In Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TV),

Ahsoka Tano is excommunicated from the Jedi Order.

In the show we see Anakin fighting against this conviction, believing in his padawan when nobody else will.

My question is:

Was the excommunication of Ahsoka Tano one of the main reasons for Anakin's conversion to the Dark Side via him losing faith in the righteousness of the Jedi Order?

  • 2
    She didn't exist for a long time after the movies... The movies show him turning to the dark side entirely without her, if she had anything to do with it at all it couldn't have been much otherwise the original 6 movies wouldn't have made sense without the Clone Wars movie and show which were not planned until after.
    – Probst
    Feb 29, 2016 at 17:24
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    @Probst You're forgetting the start of his descent to the Dark Side wasn't immediate, it was gradual. My question is whether this was the straw that broke the camel's back, and really pushed him to the path of the Dark Side. We also know that not long (<5 years) passed between the TV series and Episode III, so it's not implausible this was the point at which he really started to think, "This Jedi stuff is kinda some bull----....."
    – Anoplexian
    Feb 29, 2016 at 17:31
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    It doesn't matter, in the real life timeline the Clone Wars cartoons were not created until well after Episode 3. Ashoka was not planned to exist until after the entire story of his fall to the dark side had been told. She could not have had a significant impact otherwise she would have had to been mentioned in the prequel trilogy.
    – Probst
    Feb 29, 2016 at 17:34
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    @Probst I don't think you understand the question. It's not whether or not she's the everything, but rather the straw that broke the camel's back and provided the tipping point in his transition from light to dark.
    – Anoplexian
    Feb 29, 2016 at 17:55
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    @Probst: Your argument is irrelevant. Every experience in one's life defines that person. Since The Clone Wars TV series is canon, then the events depicted in them help defines Anakin Skywalker's life, in addition to the other canon works. While the 3 prequel moves do stand on their own, they do not depict every experience and choice that Anakin made. So, Ahsoka Tano could have had some impact. And based on some teased information from Rebels, that seems to be the case, although it's probably minor.
    – Ellesedil
    Feb 29, 2016 at 18:18

3 Answers 3


No, it was not a main reason

While the situation with Ahsoka certainly did impact him in ways that may have been a factor in his decision to betray the Jedi, the actual turn itself really boiled down to a single moment: his choice to save Palpatine, and for sole purpose of saving Padmé.

One of the primary plot elements of "Star Wars: Episode III" is the reason why Anakin makes the turn to become Darth Vader, which from a story perspective means that the viewer needs all the information necessary to understand and accept that choice. All throughout the movie, we witness his frequent dreams of Padmé dying and the fear that it brings him. The Jedi give him answers he doesn't want to hear, and when confiding in Palpatine, the chancellor reveals that there may be a way to save his wife (and in doing so admits that he is a Sith lord).

Anakin, still bound by his loyalty to the Jedi, decides to warn the council. What he assumed would be an arrest ends up turning into a fight that leaves only Mace and Palpatine standing, with Anakin on the sidelines as the deciding factor. Palpatine uses this opportunity to specifically focus on and take advantage Anakin's fear of losing Padmé, and it is for this reason that he makes his choice.

Could the way the Jedi council treated Ahsoka have been something he considered as a reason for turning on them? Probably, just as we can certainly say that his own feelings of betrayal by the council (for not granting him the title of Jedi Master) were all considered. All of this on top of the situation at hand, with Palpatine "calling for mercy" and Mace not having any of it.

But all of these were mere ripples to the wave of fear that was the loss of Padmé. While he does claim that "It is not the Jedi way", this was more likely his trying to justify keeping Palpatine alive (the last thing Anakin says before doing the deed was "I need him"). It was for that reason that he chose the path to the dark side, to follow Palpatine and learn from him of how she might be saved (as he says afterwards: "I will do whatever you ask...just help me save Padmé's life. I can't live without her.").

Here's the clip of his choice and subsequent turn:

  • For what it's worth, Anakin doesn't appear to blame the Council for Ahsoka leaving, but Ahsoka herself. This is hinted at in the season 2 midseason trailer for Rebels. We'll hopefully learn more how Ahsoka plays into Anakin's fall as the season wraps up. It seems she was assigned to Anakin to teach Anakin to let go of his attachments, since the Padawan would eventually move on. But clearly, saving Padme was Anakins primary motivation.
    – Ellesedil
    Feb 29, 2016 at 19:13
  • @Ellesedil My impression of the episode was that he placed at least some blame on the council for not trusting her in the first place, which was why she chose to leave. The trailer seems to indicate that he still didn't fully understand why she had to make that choice.
    – Mwr247
    Feb 29, 2016 at 19:27
  • So basically it was not a main reason because the entire story of his fall was told in the prequel trilogy and more specifically Ep 3... How could we ever have guessed? Good job writing it up though, this is more specific and explains it so that everyone will understand.
    – Probst
    Mar 1, 2016 at 20:47
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    @Probst I wouldn't quite say "the entire story". The movie provided us with only what we needed to understand why he made his choice. Other outside elements could have still been big factors, but not enough so as to be the hinge point or change the ultimate outcome, and for that, not a main reason.
    – Mwr247
    Mar 1, 2016 at 21:02

I do not believe that it was a main reason, but it was probably just another point he could use to justify his rebellion in the Jedi code. Especially when he was fighting so desperately with his feelings for Padme, and his alignment with the Jedi order.

I also believe that his turn to the Dark Side began very early in Episode II. This quote in a conversation between him and Padme:

It’s worse. He’s overly critical. He never listens. He– He doesn’t understand. It’s not fair!

Anakin was responding to Padme acknowledging he'd grown up alot, and how lucky he was to have a master as fair and knowledgeable as Obi Wan. It's clear that Anakin drew some resentment towards Obi Wan quite early, and was frustrated with him, and felt he was holding him back.

Lets not forget that that Episode II is set 10 years after the events of Episode I, and the relationship between Palpatine and Anakin is made clear, Palpatine had already been influencing Anakin from a distance for years by this point. It wouldn't be too far-fetched to say that his dark side influence and clouding of judgement would be effecting Anakin's ability to see that Obi Wan was trying to be wise, not letting Anakin jump ahead of his station too quickly.

The plot is much simpler than thought. Palpatine wanted Anakin as his apprentice, and as such he secretly used his influence in the dark side to make this happen in every facet of the young man's life, including his romantic relationship with Padme, and relationship with Obi Wan. The entirety of Episode II was a vessel to show the beginning of Anakin's fall, even if to the simple eye, he is still a strong follower of the Jedi code of practice.


No It was not at all the Main reason in fact it was probably a pretty small reason. Anakin's fall to that Dark Side started years before when he saw his Mother Die right in front him and he slaughtered a whole village of Sand People and was Complete when he learned of Padme's death everything in between was gradual with reason after reason to turn stacking up until he came to the tipping point.

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