Originally published on Set The Tape
When Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series first began many people were dubious about the addition of a young padawan for Anakin Skywalker that no one had ever heard of before, Ahsoka Tano. By the end of the series, however, Ahsoka had become such a fan favourite that people were desperate to find out what happened to her during the events of Revenge of the Sith, if she survived the Jedi purge. When the character re-emerged in Star Wars Rebels fans were overjoyed to see her return to the Star Wars saga, though this was short lived at her apparent death at the hands of Darth Vader. Whilst still waiting to find out if she would somehow survive her encounter with the Sith Lord, Ahsoka’s history would be explored further in a book that shares her name.
Set only a year after the events of Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: Ahsoka focuses on the titular former Jedi as she navigates her way through the backwaters of Imperial space, attempting to stay under the radar and hide who she really is.
Whilst a book that just followed Ahsoka around whilst she travelled from world to world doing odd jobs and hiding from the Empire would be an entertaining read in itself, this being a Star Wars book it’s clear from the onset that Ahsoka will end up drawn into some kind of conflict by the books conclusion. As such, the first half of the novel has a very western vibe to it, with the reluctant hero being drawn out of retirement by the actions of a group of bad guys.
This first half of the book is filled with emotion, as we follow an Ahsoka that has been almost destroyed by the pain of what she has been through. Although she was no longer a part of the Jedi order when Order 66 occurred, she still has to struggle with the fact that everyone she knew and loved is likely dead. Whilst we know Jedi are not supposed to have strong feelings for others, even amongst their own order, the moments where Ahsoka describes Anakin and Obi-Wan as being fathers to her show just how important they were to her, and whilst they aren’t actually dead at this point, their loss from her life effects her deeply.
Thankfully, the book knows that it can’t all be doom and gloom for everyone’s favourite Togruta, and Ahsoka begins to make a number of friends on the quiet farming moon of Raada, including a friendship that appears to be written as possibly romantic. Unfortunately for our hero, the Empire arrives on Raada, for reasons unconnected to Ahsoka, and puts the populace in danger.
One of the best parts of pitting Ahsoka against the Empire in this book is the inclusion of an Inquisitor, one of the Empire’s specialist Jedi hunters. Whilst this doesn’t add any more information about this mysterious group, it does get to showcase how skilled and powerful Ahsoka is, and gives some credence to the confidence she showed in facing multiple Inquisitors during the events of Star Wars Rebels. By the conclusion of the story we see an Ahsoka that has gone from a trauma suffering survivor to a strong young woman that has found a purpose. She has attained her amazing white lightsabers and has joined with the fledgling Rebel Alliance, and has found her place in the fight against the forces of evil.
Star Wars: Ahsoka gives a great look into one of the best characters in the Star Wars universe, it explores a period that has not been shown in film or on television, and it answers a few questions that were left open from the events of both The Clone Wars and Rebels. A great read for a casual Star Wars fan, but an absolute must for anyone that’s a fan of Ahsoka.
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