Everyone’s favorite Torguta (sorry, Shaak Ti) is back for an exciting adventure that helps bridge the gap between Clone Wars and Rebels. Star Wars: Ahsoka by E.K. Johnson takes place one year after the rise of the Empire. The book was released last fall, and I am so mad it took me this long to finally get around to reading it! It was amazing! (Warning: this review contains mild spoilers)
First, I must be honest; I didn’t actually read the book. I listened to the audiobook version read by the actress who brought Ahsoka to life, Ashley Eckstein (she does an INCREDIBLE job by the way). Overall, if you have easy access to audiobooks, I highly recommend this one. From the sound of lightsabers clashing to starships jumping into hyperspace and music from the films, it is a very good performance.
After escaping Order 66, Ahsoka finds herself to be a nomad. She uses a different name, Ashla, and ends up living on a planet called Thabeska. However, Ahsoka has to leave Thabeska after an increase in Empire presence on Empire Day, the celebration of the first year of the new government.
Ahsoka ends up on the farming moon of Raada. Ashla, as she is known to the residents, becomes the town’s go to for droid repair, a skill she picked up from training with Anakin. She meets a group of friends and becomes close with two sisters, Kaeden and Miara Larte. Before long, the Empire decides to use Raada as a planet to grow food for their soldiers.
Ahsoka is put in a dangerous position. Her identity as a Force user and past Jedi Padawan make her a threat to the Empire, so she keeps her past a secret to everyone. It is not until she is put in a dire situation when trying to help the locals fight back against the insurgence that her secret is revealed.
After this, Ahsoka flees Raada. Ahsoka eventually finds herself meeting Bail Organa, creating new lightsabers, and experiencing a few other exciting things that will make Ahsoka fans very happy. She eventually returns to Raada to help her groups of friends in their fight for freedom from the Empire.
A Few of My Favorite Things in Ahsoka (Turn Back Now to Prevent Spoilers!)
- Ahsoka’s Connection to the Force – As time goes on, the Star Wars franchise has moved away a bit from the Jedi and the Sith and are starting to focus on Force users (for example, The Last Jedi?) and this book is no different. I loved how Ahsoka still uses the Force and it is still a part of her even after leaving the Jedi. I am very interested in seeing Disney develop more and more stories about light and neutral Force users. Also, remember that Ahsoka thinks ALL the Jedi are dead, including Anakin and Obi Wan. She feels very alone. The Force is a source of comfort to her.
- Kyber Crystals – Some great episodes of Clone Wars, in my opinion, featured Ahsoka and a group of younglings traveling to Ilum to find kyer crystals and create their own lightsabers. Once Ahsoka decides to return to Raada, she knows she will need to build new lightsabers and travels to Ilum, only to find the Empire has left the planet in ruins searching for kyber crystals. While it is not specifically mentioned in the book, we can infer from Rogue One that the Empire had taken these crystals to not just deplete a sacred Jedi location, but to help create the Death Star’s superlaser.
- Bail Organa – Bail is the man. Rogue One made me really start to think about him in a new way. He is the mastermind behind the Rebellion and has been working on it for YEARS (see Episode III deleted scenes). If you’ve seen Rebels or have even seen commercials for it, you know Ahsoka is alive and is working with the Rebellion. This book explains how that happened. I won’t go into details, but you see just how clever Bail Organa is and how deep his network goes.
- Captain Rex and the Clones – So, Rebel fans know about Captain Rex post war. I really liked how this book not only discussed more about his role in Order 66, but also talked about Ahsoka’s connection to the Clones. She had so much responsibility during the war, and it was all taken from her when she was framed for murder. Ahsoka displays that same leadership from when she was involved in the Clone War to helping the farmers on Raada. There are some great references to the show and to the Clones themselves.
- Force Sensitive Kids – The issue of Force sensitive children in an Empire run galaxy is brought up in the book in a very interesting way. We learn about the Inquisitorius, a group of Force sensitive assassins tasked with tracking down any surviving Jedi or Force sensitive children. They have been trained by Darth Vader in the dark side. Ahsoka faces one of these assassins called the Sixth Brother. This is of course another link back to Rebels.
Overall, I was very impressed with the book. As a big Ahsoka fan, I was a bit nervous that her character wouldn’t be quite right away from the safety of Dave Filoni. But, in the end, I really enjoyed the book and hope there are more Ahsoka centered novels in the future.