spoilers for Rebels, TCW season 7, and the Darth Vader Dark Lord of the Sith comic series
When I was talking about season 7 of The Clone Wars with a friend of mine, she mentioned that people have been theorizing that the scene at the end of that season, where Vader finds Ahsoka's lightsaber, takes place long after that time period, even after Rebels. I didn't think that the theory held any water at the time, but now I've been thinking.
At first, when I watched the show, I assumed that Vader would have gone looking for Ahsoka and Rex fairly soon after becoming Darth Vader. He was changed, but he still would've sought some resolution, I feel, for their lives, and Palpatine would have wanted Vader to know they were dead. This didn't seem to clash with season 2 of Rebels, where Vader first learns that Ahsoka is alive. I also can't imagine that Vader, after fifteen years of being Vader, would go back to where he thought Ahsoka died. So I just assumed that that scene took place soon after Anakin became Vader.
But here's the rub - the 2017 comic series Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith. It takes place very directly after RoTS, right when Palpatine tells Vader that Padme is dead. The whole series takes place in a very tight time period, with an emphasis on Vader burying Anakin Skywalker. In the final volume of that series, Fortress Vader, Vader goes through a very direct facing of his past as Anakin, burning away all of his past attachments. Ahsoka is featured here, as well as Shmi Skywalker and Obi-Wan. In the end, Vader finally loses Padme for good, solidifying his role as Darth Vader.
With this comic, I found myself wondering - when did that scene at the end of season 7 take place? Given the way Vader gently held the lightsaber, I wouldn't assume it was so far after RotS, but this clashes with the comic series. The series is about Vader killing his past - so why, after this, would he go out to the place where he thought Ahsoka died?
Is it still reasonable to assume that, maybe after this series, Vader went to that crashed ship? Or is there evidence that he did so at a far later date?