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Ahsoka in "The Phantom Apprentice," part 2 of the The Clone Wars finale. (Credit: Lucasfilm)

Can you really stop being a Jedi? 6 times other Jedi pulled an Ahsoka

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Apr 25, 2020, 12:00 PM EDT

In Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, after Anakin Skywalker tries to abandon his mission and rescue Padmé Amidala, Obi-Wan, with his mullet blowing in the wind of Geonosis, threatens Anakin: "You will be expelled from the Jedi Order!" What they didn't know at the time was that, a few short years after Attack of the Clones, Obi-Wan and Anakin would have firsthand experience with this idea when Anakin's own apprentice, Ahsoka Tano, leaves the Jedi Order in Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 5's "The Wrong Jedi."

Later, when Ahsoka appears in Star Wars Rebels while wielding her lightsabers, she cynically proclaims, "I'm no Jedi." Obviously, Ahsoka didn't turn to the dark side, but she did successfully quit her Jedi day job.

In the more recent Season 7 episode "Together Again," both Rafa and Trace Martez are shocked when they learn Ahsoka quit the Jedi.

"You can do that?"

The answer is yes. In Star Wars canon, being a Jedi isn't compulsory, and you can totally quit if you want, too. And Ahsoka certainly wasn't the first to do so.

Other than Ahsoka Tano, here are six times folks quit being Jedi. (For the purposes of this list, we're excluding Darth Vader and Kylo Ren, because you've already thought about those guys.) 

**Mild spoilers ahead for The Clone Wars Seasons 1-6, also Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.**


Asajj Ventress

I know. I know. You're thinking Asajj Ventress is simply an example of a Jedi who turned to the Dark side, exactly like Anakin or Ben Solo. But she's not.

Though initially trained as a Jedi who later became a part-time assassin working for Count Dooku, Ventress eventually rejected both Jedi and Sith and worked as a privateer, and eventually, a bounty hunter. Through her relationship with Quinlan Vos, Ventress eventually worked with the Jedi again, but by the end of her life, she was 100 percent not a Jedi, and certainly not working for the Dark side, either.

Unlike Ahsoka, Ventress didn't make it out of the Clone Wars alive, but, in some ways, her journey is like a shadow-version of Ahsoka's. 

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Count Dooku and the "Lost 20"

You could argue that like his apprentice Ventress, Count Dooku was motivated to leave the Jedi Order because of his love of the Dark side. But this isn't exactly accurate. 

In deleted scenes for Attack of the Clones, you'll learn that Count Dooku was one of 20 Jedi in the history of the Order (up until that point) who hung up their lightsabers voluntarily. Dooku's motivations were connected to his (accurate) perception that the Republic was corrupt, and the Jedi, by serving the Republic, were thus implicit in that corruption. 

Only two others from the "Lost 20" have been named in Star Wars canon: Radaki and Trennis. The former became a Sith Lord (natch) but the fate of "Trennis" is unclear. In the forthcoming Star Wars: The High Republic books and comics, there is a new Jedi named Keeve Trennis, though it's unclear if she will be revealed to be part of the "Lost 20" or not. 

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Kirak Infil'a

Lost 20, step aside! In the canon Marvel comic book series Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith, we learn about something called the Barash vow, in which Jedi voluntarily disengage from everything having to do with the Jedi Order. Supposedly, in the course of history, 14,000 Jedi have done this, which makes the "Lost 20" kind of silly, in retrospect.

That said, those pursuing the Barash can, in theory, start being Jedi again after they're done.

One Jedi named Kirak Infil'a took the Barash vow and disassociated himself with the Jedi Order. This fact didn't stop Vader from tracking him down and killing him, anyway, of course.

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Luke Skywalker

Any way you slice the lightsaber, Luke Skywalker 100 percent quit being a Jedi in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. It's not entirely clear if Luke took the same Barash vow as other Jedi, but the fact that he cut himself off from the Force is pretty hardcore.

Luke obviously comes back and acts like a Jedi by the end of the sequel trilogy, but it's certainly debatable if he considered himself one at the time of his death.

Luke's spirit certainly behaves like a Jedi, but that doesn't mean all of his misgivings about the vanity of the Jedi Order went away. Luke quit being a Jedi, and then reluctantly trained Rey in the ways of the Force. Luke said "I will not be the last Jedi," but the reality is, he wasn't a Jedi for at least several years before that point.


Obi-Wan Kenobi

Admittedly, this is a slightly semantic argument. Was Obi-Wan really not a Jedi in A New Hope?

Well, he says this to Luke: "I was once a Jedi Knight the same as your father." This strongly implies Obi-Wan does not consider himself a Jedi anymore. Or, perhaps he just doesn't consider himself a "Jedi Knight," anymore. What is he then, a Jedi Master? A Jedi Drifter? 

The Kenobi series may shed more light on this, but it seems very possible that, like Luke in The Last Jedi, Obi-Wan spent at least part of his exile on Tatooine totally cut off from the Force. What better way to hide from the Empire (and his dramatic former apprentice)? 

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Leia Organa

No question about it. Other than Ahsoka, the most successful Jedi-quitter ever is easily Leia Organa.

Yes, Leia used the Force to fly through space in The Last Jedi, and even reached out to her son Ben Solo in The Rise of Skywalker. But, unlike everyone on this list, when Leia stopped being a Jedi, she put down that lightsaber forever. 

Leia's commitment to not being a Jedi after having trained as one is interesting because it's so unique. Leia was never tempted to join the Dark side. Leia didn't go into hiding after she stopped being a Jedi. And, most of all, her motivations for quitting the Jedi path were connected to protecting her family. 

Perhaps this is the greatest and most secret lesson lurking in The Rise of Skywalker. The most powerful Jedi in all of Star Wars was also the one most devoted to peace: the former Princess of Alderaan, who literally did everything she could to restore freedom to the galaxy.