You Have the Right to Say No: Why I Can Relate to Ahsoka leaving the Jedi Order

Jedi apprentice Ahsoka leaves the Order while her Jedi Master looks on

In anticipation of the new season of Clone Wars, I decided to watch an abridged version of the previous seasons with my family.  I already knew what was coming because I heard of Ahsoka, Anakin’s apprentice, leaving the Jedi order.  My husband and daughters were upset when they first watched it happen and had explained it to me. Ahsoka is also my youngest daughter’s favorite character and she was upset she might not ever see her again. 

Last night we finally watched those shows, and I have to say, I don’t blame Ahsoka for leaving the Jedi order.  For those who don’t watch the show, Ahsoka has been loyal to her Jedi Master Anakin (the future Darth Vader) and the Jedi Order.  She has remained true to their principles and has saved countless lives in the Clone Wars.  The Jedi Temple was bombed and Ahsoka and Anakin are assigned as investigators.  There are rumors that a Jedi is behind all of this.  They find that a mechanic caused the bomb and died in the blast.  The wife of the bomber is arrested and held and is about to confess to Ahsoka who is really behind the bombing when she chokes to death a la Force style by an unknown assailant.  Since Ahsoka was in the room with her, the assumption was made it was Ahsoka who killed the bomber’s wife.

Clearly this is a set up, but the Jedi seem oblivious to this—like they are oblivious to the fact that  Chancellor Palpatine (the future Emperor)  is part of the dark side right in their midst! So they continue to accuse Ahsoka of this when 1) she has always been loyal and 2) they never bother to ask her what happened.  Then they kick her out of the Jedi order. Finally another Jedi apprentice confesses and the Jedi council apologizes to Ahsoka for doubting her and asks her to come back to the Jedi order.  Then she decides no, she wasn’t returning and leaves. 

Also let me say how disappointing Yoda is in these episodes.  Like, hello, doesn’t Yoda sense that there’s something wrong with Chancellor Palpatine?  What’s with his Jedi Spidey senses being off?  I mean, isn’t that basic psychic senses and intuition, the ability to sense and know when someone is lying and deceiving you?  I keep waiting for Yoda to say, I sense a MAJOR disturbance in the force and he never does!

Ahsoka’s decision to leave the Jedi was sad for many but I understood why she did it, because I could relate to her feelings at that moment.  When I was a freshman in my boarding high school I applied to be a prefect (student floor supervisor) for my sophomore year.  I really wanted the position but I was denied and told I was too “reserved.”  I had to laugh, even then, at that feedback.  Reserved would not be a word I would describe myself as being.  I wonder which teacher determined that about me?

Anyway, fast forward to junior year and I was walking across the quadrangle heading back to my dorm.  Approaching me and heading in my direction was my dorm head, Mrs. Hess.  She asked me, “Tina, are you applying to be prefect? I think you be wonderful at it.”  At this point I had let go of being prefect and no longer wanted such a position.  I smiled at her and said, “I am not interested.” And then I walked away, I felt amazing because just two years prior I was turned down and devastated I didn’t have the opportunity to become prefect.

In reality, I was no longer interested at that point.  I was the Founder and President of my high school’s first Environmental Club and future Copy Editor of the yearbook and had my hands full already.  That’s why I can relate to Ahsoka, when people don’t believe in you, they lose your loyalty and commitment.  And you learn that your own happiness is important and what you think about yourself matters, not what others think of you.

What helped me recover from my rejection was finding activities and issues that mattered to me, like environmental policy.  After I pursued my interests, I notice that my fellow students and teachers respected me more.

Not every opportunity is right for you.  I used to say yes to everything and regret it.  Now I really think about getting involved and whether I even have time for a particular activity.  It’s all about good boundaries and self-care now.