Contains spoilers for Ahsoka S1, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, The Clone Wars, and non-canon Star Wars Legends novels
Galaxy-hopping space-whales! Nightsister magickery! Metaphysical realms within the Force! It would be safe to say that Dave Filoni’s Mando-verse series Ahsoka hasn’t been afraid to really dig into the nooks and crannies of Star Wars lore, increasingly drawing on both Rebels and The Clone Wars deep cuts as the season progresses. And so, as we collectively try and process the show’s epic fifth chapter, ‘The Shadow Warrior’, it’s important that we take a moment to talk about the two – yes, two – rare Force powers we get to see in this week’s episode.
Are you all swotted up on the sacred Jedi texts (AKA the Canon and Legends novels)? How’s your working knowledge of PlayStation voyages to the galaxy far, far away? If your answer to any of the above is “Eh?”, then fear not. As a wise Master Yoda once said, “Pass on what you have learned”. With that in mind, and a hearty warning that there are SPOILERS AHEAD for Ahsoka, join Empire as we tell you a thing or two about psychometry and Force-listening:
How Did Ahsoka Find The Pathway To Peridea?
Having emerged from her encounter with former master Anakin in the World Between Worlds, the second half of ‘The Shadow Warrior’ sees a newly white-cloaked Ahsoka picking up the search for her own apprentice, Sabine Wren, on Seatos. When she finds the destroyed remnants of the starmap her Padawan left behind, she uses the Force to connect with it – “It might have left an imprint, like a memory,” she tells Hera – and relive the moment Baylan Skoll persuaded Sabine to join him. We do glimpse this power earlier in the series following Sabine’s duel with Shin Hati, but it’s seen in full effect here.
This Force ability is known as psychometry, a term which in our world refers to clairvoyants’ acts of token-object reading, but in Star Wars has roots extending all the way back to the now non-canon Expanded Universe (more commonly referred to these days as Legends).
The first time psychometry crops up in Star Wars is in Dave Wolverton’s Legends novel The Courtship Of Princess Leia, which, amongst other things, sees Leia and Han Solo get hitched. But before that happy ending, Luke uses the power to follow Han’s “emotional trail” after the smuggler kidnaps Leia in order to, er, flirt with her. (Yes, old canon is old canon for a reason).
Elsewhere, in the active canon, prominent psychometry practitioners include The Clone Wars’ Jedi Master Quinlan Vos, who uses the power to track Ziro the Hutt; Jedi survivor Cal Kestis from the fantastic Jedi video game series, who explains the ability as “an echo in the Force”; Force-sensitive teen Karr Nuq Sin, the protagonist of Kevin Shinick’s YA novel The Force Collector; and perhaps most notably, Rey Skywalker. Rey exhibits the power both at Maz Kanata’s castle with Anakin’s lightsaber, and with the dagger MacGuffin in The Rise Of Skywalker too. It’s clear that this isn’t a power that’s getting handed out willy-nilly, and Ahsoka’s proclivity for it opens the door to the Star Wars universe’s past in an entirely different but equally potent way as the World Between Worlds.
Why Was Jacen Syndulla Able To Hear Ahsoka Fighting Anakin?
Psychometry isn’t the only power we see getting used for tracking down lost friends in this week’s episode, either – before Ahsoka can find Sabine, the Ghost crew first have to pull Ahsoka herself from the waves beneath Seatos. Enter Jacen Syndulla, son of Twi’lek rebel Hera and deceased Jedi Master Kanan Jarrus. As Ahsoka’s allies flounder in their efforts to find their Togrutan talisman, Kanan’s green-haired kid stands at the cliff’s edge with Chopper and hears the sound of lightsabers clashing amidst the planet’s crashing waves. “There’s something out there, mom. I can feel it,” he tells Hera, showing himself to be a chip off the old Jarrus block.
Jacen’s ear for Ahsoka and Anakin’s battle in the World Between Worlds is a clear demonstration of a Legends deep-cut ability – Theran Force-listening. Largely self-explanatory, and named after an old canon cult of Force-sensitives from the planet Nam Chorios, the power grants its user the ability to listen at great distances and even understand foreign languages. Like psychometry, there’s a short list of those proficient in this rare art, but among known wielders are Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Ahsoka Tano herself – though none of these have exhibited the power in live-action as of yet.
Perhaps most intriguingly, Jacen shares the power – and his name – with a Legends legend, Jacen Solo, the son of Han and Leia. In the old canon, Jacen grew up to become Sith Lord Darth Caedus who, amongst a great many other crimes, killed Luke Skywalker’s wife Mara Jade. Now, our Jacen here seems like a sweetheart, and we don’t for a moment suspect he’s about to go bumping off any of our beloved heroes any time soon, but his demonstration of unusual Force powers is an exciting indicator that big things may yet await in the budding Force-user’s future. And with the end of this week’s episode hyperspace-launching us into a whole new galaxy, Jacen’s – and Ahsoka’s – exciting use of barely-seen-before Force abilities has us desperate to see where this story and these characters might go yet. The Force is indeed strong with this one.