When Ahsoka battles Vader in “Star Wars Rebels,” the results are very different. Vowing that she is no Jedi and will avenge Anakin, the two have a vicious duel fueled by passion. Master against student, the pair is quite matched, but in the end, there’s no stopping Darth Vader. Had Ezra not pulled Ahsoka out through time and space, Vader would have killed her. The fight in “Ahsoka” is different because she submits. And there is precedent for this tactic in the original trilogy. In the climactic battle in “Return of the Jedi,” Luke (Mark Hamill) defeats his father by bringing him back to the light side. He does this by resisting the Emperor’s (Ian McDiarmid) pull and refusing to engage with Vader. “I will not fight you, Father,” Luke tells him calmly.
Throughout the conflict, Vader forces Luke to fight, but young Skywalker’s adamant decision to reject the dark side saves him. By his son denying the Emperor — even through all that Force lightning — Vader finds redemption and sacrifices his own life to save Luke. Luke wins not by fighting but by staying true to his beliefs. This is what Anakin means when he tells Ahsoka: “You lack conviction.” She needs to truly believe in the power of the light side of the Force, a lesson that only Anakin can teach her.