth Vader, only to see himself under the helmet. It’d tie into the later bombshell that Vader was his dad, but it lacked nuance and felt forced. Even after Luke decided to save Vader, that cave experience felt like it was just meant to advance him along to fight his dad. Sure, George Lucas intended for Luke to have conflict within, wondering about the Light and Dark inside, but this duality of the Force didn’t really translate to the cave. Had more groundwork or narrative been laid down prior, the trial would have made more sense.

The problem was repeated with Rey in her cave trial on the oceanic planet of Ahch-To. There wasn’t any meat on her identity, as the big debate was she was a “nobody.” It’s why it felt odd she’d face a Sith version of herself, with monstrous teeth and a red lightsaber. There needed to be foundation for this, which again, came later on when The Rise of Skywalker confirmed she was Palpatine’s bloodline. The thing is, context had to be there for the trial to resonate. Without building blocks informing these trials, the cave sessions feel superfluous and cosmetic. Star Wars has always tried not to be superficial but with something so philosophical, these cave trials did need to be handled better. It’d have helped fans understand this dichotomy the heroes were facing with their destinies instead of making them feel random.

Ahsoka’s Trial Has the Missing Nuance

Ahsoka now gets her own version of this trial when she lands in the World Between Worlds. There, Ahsoka fights Anakin, first in a sparring session, all before they go through drama from The Clone Wars. He then teaches her about the Jedi and Sith, Light and Dark, and peace and war. His intent is the same as the caves: to speak to Ahsoka’s identity and get her to pick if she’s “Snips,” a Jedi set in rigid ways, or the new Gray Jedi. He even tempts her with a corruptive lesson on why rage and anger work, coming off like a Sith Lord. It’s all about having Ahsoka figuring out if she wants to be like him, if power makes sense to fix the galaxy, or if she has to continue his humble, human path.

He even has her fighting the notion of life and death, and how she too has to seek redemption for abandoning Sabine’s training. Seriously, there’s a lot packed in here that speaks internally, as well as externally — a big difference to the caves. It’s not just about evolving into a warrior to fight a war and save the cosmos. Anakin’s lesson here is granular, microscopic and cerebral as he has Ahsoka wondering how to save her own soul. She has doubts, a lack of faith and belief, and part of her feels like a coward. Plus, she has to save Sabine as well, so this is a relatable lesson that tests Ahsoka’s character, not just her destiny in the grand scheme of things like the caves did with Luke and Rey.

To that point, the latter two felt like more spectacle, shock factor and style over substance. It’s not the case with Ahsoka as her introspection addresses her own flaws. She doesn’t have anyone to blame — she shot herself in her foot with her own mistakes as she progressed over the years. It’s why Anakin mentions choice, and uses this spiritual mirror to reflect how Ahsoka isn’t a pawn in someone else’s game like the others. She’s the architect of her own fate, her own puppet master, and someone accidentally self-sabotaging. In a way, her ‘cave’ shows she’s got agency, but is well and truly her own worst enemy with it as she dances between discovery and denial.

Ahsoka’s Trial Will Change the Future

This trial is important because she now thinks outside the Jedi way. She always had that ability, but she was confused over her place in the galaxy — ergo why she didn’t mind being reclusive. This enlightened Ahsoka, however, can someday pass this knowledge to Grogu if they ever resume training. She can even train Jacen Syndulla as a new Jedi, not to mention she has Sabine and maybe in time, Ezra as well. With Thrawn to come and another galaxy to explore, it’d be a great way to kickstart a new chapter.

Ahsoka can further use this trial to remind Baylan Skoll what the Jedi could be, and have Shin Hati realize there is another way to heal the galaxy rather than violence and bloodshed. Ahsoka’s trial has taught her, after all, she can come back and atone. Anakin redeemed himself after being Vader, so anyone can do it. Ultimately, this makes the trial more than just a minor plot beat — it redefines Ahsoka’s vision outside the Jedi and Sith, turns hopelessness into optimism, and carves a path to rebooting the heroic order the way Yoda, Luke, Qui-Gon and Anakin always wanted. In that sense, this isn’t a test; it’s the fulcrum that Star Wars’ next big paradigm shift can indeed hinge on.

Ahsoka streams new episodes on Disney+ every Tuesday.

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