This Star Wars article contains spoilers.
Star Wars has always featured remarkable creatures and aliens, but Lucasfilm’s animation department has taken things a step further, making the animals of the galaxy far, far away bigger parts of the saga. Both Ahsoka Tano of The Clone Wars and Ezra Bridger of Star Wars Rebels have an affinity for animals. This common fantasy for kids — of having a loyal, magical animal companion — is depicted through Ezra’s connection to his home planet’s wildlife and Ahsoka’s mysterious familiar, the mysterious Morai.
Ahsoka’s owl-like companion isn’t as easily explained or understood as Ezra’s Force connection to the loth-wolves in Rebels. Morai’s origin, her exact connection to Ahsoka, and her link to the Force are all mysteries yet to be solved in the Star Wars universe. In Rebels (and in the series finale of The Clone Wars), Morai appears at key moments in Ahsoka’s story, coming into view only when Ahsoka needs her the most.
So, who really is Morai and why is she important to Ahsoka’s story and the Star Wars saga as a whole?
What species is Morai?
Morai’s species is the one thing about her that isn’t a mystery: she’s a convor, a bird with a prehensile tail. Convorees typically have gold and brown feathers, although Morai has green feathers. It’s unknown whether Morai’s bright colors are connected to her bond with Ahsoka, or if other convorees might look the same.
Convorees can be found on several planets and moons around the galaxy. We’ve met convorees on the planets Takodana, Malachor, Atollon, and the Kashyyyk moon of Wasskah. Morai seems to have come from the supernatural realm within the Force known as Mortis, which Anakin, Ahsoka, and Obi-Wan visited in The Clone Wars season 3. We’ll talk more about that in a minute.
What role does Morai play in The Clone Wars and Rebels?
Morai was first introduced in Star Wars Rebels season 2 episode “The Mystery of Chopper Base.” She watches the rebels fight for their lives against the krykna, the spider-like, blaster-resistant creatures native to Atollon, where the heroes plan to set up a secret base for the Rebellion. Later in the series, we see Morai usually flying ahead of Ahsoka, foreshadowing her arrival or to guide the way.
In Rebels season 4, Morai saves Ahsoka from an uncertain fate. She appears to Ezra in the world between worlds, a time-traveling realm, and encourages him to go back in time and rescue Ahsoka from her duel with Darth Vader in the Sith temple on Malachor, a fight that had first taken place in season 2. Later, after the Emperor tries to use Ezra and Ahsoka to enter the world between worlds, Ahsoka is zapped back to Malachor, and Morai accompanies her, watching Vader limp away from the Sith temple while Ahsoka walks back inside.
Chronologically, though, Morai’s first appearance is in The Clone Wars series finale. She flies overhead, as Vader inspects the ruins of a Republic cruiser, Ahsoka’s last known whereabouts during Order 66. Morai watches as Ahsoka’s former master ignites the lightsaber his old apprentice left behind, a moment that feels more metaphorical than literal: Vader knows Ahsoka once stood right where he’s standing, and Morai gives the impression that Ahsoka is aware of his presence, too.
How is Morai connected to the Force?
The official Star Wars website says Morai has “a mysterious connection to the Daughter, an ancient god of Mortis.” In The Clone Wars, the Mortis entities were literal representations of the moral struggle inherent in the Force. The “dark side” was represented by the petulant, theatrical Son, and the “light side” by the kind, sorcerous Daughter. Their “Father,” representative of balance between the two, died on the show, creating a power struggle on Mortis. Their drama was an unsubtle metaphor for the course of the Star Wars saga as a whole, with Anakin Skywalker as the weight that could tip the balance one way or another.
The Daughter sacrificed herself to save Ahsoka, giving up her own life force to resurrect the young padawan after her untimely death during the adventure on Mortis. (After the events of the Sequel Trilogy, this feels like a hint at the Force healing Rey and Ben Solo both used in The Rise of Skywalker.) This sacrifice and the appearance of Morai as Ahsoka’s companion in Rebels have led some fans to speculate that the convor is actually a manifestation of the Daughter’s spirit, who continues to protect Ahsoka.
Rebels drops a big clue that this is, in fact, the case. In season 4, a convor just like Morai is depicted in a mural of the Daughter and the other gods of Mortis, which Ezra and the rest of the heroes encounter before discovering the portal to the world between worlds. This is a strong argument for why Morai is spiritually connected to the Daughter or might even be the Daughter herself in a new form. Could she have survived her death in The Clone Wars? The Mortis gods aren’t human, after all.
If the Mortis entities are a living metaphor for the way the Skywalker family influences the balance of the Force, it makes sense that Morai would appear early in the Galactic Civil War as a representative of the Daughter and the light side. In the years before A New Hope, the light side is still steadily growing as the Rebellion does, and as Luke Skywalker discovers his Jedi powers and his conviction toward the light side. Morai could function as a symbol for the sea change to come in the Original Trilogy.