Since Disney acquired LucasFilm and the Star Wars franchise in late 2012, the Star Wars fandom has fallen into distinct factions: those who acknowledge the Disney continuity as canon, those who stand by the original Expanded Universe of media, and those who do not care as long as it’s Star Wars. Given the controversy, there may be one thing all camps can agree on: Ahsoka Tano rocks.
Ahsoka was first introduced as the snarky apprentice of Anakin Skywalker, the jedi destined to become Darth Vader, in the animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” in 2008.
The character has gone from initially dividing fans to becoming one of the franchise’s most beloved characters, going on to play a major role in “Star Wars: Rebels,” and to be portrayed by actor Rosario Dawson in a recent episode of “The Mandalorian.”
For readers who want to know more about the character, and what she was up to between “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and “Star Wars: Rebels,” young adult author E.K. Johnston’s novel, “Star Wars: Ahsoka,” fills in those gaps.
The story finds Ahsoka trying to outrun her past in the Jedi Order, which convicted her convicted her of a crime she did not commit. She is still dealing with her grief from Order 66, in which the Emperor of the Galactic Republic ordered the execution of the Jedi Knights, the protectors of peace throughout the galaxy.
She finds herself on the remote moon of Raada, where she befriends a group of farmers and takes up work as the local mechanic. When the Empire invades and uses the farmers as forced labor, draining their land of any sustainable farm growth, she must help her new friends fight back, without revealing the truth of her identity.
The writing is at its best when E.K. Johnston focuses on the quieter moments. These include board games with the locals at the village watering hole, and Ahsoka running free through the fields outside of town. The story also contains some great action scenes, including Ahsoka’s fateful encounter with an Inquisitor, a Jedi hunter sent out by the empire.
While the story does fill in a lot of the gaps between “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels,” it feels as though there is too much story for one book to thoroughly explore. A little more than halfway through the story, Ahsoka is forced to leave the farming moon, and returns to the family the reader finds her with at the start of the book, becoming a cargo pilot for the family patriarch. The book seems to simply gloss through this part of Ahsoka’s journey when a separate book would have been appropriate. “Star Wars: Ahsoka” should have been “Star Wars: The Ahsoka Trilogy.” Wait, why hasn’t this happened yet? Come on Disney!
Terrence J. Smith is MetaStellar's assistant fiction editor. He has contributed his writing to nonprofits and both print and digital publications. He enjoys all things technology, but remembers to meditate and appreciate the outside world.