Reviews

Book Review: E.K. Johnston’s ‘Ahsoka’ is a Must Read for ‘Star Wars’ Fans

star-wars-ahsoka-jacket-otp_06Admittedly, there is no Star Wars character I love more than Ahsoka Tano. A character that began in the animated Clone Wars movie and subsequent series, Ahsoka was brought into the fold as Anakin Skywalker’s young Padawan. In many ways, Ahsoka and I grew up together. When the Clone Wars began I was a young boy and I was able to watch over the years as she grew, changed, and honed her Jedi abilities.

In the twentieth episode of Clone Wars’ fifth season, we see Ahsoka leave the Jedi Order behind. After the episode, it was announced that this would also serve as the series finale and Ahsoka’s fate was left up in the air. Did she go into hiding? Was she somehow a casualty of Order 66? The questions abounded with seemingly no answers in sight.

Finally, at the end of new series Star Wars Rebels’ season one finale, we discovered Ahsoka is the mysterious operative known as Fulcrum who had been assisting the Rebels on their missions. Ahsoka lived and the Star Wars fandom rejoiced. However, there were still many questions left regarding what exactly Ahsoka had been up to in the years between The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Lucky for us, a new novel hits bookshelves Tuesday, October 11th in an attempt to bring some answers.

Written by author E.K. Johnston, Ahsoka follows our favorite Togruta female in the fallout of Order 66. Forced to go into hiding or end up dead like the majority of the Jedi, Ahsoka takes on the name of Ashla and finds brief solace on the farming moon of Raada. Of course, it isn’t long before the Empire gets wind of a Jedi presence and begin the hunt for Ahsoka.

From page one, it’s apparent Johnston has a true appreciation and understanding of this character as she perfectly captures Ahsoka’s empathic nature with ease. Some of the novel’s most impactful moments come as Ahsoka reminisces on Anakin, R2-D2, Obi-Wan, and the rest of her friends whom she now believes to be dead. This is where the book truly finds its strengths – pressing pause on the action to let the reader into Ahsoka’s grief. It is as heartbreaking as it is relatable and Johnston’s writing packs an emotional punch.

If there is one qualm I have with the book, it’s that the novel fails to delve into much of Ahsoka’s backstory – meaning there is still a chunk of time in Ahsoka’s life left up in the air. While this gives us time to focus on newly introduced secondary characters and opens up the possibilities of follow-up novels, I wish the book would have expanded more on Ahsoka’s time in between Clone Wars and Rebels.

While the majority of the book is written from Ahsoka’s point of view, I was surprised to learn the book also lets Star Wars fans inside the minds of a few other characters – some that we have not spent much time with previously. Not only that, but Ahsoka features a bevy of Star Wars characters and character mentions that will leave you smiling. These additional layers are perfect for fans of the entire universe and really strengthens the impact of the novel.

Ahsoka boasts a rich insight into a fan favorite character complete with a deep emotional center. Full of action, emotion and, yes, plenty of answers, Ahsoka is a must-read for any Star Wars fan.

Ahsoka is available Tuesday, October 11 wherever books are sold.

About the author

Spencer Barrett

Stars are his kind of thing! Spencer Barrett has been a staff writer for TV Source Magazine since 2013. He loves all things horror, Glee and Taylor Swift.