- Ahsoka is part of a Jedi lineage that fans have dubbed the Disaster Lineage.
- The lineage is passed from Yoda down to Ahsoka and has helped lead to the downfall of the Jedi.
- Ahsoka and Sabine can help to break the cycle of this dark lineage.
The following contains spoilers for Ahsoka Season 1, now streaming on Disney+.
The Jedi are doomed. The Star Wars sequel trilogy makes that reality abundantly clear, and while Luke Skywalker may have saved the galaxy during the Rebellion, he’s rewarded by watching his nephew burn down the nascent Order he’s trying to rebuild. Presumably, something new will rise in its place, and a number of post-Rebellion franchise projects have been quietly laying the groundwork for such a development.
Ahsoka Tano and her coterie will likely play a considerable role in that process, as the first season of Ahsoka strongly implies. If so, she’ll need to break one of the most pernicious parts of the Jedi legacy, which fans have dubbed the Disaster Lineage. The term refers to a line of “unconventional” Jedi Masters and apprentices whose members create chaos and destruction in their wake. Ahsoka herself belongs to the lineage, as does her apprentice Sabine Wren. Thankfully, her first season adventures already show signs of breaking that cycle, allowing a healthy replacement for the Jedi to flourish.
The Disaster Lineage Brings Chaos and Change to the Jedi
The disaster lineage starts with Count Dooku, a former Jedi critical of the Order who turns to the Sith under Palpatine’s influence. He in turn trains Qui-Gon Jinn, who didn’t break from the Order, but certainly wasn’t shy about defying it. Qui-Gon finds Anakin and vows to train him, only to turn the duty over to his apprentice Obi-Wan just before dying at the end of Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace. Obi-Wan proves an imperfect master at best, while Anakin enables Palpatine to destroy the Jedi and take power. Taken together, their actions essentially destroy the Repbulic and give way to the Empire.
There’s some question whether Yoda belongs to the Disaster Lineage or not. He trains Dooku, after all, and he’s a decidedly eccentric Jedi despite his devotion to the Order’s orthodoxy. It almost certainly includes Luke, however: trained by both Obi-Wan and Yoda and ultimately tasked with turning out the lights on the Jedi once everyone has cleared out. Disaster lineage doesn’t imply moral corruption: most of them are fastidiously ethical, and all of them have cause to call out the Jedi on their shortcomings.
Ahsoka Confronts Her Place in the Disaster Lineage
The Disaster Lineage isn’t a formal term in-universe, but Ahsoka acknowledges its presence in Season 1, Episode 3, “Part Three: Time to Fly” when Huyang comments on her unusual training amid The Clone Wars. As Anakin’s apprentice, Ahsoka belongs to the Lineage by default, and she certainly lives up to its legacy. Considering her treatment at the hands of the Jedi, her decision to leave is beyond justified, but it also contributes to Anakin’s instability and the resulting catastrophe. The Disaster Lineage now also includes Sabine, a Mandalorian whose Force skills are still very raw, but who has seemingly committed to the Jedi way after the Ahsoka Season 1 finale.
That threatens to perpetrate the cycle, just as a fragile Republic is getting on its feet and threats like Grand Admiral Thrawn are on the rise. The fate of the Jedi Order ties into it, with both Luke and Ahsoka grappling with its future in the years following the Empire’s fall. Luke seeks to restore the Jedi, which would ultimately lead to the same calcification and decay that wiped them out in the first place. Ahsoka is more wary of the idea, and the events of the first season point to a different direction for benevolent Force users: one where unorthodox thinking can be an asset rather than a liability.
The Disaster Lineage is an offshoot of the Jedi’s own inflexibility, as powerful Force users like Dooku and Qui-Gon chafe beneath the restrictive protocols shackling them. But in the wake of the Empire’s destruction, Force users actively seek a discipline with more flexibility: allowing them to use their powers differently and avoiding the stagnation of Jedi protocols in the process. Ezra Bridger has already taken steps in that direction by developing a Force-based martial art without requiring the use of a lightsaber. Baylan Skoll and Shin Hati have similarly broken away from the old traditions, and while they essentially follow The Dark Side, they carry more moral complexity than the Sith ever did. Skoll, a former Jedi, speaks eloquently of the destruction fostered by his old Order and the need to sweep it all away. The Disaster Lineage is clearly on his mind.
Ahsoka’s “Training” Looks to Break The Disaster Lineage
The strongest sign that Ahsoka will break the cycle and bring an end to the Disaster Lineage comes in Season 1, Episode 5, “Part Five: Shadow Warrior,” as Anakin appears to her in a vision to “complete her training.” She responds by recognizing the flaws that led to his downfall and affirming the limits of her ability to alter that fate. She also affirms her decision to break from the Jedi Order, which grants her to serenity to move forward with Sabine as an apprentice: unburdened by the past.
That — coupled with Ahsoka’s self-awareness and skepticism about restarting the Jedi — suggests that the Disaster Lineage may be coming to a close. Both she and Sabine emerge from Season 1 with a good deal more serenity than previous Jedi in the line. Furthermore, they no longer have the Jedi Order itself to contend with, and the vacuum renders their “disruptive” qualities far less impactful. And while bringing Thrawn back from his exile certainly qualifies them both for Disaster Lineage status, they both demonstrate growth, healing and change in the process: suggesting that they may do far better than their predecessors did.
It won’t necessarily be easy, nor will it come overnight. The Jedi’s death rattle takes at least until the sequel trilogy to resolve itself, and the status of figures like Ahsoka and Sabine at that time is as yet unknown. But while navigating that path may be challenging for them, it also shows signs of finally putting the Disaster Lineage to bed as well. By the time Rey Skywalker claims her destiny, the chain may be broken for good.
The first season of Ahsoka is now streaming in its entirety on Disney+.
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