Title: Star Wars – Ahsoka
Author: E.K. Johnston
Page Count: 356
Keywords: AHSOKA what more do you need??
She was alone, something she was never meant to be. Her people were tribal, blood and bond, and her ability to use the Force gave her a galaxy of brethren from all species. Even after she left the Jedi Temple, she could feel the others when she wanted to —the ebb and flow of them in the Force around her.
Until of course, she couldn’t.
Now she almost preferred the solitude. If she was alone, she didn’t have to make choices that affected anyone other than herself. Fix a malfunctioning motivator or not, eat or not, sleep or not—dream or not.
She tried to dream as little as possible, but that day in particular wasn’t good for it. Empire Day. Across the galaxy, from the Core to the Outer Rim—though somewhat less enthusiastically in the latter—there would be festivities commemorating the establishment of order and government by Emperor Palpatine. It was the first such celebration. The new Empire was only a year old, but the idea of celebrating the day at all nauseated her. She remembered it for entirely different reasons than peace.
This year was my first time going to New York Comic-Con. As a regular SDCC con gal, I couldn’t help comparing the two (long story short, I enjoyed it, but I think I enjoy SDCC more than NYCC). During one of my work breaks I stumbled upon the small Disney publishing booth and immediately bought this book, ‘look first, buy later’ convention rule be damned.
Ahsoka is essentially the story of how she finds her place, her future role as Fulcrum, in a post-Republic world. The book takes place a bit after Order 66 and Ahsoka tries to stay as far away from the Empire’s radar as possible. Of course with her abilities and that pesky trait of helping those in need she is in their sights sooner than she would like. There is plenty of action in the book to be sure, such as Ahsoka revealing her powers to save a community of farmers trying to rebel and an epic showdown between her and an Inquisitor called the Sixth Brother (So. Epic.). The book also takes some pretty dark turns: the scenes of torture and battle descriptions are pretty bleak and had me fearing the Empire more than the movies ever did. Despite her badassness, I love how the book portrays Ahsoka’s journey to Fulcrum. It is challenging to say the least; she makes mistakes that cost innocents’ safety, lives even, but eventually finds her sense of self again and becomes reborn as her new alias name.
One of my gripes with the SWU is how black and white it is. There’s the dark side, and the way of the light. That’s it. What I enjoy about the character Ahsoka, and The Clone Wars show is that there is a grey area. The Republic and the Jedi Order have flaws, like any form of ruling government and Ahsoka shines light on that in the show. This book follows that tone and doesn’t automatically turn Ahsoka into a hero that makes no mistakes. Ahsoka’s loneliness, the survivor’s guilt she carries, her torn feelings between saving people versus being responsible of people’s lives as a rebel leader, all are portrayed rather well for a fairly short Star Wars novel.
The book isn’t just about Ahsoka (you wouldn’t hear any complaints from my end though!). Some familiar faces pop up with their own chapters further giving the reader a broader view of what happened to other characters during this time. The flashback chapters are a nice touch too.
A teeny tiny critique I have of this book is the fact that most of the races depicted in the series are mostly human. Besides Ahsoka and Hoban, the local bartender in the town Ahsoka stays in, is Togruta, but I don’t recall reading about any other race. Unless the Sixth Brother counts. That being said, I did enjoy the author peppering in Togruta’s physical characteristics such as their montrals.
I’m biased about Ahsoka, so as a book about her it gets all the gems. I’ve never read another Star Wars novel so how it stands as a SW novel I’m not sure I can attest, but if you enjoy a SW semi-origin story with good characterization, action and Jedi badassery, then give this book a shot. Plus you get the origin story of how she obtains the white light sabers!! And that is so badass!! Next, a Doctor Aphra novel please!! Or more Ahsoka adventures. Actually, both.