Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi has officially confirmed that Ahsoka Tano and Kanan Jarrus knew each other during the Clone Wars. Tales of the Jedi offers a closer look at Ahsoka’s life in the Star Wars galaxy, from the time she was born up to and including the aftermath of Order 66. The more we learn about Ahsoka, the more we understand her actions after the Clone Wars, including her role in Star Wars Rebels. In that show, Ahsoka fought side-by-side with Kanan Jarrus for the Rebellion, and it was often questioned whether they knew each other beforehand. The Jedi were a massive organization, after all, and it was entirely plausible they had never met before. Now, however, Tales of the Jedi confirmed Ahsoka and Kanan did indeed know each other before Star Wars Rebels.
One of the Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi shorts, “Practice Makes Perfect,” focuses on Ahsoka’s training as a Padawan under Anakin Skywalker’s tutelage. During one training montage, Kanan Jarrus, then still known as Caleb Dume, watches Ahsoka with great admiration, confirming that the two Padawans knew each other during the Clone Wars era. This also refers back to something that Tales of the Jedi and Star Wars Rebels creator Dave Filoni tweeted in 2017: “If you ever wondered whether Kanan and Ahsoka knew each other, or had met while they were at the Jedi Temple, the answer is YES. They had met, though they did not know each other well, they had at least done some saber training together,” (via Twitter). Knowing that Ahsoka and Kanan knew each other before their shared time in the Rebellion makes their dynamic in Star Wars Rebels all the more interesting, and paves the way for more Kanan-centric stories in the future.
Ahsoka & Kanan’s Clone Wars History Makes Their Star Wars Rebels Story Better
From that brief scene in Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi, it is clear that Kanan used to admire Ahsoka greatly, and finding out that she survived was likely simultaneously painful as well as uplifting. Similarly, Ahsoka thought she lost every Jedi she knew or had been close with, and finding out Kanan was still alive was likely quite an emotional experience for her. Few other Padawans of that time are known to have survived Order 66 in Star Wars, so finding each other must have been quite the surprise.
Star Wars Rebels makes it clear that Kanan hid who he was for a very long time, not just as a precaution but also as a way to try and forget his trauma. Ahsoka being there as a guide, as someone who had experienced the same loss and horror as he had probably changed his attitude towards the Rebellion at large, which he was skeptical of for a long time. Tales of the Jedi proves that Kanan looked up to her when they were younger, and she is the voice that gets him to believe there is still hope for the future, and that he is capable of training Ezra Bridger too.
Star Wars Should Expand More Upon Kanan’s History Before Rebels
Caleb Dume has now had a cameo in both Tales of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Bad Batch. However, very little is known about Kanan Jarrus’ life after Order 66 – why he changed his name, where he lived, and what he did. The novel Star Wars: A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller details how he met Hera Syndulla, but there is a lot of time between Order 66 and that novel that goes unexplored. The comic run Kanan: The Last Padawan has already been partially retconned with Caleb’s appearance in The Bad Batch, but there are plenty of story ideas there that can still be used.
Kanan deserves just as much exploration as Ahsoka. He lived through the same trauma, had to build himself back up again and figure life out on his own until he found a new family, and that, when Star Wars has always been about hope, is a story that deserves to be told. Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi focused on Count Dooku and Ahsoka this time, but perhaps Kanan Jarrus will be given the same chance in the future.