This review contains minor spoilers, so proceed with caution if you've yet to read the book!
When Ahsoka Tano walked away from the Jedi Temple at the end of season 5 of The Clone Wars, and in doing so, the Jedi Order and her master, Anakin Skywalker, many fans the world over undoubtedly wondered if they would ever learn more about the young Togrutan.
Fast-forward to the season one finale of Star Wars Rebels and we are re-introduced to her when the secret identity of Fulcrum is revealed.
And even as Ahsoka continued to be involved with the crew of The Ghost throughout the whole of season two, and the "is she/isn't she" cliffhanger, fans were still eager to know what she'd been doing during the prevailing years.
Which is where E. K. Johnston's Ahsoka novel comes in, falling somewhere closer to the end of that period, with earlier events briefly detailed in a handful of interludes interspersed between chapters, the first of which opens the books with Ahsoka facing off to Darth Maul in the Battle of Mandalore.
Returning to the present, we discover that Ahsoka is living life under an assumed name, one that will be known to fans familiar with George Lucas' original drafts for what later became Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. As the galaxy celebrates Empire Day, it is apparent that the Jedi are considered enemies of the state, making it unsafe for Force-wielders to stay in one place for any length of time, and so "Ashla" relocates to the Outer-Rim planet of Raada.
Much like Obi-Wan in John Jackson Miller's Kenobi, despite her best efforts, Ahsoka is unable to ignore injustice when she sees it, in this case at the hands of the Empire and the core of the story focuses on her mobilizing the local farmers to rise up against their oppressors.
Along the way Ahsoka attracts the attention of Bail Organa as well as an Inquisitor, the Sixth Brother, though whether he ranks between the Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister, as his name suggests, is unclear.
Further interludes take us back to Christophsis and the lead-up to the scene in The Clone Wars movie where Ahsoka became Anakin's Padawan, describe Obi-Wan's meditations, while the final one that closes the book features another Star Wars Rebels alumni.
Fans of Star Wars Rebels will no doubt be interested to discover how Ahsoka comes by her white lightsabers as well as the reason behind her code name, while on a broader scale, Takodana gets a throwaway mention.
Despite having been written primarily for a YA audience, Ahsoka holds some appeal to an older audience with sufficient action and a steady pace throughout, and the likelihood is that this will only serve to whet the appetite of fans ravenous to know more of her exploits. While her fate is still to be widely determined, there is also plenty of backstory to be told and we can only hope that E. K. Johnston will be penning further tales.
Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston from Disney-Lucasfilm Press is available now online and from all good bookstores, priced $17.99 in the U.S. and $18.99 in Canada.
A big thanks to MaryAnn Zissimos at Disney-Lucasfilm Press, and for all of your monthly roundup of Star Wars publishing news, commentary, and discussion on the latest releases in the realm of novels, comics, and magazines, don't forget to listen to Jedi Journals.
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