After a whole season of The Clone Wars without Ahsoka, fans of the Force using outcast were gifted with her reappearance in Rebels two years later. But even with the knowledge that post-Jedi Ahsoka not only made it on her own but was thriving, we’ve all been wondering what else happened to Ahsoka between the last time we saw her with Anakin and her surprise appearance aboard the Ghost in Rebels.
Some of her story is laid out in the novel Ahsoka by E. K. Johnston, published in 2016. Johnston’s novel deals mainly with the Seige of Mandalore and the events of Order 66. Some of it is laid out in Rebels after Ahsoka meets Ezra and Kanan and the rest of the Ghost crew.
But when we see Ahsoka again in “Gone Without A Trace,” she is a far cry from the confident leader that saves the life of Ezra Bridger and takes on Darth Vader in one of the most legendary lightsaber duels of history. She is still heartbroken from leaving the only life she’s ever known.
Despite the fact that Anakin stood by her side and not only believed in her innocence but also found the true terrorist who bombed the Jedi Temple, Ahsoka’s trust in the Jedi had been completely broken. Although it isn’t clear how much time has passed since Ahsoka left, whether we’re on the same timeline as the current story (most likely), life in the real world is a tough one.
With her wealth of knowledge from combat to mechanics, Ahsoka is a strong ally, but mentally she is damaged and forced to wander. When her speeder bike breaks down and she crashlands on the lower levels of Coruscant, she meets Trace Martez, a young mechanic who works with her sister Rafa.
Although Trace is very clearly and vocally short on cash, she is kind to the essentially penniless Ahsoka and helps her simply because it is the right thing to do. We get the sense that Ahsoka spent a handful of her paltry credits buying that bike and barely has enough to live on at this point.
This is nothing new to Trace, as an inhabitant of the lower sectors of the city, everyone she knows is strapped for cash. Her dreams lie in fixing up the Nebula-class freighter and getting herself off of the planet. To Trace, the Jedi are as much a part of the problem of the war as the politicians and the Separatists. She’s lost her faith in the order, the heroic Jedi Knights don’t seem to have time for the little people any more. This surprises Ahsoka, and despite her separation from the Order, she is quick to try and defend the Jedi.
By far the most interesting part of this episode is seeing Ahsoka battle with her own position on the Jedi. They betrayed, hunted, and accused her of terrorism, yet they also raised her, taught her, and guided her in the ways of the Force. At one point, she even refers to Anakin as her older brother.
Working in the hangar, they are interrupted by a local loan shark, Pintu, who comes for the money that Trace’s sister, Rafa, owes. Pintu’s thugs start roughing Trace up until Ahsoka cuts in and easily beats up the thugs and sends them packing.
In contrast to Trace, Rafa is a far slicker and morally grey character. She doesn’t mind stealing from other people, she’ll take illegal jobs, she’ll fleece her buyers and sell them violent droids. Anything to get the job done. Although she’s not presented as an outright evil character, she’s hardly the type to do anything simply because “It’s the right thing to do.”
When the droids Trace and Ahsoka are fixing turn out to be a faulty line of demolition droids that are prone to violence and go on a violent rampage, Rafa’s first concern is more about the damages rather than the dangers of the droid. Trace and Ahsoka manage to capture the loose droid, with Ahsoka secretly using the Force in order to save Trace’s life. After getting the droid back, both Trace and Ahsoka think that it’s better not to sell the violent droids. Rafa not only sells them, but she makes double the profit from them.
I’ll be interested to see where they take both Rafa and Trace’s character. Both have the potential to be damned or redeemed. It’ll also be interesting to see how the sisters deal with the fact that Ahsoka is a force user and was previously a Jedi.
All in all, this was an enjoyable return for Ahsoka, but it feels mainly like exposition and I’m dying to get to the meat of this arc.
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