Book Review: Ahsoka (Spoilers!)

It is no secret that I love “Star Wars” as much as I love my other fandoms, and I really wanted to be able to do a “Star Wars” related post before my “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” review. Thankfully, I decided to finally pick up and read my copy of “Ahsoka” by E.K. Johnston, so that I can finally, in a way, close the book and come full circle with one of my favorite characters in the franchise.

Ahsoka Tano, who has been portrayed by Ashley Eckstein in the shows “The Clone Wars” and “Star Wars: Rebels”, is a Totrugan and Anakin Skywalker’s (Matt Lanter) Padawan learner. She was specifically created for “The Clone Wars” show, but has definitely made a mark, not only on Anakin and Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor), but on the rest of the fandom as well.

For me, Ahsoka was a character whom viewers could relate to, and is someone with whom we all got emotionally invested with as those who watched “The Clone Wars” saw Ahsoka grow and mature for five seasons.

So, it is no wonder why many fans of the show and of the character were overjoyed when it was announced that the character would appear in “Star Wars: Rebels”.

However, the question still remained as to how Ahsoka survived Order 66 and how she first got involved in the Rebellion. Thankfully, Johnston’s book answers these questions and more, as it also gave us some insight into other major “Star Wars” characters as well at this point in time.

Johnston did a great job in capturing Ahsoka’s voice, her emotional struggles, and the challenges that Ahsoka had to face while on the run from the Empire. This, for me, is what made the book stand out for me.

I also love the fact that she allowed Ahsoka to consider what Obi-Wan and Anakin would do, and those portions made me smile, as it was true to their respective characters, and it made me miss “The Clone Wars” show, and the dynamic that Anakin, Ahsoka and Obi-Wan had with each other. In many ways, although the Jedi aren’t really supposed to form attachments, the three of them together were a family unit.

I truly felt bad for Ahsoka, as it does give us insight into how a Jedi survivor of the purge might have felt during those dark times, in the early years of the Empire.

Reading and seeing how Ahsoka survived allowed me to compare it to another survivor of the purge- Caleb Dume, or Kanan Jarrus (Freddie Prinze Jr.).

According to the comics “Kanan: The Last Padawan” and “A New Dawn”,  I do believe that he had been younger than Ahsoka when Order 66 happened. In his case, he had to survive on his own, became a pirate, and like Ahsoka, never stayed in one place for a long time, and tried not to form attachments or end up embroiled in trouble.

However, it doesn’t seem that avoiding trouble comes easily for Jedi, whether full grown or Padawan.

The last half of “Ahsoka” was more action heavy than the first part, and we get to see the decisions that Ahsoka finally makes for herself and how she resolves to move on with things. I do understand that this was necessary to bridge the gap between where she started at the beginning of the novel, to what she is doing now on “Rebels”, but I felt that the writing was stronger when it was more introspective as compared to all the action that happened in the second half.

Going on this journey with Ahsoka allows the readers to get into the mindset of Ahsoka, and together, we see how this young, loyal and headstrong survivor ends up becoming the mature, calm and collected leader she is when we see her “Rebels”.

This book is definitely a must read for any fan of Ahsoka’s, and is a book that I would recommend only if you know the character from either “The Clone Wars” or “Rebels”. However, I would recommend that you read this book after watching “The Clone Wars”, as it naturally falls into place there, and because you’ll definitely catch yourself smiling when she starts to reminisce about Anakin and Obi-Wan. This isn’t a book for those getting to know this character for the first time.

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One of the tings that I did like about the main story is how it was really able to show us how Ahsoka became the cool, calm and collected Ahsoka that we have seen in “Rebels”, and how she became Fulcrum.  Aside from that, the story itself was just alright.

Aside from the fact that we were able to get into Ahsoka’s mindset at that time, and Ahsoka reminiscing how Obi-Wan and Anakin would react to certain situations and what would happen afterwards, there were plenty of little Easter Eggs here and there.

It turns out that several unused story lines from “The Clone Wars” were placed here to make it canon, such as the fact that Ahsoka did fight against Darth Maul (Sam Witwer) during the Siege of Mandalore. It was also revealed that Order 66 happened around that same time, forcing Ahsoka to choose between going after Maul or helping Captain Rex, who was resilient enough to go against his genetic coding. Of course, Maul did end up escaping, and resurfaced again in “Rebels”.

She helped Rex fake his own death, and he also helped her fake her own death as well, which meant that she had to leave behind her lightsabers, which Anakin had just given back to her.

The book spoke a lot about how lonely Ahsoka felt and couldn’t feel the presence of any other Jedi. Of course, Anakin as Darth Vader would have a different presence by that time, and I’m pretty sure that Master Yoda and Obi-Wan would have learned how to mask their own presence in the Force, or maybe the Force itself was just so murky and cloudy that they really couldn’t feel each other’s presence anymore.

I also felt bad about the fact that like Hedala Fardi, there probably still would be young ones who are Force sensitive, but they have to suppress and hide those gifts from the world forever.

I also found it interesting that the Sith’s lightsabers are red because they corrupt it and make it bleed, and that Ahsoka was able to “purify” it, thus making it her own crystals for her pure white lightsabers.

There was a lot about Bail Organa in the second half of the book, and it was interesting seeing what was going on with him while he was trying to organize the rebellion.

I did like seeing the Obi-Wan part, except it did feel a little bit shoehorned in, after all, this book is about Ahsoka.

In the end, for me, after watching all of her appearances in “The Clone Wars” and in “Rebels”, this book was the perfect way for me to close the chapter one of my favorite “Star Wars” characters of all time; and a perfect way for me to begin to get in a more “Star Wars” mood in time for “The Last Jedi”. Johnston definitely had a Herculean task in front of her, and I think that she did a great job in providing more depth and emotion, and allowed Ahsoka’s fans to finally discover what exactly did happen to her in between “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels”.

Did you like “Ahsoka”? What did you think of the book? What didn’t you like about the book? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

 

 

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