Thanks to Disney+ and the renewed fervor for Star Wars: The Clones Wars and its final season, more and more people are learning about Ahsoka Tano. Despite only really appearing in the animated series, she has such an important spot in Star Wars canon as Anakin’s Padawan. While there isn’t mention of her in the movies (because she wasn’t created yet), Season 7 showed just how intertwined she still is in the prequels.
With all that said, why does Ahsoka call Anakin “Master” even though he isn’t on the Council and doesn’t have the rank of Master? This is a pretty big deal in Revenge of the Sith, which comes after Ahsoka’s time with Anakin. Let’s break it down.
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Ahsoka became Anakin’s Padawan not that long after ‘Attack of the Clones’
Anakin Skywalker was just a trigger-happy, overconfident teenage boy in Attack of the Clones. Even though it’s not shown in current canon, Anakin loses his Padawan braid and becomes a Jedi Knight before the 2008 The Clone Wars movie. He still goes on missions and serves with his master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, but he’s not a Padawan anymore.
This is why Yoda is allowed to give Anakin a Padawan of his own. Now, he doesn’t want one. Like, at all. He’s very adamant that a Padawan would just slow him down and knowing Anakin, he’s also not the best at taking care of younger beings. But, Yoda and Obi-Wan can foresee that a Padawan would teach Anakin good skills he’s missing. And George Lucas gave him a Padawan because he wanted someone to help take him from that cocky teen to the established Jedi Knight we see in Revenge of the Sith.
But, since Ahsoka comes into the picture not that long after Episode II (it’s the same year), Anakin is still closer to his teen side. So they develop a very teen brother and sister bond and relationship at first. It still follows them throughout their time together, but especially in the beginning, there’s a lot of taunting and competitiveness going on.
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Anakin is Ahsoka’s master, but that isn’t the same thing as having the rank of master on the Council
No matter what part of their journey you look at, Ahsoka is Anakin’s Padawan. Because of this, she calls him “Master” or “Master Skywalker.” That is, when she’s not calling him “Skyguy” or just “Anakin.” But why?
Well, in the Jedi Order, there’s a Jedi Council. They’re the ruling, leading body in charge of the Jedi. They do things like deciding whether a youngling is allowed to start training or how to go about fighting the Sith. Some of the oldest and wisest Jedi are a part of the Council like masters Windu, Obi-Wan, and Yoda.
It’s one of the highest honors for a Jedi Knight to be a part of the Council, but it’s not the only way you can become a master. When you’re on the Council, you have the high rank of “Master.” But any Jedi Knight can train a Padawan. When you receive a Padwan, then you become a Master to them, but that’s different than the rank of master.
Even though their numbers aren’t given, there are a lot of Jedi before the purge in Revenge of the Sith. But, if you can recall from The Clone Wars and the movies, the Council has maybe two dozen Jedi involved. So, there are a lot of Jedi that are masters to their padawans, but not that many that rank as master.
Ahsoka left the Order because of the Council but did think of returning
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The reason Anakin is so insulted when denied the rank of master is not that he’s annoyed at not receiving the rank. It’s that Palpatine elected him as his representative on the Jedi Council, but they don’t give him said rank. As he tells Obi-Wan, it’s not something that’s ever been done in history. He finds it insulting.
Regardless, Ahsoka leaves the Order before that whole conversation even transpires. Barriss Offee framed her for bombing the Jedi Temple and the Council banned her nearly right away. They didn’t defend her against the allegations and didn’t investigate whether she actually bombed the temple. Ahsoka left because she couldn’t trust them or herself since everything she ever knew and lived for wasn’t at all what she thought.
However, Season 7 shows that Ahsoka was closer to rejoining the Jedi Order than previously thought. Coming back and working for a good cause while using her Jedi training made her want to talk to Anakin. It seemed like she was having second thoughts, and Anakin would have been all for having his Padawan back.
However, everything went wrong, and Anakin turned to the Dark Side. When Ahsoka shows up again in Star Wars Rebels, she’s still not a Jedi. But she is one of the most powerful Force wielders, and that’s all thanks to the lessons Master Skywalker gave her.
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