Out of all of the different Jedi that survived the events of Order 66 and the era of the Empire, Ahsoka Tano seems to be the most popular. She has one of the most interesting storylines in the Star Wars continuity because she left the Jedi Order without necessarily turning to the dark side of the Force. That means that she was a Jedi who went rogue without becoming an evil Force user. But when did Ahsoka leave the Jedi Order?
Ahsoka Tano left the Jedi Order on 19 BBY, just before the events of Order 66. That means that Ahsoka could avoid getting caught in the heat of the action when Anakin and the clones attacked and destroyed the Jedi Order. And this explains how she survived the fall of the Jedi.
In a way, Ahsoka left the Jedi Order right when she needed to, as she might have gotten mixed up in the middle of the action when Anakin betrayed the Jedi and helped destroy the Jedi Order. While she still ended up experiencing the effects of Order 66, Ahsoka could still avoid facing her master, who attacked the Jedi Temple himself. Now, let’s look at when Ahsoka left the Jedi Order.
Ahsoka Left the Jedi Order Just in Time
Since she was introduced as a character in Star Wars: Clone Wars, Ahsoka Tano has had one of the best character development arcs in the storyline. Of course, she was loyal to the Jedi Order and her master, Anakin Skywalker. But experiencing the Clone Wars firsthand and seeing some of the flaws of the Republic and the Jedi Order shook her faith. Still, she was never going to betray the Jedi Order.
Nevertheless, Ahsoka did indeed leave the Jedi Order even though she was loyal to the beliefs of the Jedi. During the Clone Wars, she did everything that was asked of her by the Jedi Council. But the problem was that the Jedi Council did not have the same faith in her as she did in the Jedi Order. And when Ahsoka realized that the Jedi questioned her loyalty, she needed to leave the Order to find her own path in life.
Ahsoka Tano departed from the Jedi Order during the Clone Wars’ final stages. This happened during the Bombing of the Jedi Temple Hangar, which took place on 19 BBY. That means that Ahsoka left the Jedi Order during the same year Order 66 took place. As such, she left just before the machinations and deceptions of Sheev Palpatine destroyed the Jedi Order.
Considering that Clone Wars was created and released long after Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, where Ahsoka Tano wasn’t even featured, her departure from the Jedi Order was right before the events of the Battle of Coruscant and Order 66. The fact that she also left the Jedi before its destruction allowed fans to see how she survived Order 66.
Before Ahsoka left the Jedi Order, fans were wondering what happened to her and why she wasn’t around during the final days, considering that she was a heavily featured character during the events of Clone Wars. So, by writing Ahsoka’s character off as having left the Jedi Order before the events of Revenge of the Sith, the series creator was able to find a way to cover this huge hole in the plot.
Of course, because Ahsoka left the Jedi just before the events of Order 66, she survived the hottest part of the clone attack, the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. There were a lot of clones that attacked their Jedi Generals in different systems of the galaxy. But the Jedi Temple was where Anakin and the clones stationed in Coruscant were during Order 66.
So, because Ahsoka wasn’t with the Jedi Order when Order 66 was initiated, she could narrowly avoid getting killed by the clones. Of course, she still got caught in the Order 66 action when Captain Rex and a few other clones attacked her. But had Ahsoka been with the Jedi then, she might have found herself in the Jedi Temple or on the battlefield, where most clones were then.
Why Did Ahsoka Leave the Jedi Order?
As mentioned, Ahsoka left the Jedi Order when her faith in the Jedi was shaken. This was largely due to the events surrounding the Bombing of the Jedi Temple Hangar on 19 BBY. What happened was that an unknown assailant bombed the Jedi Temple. That was when Anakin and Ahsoka were called to investigate the bombing, only for them to conclude that this was an inside job.
Ahsoka ended up dueling with the masked suspect, only for her to be set up by the assailant. That was when the authorities caught her seemingly red-handed. As such, Ahsoka became the prime suspect in the bombing. And not even the Jedi High Council listened to Ahsoka when the council members immediately dismissed her from the Jedi Order and ordered her to go through a trial.
Anakin, however, believed that his Padawan was innocent. That was when he investigated the matter. While he initially thought that Asajj Ventress had bombed the Jedi Temple and set Ahsoka up, he discovered she was innocent. And that was when Ahsoka traced the bombing to Barriss Offee, a young Jedi Knight whom Ahsoka was befriended.
When Anakin could prove Ahsoka’s innocence, the Jedi Council apologized to her. It offered her to rejoin the Jedi Order as a Jedi Knight who had already proven worthy of the title. Plo Koon, the same person that took Ahsoka to the Jedi Temple many years ago, was the one that apologized on behalf of the Jedi Council he even told her that the High Council considers this entire ordeal as the will of the Force and as Ahsoka’s Jedi Trials for knighthood.
But Ahsoka rejected the offer to return to the Jedi Order because she thought the Jedi Council never had the same faith she had in the Order. That ordeal shook Ahsoka’s faith in the Jedi as she realized that the Jedi Order also had flaws. She left the Jedi Order on her own accord without even turning over to the dark side.