Ahsoka: Where is Jacen Syndulla and Why isn't He a Jedi?
This weeks Your Nerd Side Show:
Ahsoka's first two episodes on Disney+ introduce the return of malevolent forces and the potential comeback of Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Despite the absence of Jacen Syndulla in the initial episodes, his whereabouts and potential Force-sensitivity remain burning questions.
Ahsoka's choice to train Sabine Wren instead of Jacen may be attributed to her personal growth and desire to guide Sabine down a different path than her own rebellious past.
The following contains spoilers for Ahsoka Season 1, Episode 1 "Master and Apprentice," and Episode 2 "Toil and Trouble," which is now streaming on Disney+.
Ahsoka has finally premiered its first two episodes on Disney+, giving audiences their first taste of Star Wars' latest new series. Starring Rosario Dawson as the eponymous former Jedi, Ahsoka depicts a galaxy on the verge of another war as malevolent forces seek to bring back the villainous Grand Admiral Thrawn. Ahsoka Tano's only hope of stopping this causes her to team up once more with the main cast of the animated series, Star Wars: Rebels. However, while Hera Syndulla, Sabine Wren, and Chopper all play major roles in the premiere, some characters are nowhere to be found.
The final scene of Star Wars: Rebels introduced a brand new character in Jacen Syndulla, the son of General Hera Syndulla and Kanan Jarrus. Audiences hadn't been aware that Hera was pregnant prior to Kanan's death, leaving his son as one of his last gifts to his surviving loved ones. Jacen was likely born sometime shortly after the Battle of Yavin in A New Hope and has not yet appeared in any Star Wars storylines following the finale of Rebels. While some audiences expected to see him in the first few episodes of Ahsoka, the young boy was nowhere to be found--or even mentioned.
Why Jacen Isn’t Ahsoka’s Padawan (But Sabine Is)
Audiences still have plenty of burning questions after Ahsoka's premiere, not the least of which pertaining to the whereabouts of Jacen Syndulla. Given his father's close connection to the Force, it seems very likely that he too would be Force-sensitive. As such, it seems very odd that Ahsoka would choose to train Sabine Wren as her Padawan rather than Jacen. Huyang revealed in the second episode of Ahsoka that Sabine's Force capabilities are not quite as honed as one would expect from a Padawan, adding to the confusion as to why she became Ahsoka's pupil whereas Jacen is nowhere to be found.
The explanation for Jacen's absence may actually be quite simple. Ahsoka Tano's current storyline fits better with Sabine than it does Jacen. At this stage in her life, Ahsoka is coming to a reckoning with everything that she once was. In her early days as a Padawan, Ahsoka was quite similar to Sabine, taking every opportunity to disobey orders and take matters into her own hands. Taking on a Padawan like Sabine may have been Ahsoka's subconscious way of trying to set the young Jedi on a better path than her own, thereby fixing all of her past mistakes. Taking on a younger, more jubilant apprentice would be too big a reach for Ahsoka, who seems to have lost that particular aspect of her personality.
Will Jacen Syndulla Appear In Ahsoka?
Ahsoka takes place several years after Rebels, making the timeline perfect for Jacen Syndulla's first live-action appearance. Given the fact that Hera plays such a major role in the series, it would be odd for Ahsoka not to at least mention Jacen's whereabouts at some point before the final episode. Moreover, certain merchandise, including brand-new LEGO sets, suggests that audiences will indeed see Jacen at some point during the series. If Ahsoka takes place in about 9 ABY, this would make Jacen about nine years old when he makes his first live-action appearance in Star Wars--making him more than old enough to train to become a Jedi.
One possible explanation for Jacen's absence so far in Ahsoka could tie into other major storylines in the Star Wars universe. It wouldn't be a surprise for audiences to learn that Ahsoka had left Luke Skywalker to teach Jacen the ways of the Force as a part of his new Jedi Order. Luke has been on a mission to gather Force-sensitive children to form his new order in the years following Return of the Jedi and would be well aware of Jacen's existence by now. In fact, Ahsoka's visit to Luke's new temple in The Book of Boba Fett could very well have been when she dropped the young Syndulla child off to be trained in the ways of the Force.
While Jacen Syndulla has yet to appear in any episodes of Ahsoka, audiences shouldn't worry that the series will leave him out entirely. Ahsoka Tano and Sabine Wren may be the main dynamic for viewers to follow over the course of the series, but Jacen will return at some point before the finale. When he does, the young child of Hera and Kanan may follow in his father's footsteps as he sets out on a path to becoming a Jedi Knight.