Star Wars has made an icon out of Ahsoka Tano, even without fully being able to explain her connection to the Jedi Order. Ahsoka was recruited into the Jedi Order as a youngling and became the Padawan of Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars. However, her path to Jedi Knighthood was interrupted by Darth Sidious's rise and the Jedi Order's demise with Order 66. Ahsoka left the Jedi Order before its destruction and since then its been unclear what her service to the light side of the Force has been all about. Now the new Star Wars: The High Republic novel Into The Dark reveals the proud Jedi legacy Ahsoka is unknowingly carrying on!
Warning: Star Wars: The High Republic SPOILERS Follow!!!
The Star Wars: The High Republic novel Into The Dark by Claudia Gray sees a trio of oddball Jedi thrust together on a voyage to the Starlight Beacon the Republic and Jedi are establishing in the Outer Rim territories. However, the hyperspace disaster that is the centerpiece of this first phase of High Republic stories sends the voyage off course to an abandoned space station. It's there that the Jedi find themselves tested by a new kind of dark side threat that has been contained in the station... until now.
One of the main characters of Into The Dark is Jedi Knight Orla Jareni. Orla, an Umbaran female, is uniquely different from her fellow Jedi, in that she serves the light side of the Force, but does not agree with the philosophies and interpretations of the Force as dictated by the Jedi Council. As such, Into The Dark begins as Orla Jareni is traveling to the Outer Rim to take on a unique title within the Jedi Order: that of the "Wayseeker."
As the name implies, a Wayseeker is a Jedi who seeks his/her/their own path to serve the Force, independent of the Jedi High Council and the rest of the order. In Orla's case, her way seems to be leading to the Outer Rims, a region where she had hard lessons during a pivotal mission that helped shape the High Republic's future. Even after facing the deadly combined threats of space pirates (The Nihiil) and new monsters of the dark side (The Drengir), Orla reaches the end of the adventures during Into The Dark resolute in her future as a Wayseeker, spreading the light of the Jedi to the unexplored regions of the universe.
Even though Star Wars: The High Republic - Into The Dark doesn't make any direct connections between Orla Jareni and Ahsoka Tano, there are plenty of thematic ones. Orla's character design places her in white robes, wielding a double-bladed white lightsaber with a hinged hilt. That design bears direct resemblance to Ahsoka Tano's look in the time after she escaped Order 66, and resurfaced as part of the Galactic Rebellion, in Star Wars Rebels. Fans who saw Rosario Dawson's live-action version of Ahsoka in The Mandalorian will definitely recognize the design similarities between Orla and the white-robed, dual white lightsaber look Ahsoka takes on in her adult years.
Clearly, by the time of the Skywalker Saga ideas about Wayseeker Jedi had faded out in favor of Yoda's philosophies of the Force and how to serve it. However, The High Republic is now adding new levels of irony to Ahsoka's story, by connecting her to. the tradition of the Wayseeker. Ahsoka rejected Yoda's Jedi Council and its ways, believing them flawed in their interpretation of the Force and a Jedi's purpose. Following her own path through the Force allowed Ahsoka to survive Order 66, growing and thriving as a force of good in the galaxy, while the Jedi Order shattered and fell.
All in all, Orla Jareni is easily one of the biggest breakout stars of Star Wars: The high Republic, while TheMandalorian has set Ahsoka up for her own series on Disney+. The independent ladies in white are definitely proving to be some of the best the Jedi have to offer.
Star Wars: The High Republic - Into The Dark is now on sale. You can order it HERE.