As many Star Wars fans know, Darth Vader began his life as Anakin Skywalker. He was a brilliant and talented Jedi, on track to dominate the Jedi Order.
Of course, being regarded as the “Chosen One” gave Anakin a bit of an ego. Because of this, he felt entitled to certain things, like promotions, even though he often broke the rules of the Jedi Code.
Eventually, he fell to the dark side and became the Sith Lord Darth Vader.
When Anakin switched to the dark side, he burned many bridges. He also disappointed many of his friends and former comrades.
There’s one friend in particular that fans were curious about when Anakin left the light side: his closest friend, Ahsoka Tano. When did she find out that Anakin was actually Darth Vader?
Stay tuned as we answer this question and more.
Table of Contents
Ahsoka and Anakin’s Relationship
Ahsoka didn’t like Anakin when they first met.
Anakin was supposed to take Ahsoka on as his apprentice, but he made it clear that he did not want to do that. Especially since Ahsoka had a sarcastic, witty attitude.
During the Battle of Christophsis, Anakin changed his mind and decided to train Ahsoka. From that point onward, the pair became great friends and always looked out for each other.
Anakin even saved Ahsoka from an exploding droid foundry (that she blew up herself). Not only was Anakin relieved to find his friend alive, but Ahsoka had complete faith that Anakin would come to her rescue.
Ahsoka clearly trusted her mentor, and it seemed as though she had a strong effect on him as well. Anakin was usually an impulsive, reckless person who did whatever was necessary to get the job done. Even if that meant breaking a couple of rules.
Still, it seems as though Ahsoka’s presence softened Anakin’s heart and calmed some of his otherwise destructive mannerisms.
They were so loyal to one another that when Ahsoka found out about Anakin’s marriage to Padme Amidala, she kept their secret.
She knew if she had spilled the beans, Anakin would have been expelled from the Jedi Order and Padme from the Senate.
Similarly, Anakin did not leave his friend in the lurch and tried to protect her whenever he could. This is especially true when Ahsoka was wrongly accused of a crime. Anakin was the only Jedi actively trying to hear her out and clear her name.
Needless to say, Ahsoka and Anakin truly cared for one another, despite their rocky beginning.
When Does Ahsoka Find Out That Anakin Is Darth Vader?
The story of how Ahsoka found out about Anakin’s turn to the dark side is a long and convoluted one.
It began when she was propositioned by Darth Maul to join forces and take down Darth Sidious (Emperor Palpatine) together. Although she had no idea about the imminent Jedi Purge, Ahsoka knew something terrible was afoot.
But before she could agree to anything, Ahsoka asked Maul why he brought Anakin to Mandalore. That was when he was honest with her and disclosed that Anakin had been manipulated by the Emperor.
Naturally, Ahsoka was in severe denial and wholeheartedly refused to accept that her kind tutor would betray his Jedi brothers like this.
After the Jedi genocide, Order 66, Ahsoka was one of the few survivors. As such, she became one of the frontmen in the Rebel Alliance, created to destroy the Empire.
It was around the beginning of Star Wars Rebels Season Two when Ahsoka finally began to suspect that maybe Anakin could be Darth Vader. Still, Ahsoka remained in ignorance and continued to believe that her master died in the Order 66 massacre.
It wasn’t until the season finale that Ahsoka would finally step out of her denial and embrace the fact that Anakin was the Sith Lord who had carried out the heinous Jedi Purge. This occurred when the distant friends reunited on Malachor.
Recognizing that she could not save Anakin, Ahsoka challenged Lord Vader to a battle to the death. A duel that would have most likely ended in her demise had Ezra Bridger not rescued her.
How Did Ahsoka Feel About Darth Vader?
It’s clear that Ahsoka still cared for, loved, and respected Anakin.
She ignored signs from Darth Maul and a few little indicators from her encounters with Darth Vader himself. Ahsoka even ignored a vision from the Force.
In this manifestation, Ahsoka saw that Anakin morphed into Darth Vader because he was disappointed in her. Understandably, Ahsoka was unsettled by this apparition, but then she realized that there was nobody around but herself.
Still, she did not believe what the Force had shown her and held out hope that Anakin remained the same Jedi who trained her.
Even when she met face-to-face with Darth Vader (and got confirmation that he and Anakin were the same person), Ahsoka held out hope that the Anakin she knew was in there somewhere.
So much so that she was willing to fight to the death if that meant she could save her friend from the dark side.
This is not dissimilar to Obi-Wan Kenobi’s meeting with Anakin Skywalker on Mustafar. We know this battle did not end in the way Kenobi had hoped, but he tried everything he could to save his apprentice from the dark side.
Did Darth Vader Still Care About Ahsoka?
Sadly, Darth Vader did not hold the same compassion for Ahsoka as she did for him.
When Anakin became Darth Vader, he did not care for anyone from his former life.
It’s theoretically possible that Vader saw Anakin as a representation of all the pain, hurt, and grief that he went through, whereas Darth Vader was a beacon of fear, power, and control, which was comparatively better.
Ahsoka’s rejection of this newer version meant she was nothing but a reminder of his past life. As such, Darth Vader saw her through eyes filled with anger and hatred.
What’s more, with Emperor Palpatine’s poisoning of his mind, Darth Vader saw all Jedi and anyone affiliated with them as the enemy.
When Ahsoka and Darth Vader fought, he made it evident that he had every intention of killing her. In that instant, it’s plausible that Ahsoka would have understandably been heartbroken.
This person she once dedicated her life to supporting, the person she thought of as a friend, was gone. With him went the deep bond that had grown between Ahsoka and Anakin.
Ignorance truly is bliss, and Ahsoka is a prime example of that.
Ahsoka had multiple indicators that her amazing mentor, Anakin Skywalker, was transformed into the Lord of Darkness, Darth Vader. Yet, she chose to ignore them, refusing to believe that Anakin would never betray everything he’d known.
It wasn’t until the epic (and quite emotional) season two finale of Star Wars Rebels that Ahsoka finally had stone-cold confirmation of Anakin’s fall to the dark side.
Even so, Ahsoka held on to a slight glimmer of hope that she could save her friend. This seemingly angered Lord Vader and contributed to his wanting to end her.
You see, Ahsoka was clinging to the person Darth Vader once was and refused to accept the man he had become.
This was a major issue, as Vader himself wanted to forget that person to the extent that he told Ahsoka that he had killed Anakin.