The Tano Factor
But what of Ahsoka Tano? Her name drop in Chapter 11, ‘The Heiress,’ clearly indicates we’ll be seeing her rather soon (as has been rumored for a while). Her mere existence in the series opens up a ridiculous amount of possibilities and firmly thrusts The Mandalorian into the larger events of the Saga.
Ahsoka personally knew Yoda and will undoubtedly recognize the Child. Her knowledge of the Jedi is extensive, and she assisted the nascent Rebellion in their fight against the Empire. Last time we saw her, she and Sabine were heading off to find out what happened to Ezra Bridger, immediately after the events of Return of the Jedi. While many fans jokingly refer to her as the Forrest Gump of the Star Wars galaxy, managing to pop up in every significant piece of history, it does mean Din’s worldview is about to expand dramatically.
Since The Mandalorian takes place a few years after ROTJ, there’s a decent chance the quest she was on with Sabine has already reached its conclusion. For what it’s worth, I doubt we’ll get any insight into how it played out, with Lucasfilm saving that tale for another time. Much like with Bo-Katan, and maybe even Boba Fett, I have a feeling Ahsoka’s role won’t be a dominant one, for fear that it could take the focus away from the show’s star.
Instead she’ll offer up information that will connect a few more dots, guide Din to the next stage of the story and, more than likely, help out with Moff Gideon. After all, Ahsoka and Bo-Katan have worked together in the past and I could see Bo calling in a favor to help reclaim the Darksaber…
Even if she only pops up in a single episode or two, the potential for moving the story into unprecedented places is big, excessively big. It’s important to remember that Ahsoka no longer considers herself a Jedi, hasn’t for some time, so I’m curious to see what guidance she plans on offering Din when he shows up looking for a one.
She may take his lack of knowledge about the Jedi for what it is, choosing to leave out her own turmoil with the Order. In that case, she may simply use her personal knowledge of Yoda (which probably isn’t much) to help Din find more of the Child’s kind. As someone who was close with Yoda, it might not be entirely outside the realm of possibility for Ahsoka to be able to reach out to the Jedi Master’s Force spirit. In doing so she could learn more about his species and exactly where the Child should be taken.
However, if Ahsoka DOES feel like getting specific about the Jedi, there’s only one direction she could point Din: Luke Skywalker.
At this point in the timeline, there’s absolutely no way Ahsoka hasn’t heard of Luke Skywalker, the Jedi who helped overthrow/kill (as far as they know) the Emperor. In fact, there’s no reason to think the two haven’t finally met at this point. Luke would definitely want to chat with the former Padawan of his own father once he learned of her existence.
It’s a tantalizing possibility. The potential to see a Luke Skywalker post-ROTJ, but well before his self-imposed exile is something fans have been eager to see. Doing so within The Mandalorian, even as a brief moment (I suspect the focus of the show will stay on Din), could be a cheeky lead-in to more potential stories.
Either way it goes, Ahsoka’s role in The Mandalorian is directly tied to the future of The Child, while opening up more stories to be told in other places. At the very least, she’s set to broaden Din’s knowledge of the galaxy and the great conflict still in play.
What Happens to The Child?
The adorable “Baby Yoda” has captured the hearts of fans and newcomers alike, becoming part of the zeitgeist. Hell, even people who haven’t watched the show still know about him thanks to memes and his product driven pop-culture domination. From the outset, his appearance has set the pace for the show in general and continues to drive the story forward.
So, what happens with him next? The possibilities seem nearly endless. From staying with Din and ultimately learning the ways of Mandalore (which would harken back to ancient Mandalorian history when the ruler was also a Jedi), to even meeting up with Luke Skywalker at some point.
Personally, I think (hope) the Child ends up finding his people/home world and is left to live out his life. I know, it seems a little anti-climactic, but ultimately, I feel that’s where we’re headed. I have some other reasons to believe this will be the case, but I’ll keep us firmly in speculation territory here.
One of the things I’ve loved most about this season so far, is the evolving relationship between Din and the Child. It’s obvious they care for one another, and the father/son back and forth is genuinely touching. This is despite the fact, and has been shown multiple times, that being in Din’s care is far from the safest place. Not to mention, once Din realizes Moff Gideon isn’t dead and is still searching for the Child, he’ll have no choice but to hide him away, keep him safe.
Such a parting could be one of the more emotional moments in Star Wars, but also frees up Din to claim his own destiny. In fact, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if they end up wrapping up the Child’s storyline THIS season.
Considering how the Child has proven to be a merchandise darling, it would seem crazy to think they’d end his story in a way that wouldn’t bring him back the following season. One of the show’s biggest hooks could be gone, but with the seeds they’ve been planting, it feels like something even bigger is on the horizon.