Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston

Ahsoka_novel_cover-1.pngAhsoka is the first Star Wars novel I have read in around 12 years. It was such a joy to read. Ahsoka Tano is a female Jedi Padawan, who left the Jedi Order but fought in the Clone Wars and survived Order 66, where most of the Jedi died.

Those of you who watch Star Wars; Clone Wars are possibly already familiar with the character of Ahsoka, as she was Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan. The novel, Ahsoka,  takes place between Star Wars: Clone Wars, after Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith, and before Star Wars: Rebels.

Ahsoka has been trying to evade the Empire, who would have her killed if they knew she, a Jedi, was alive. She originally left a planet where there was a Force-sensitive child in the family she lived with that she was unable to help. She ended up on a moon called Raada where the Empire showed up to exploit the farmers who lived there. She was forced to flee after the Empire found her in order to (hopefully) protect the people. One thing led to another, and she ended up being in touch with Bail Organa who helped her evacuate the people who lived on Raada. Ahsoka was later involved in the Rebellion, but the readers only learn about how she’ll take part in that at the very end of the novel.

Considering how male-centric fantasy and sci-fi series like Star Wars can feel, I love that a book like Ahsoka exists because a relatable, strong female character is something I really enjoy seeing emphasized and it’s great to see Star Wars being diversified. E.K. Johnston is a woman for the record; I can’t but wonder if that’s why she used her initials – I heard that J.K. Rowling was also encouraged to use her initials as it would help Harry Potter sell better if her gender wasn’t immediately evident. I would hope we’d progressed more since then but who knows… but, nonetheless, women are participating voices in fantasy and sci fi writing, which is another strong point in my books.

To be honest, I feel like some reading on the Star Wars Wiki went a long way to helping me care more about the character of Ahsoka. I didn’t do it for spoilers; I just did it to understand her background; her relationship to Anakin before the book, why she left the Jedi order, and that kind of thing. I am not sure how not arming yourself with her background prior to the book would impact the reading experience. For me, it made it sad, in some ways, because she hadn’t had any contact with people she knew. At the point of this book, she’s devastated by the presumed deaths of Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin. She’s lonely without the connection she used to have with other Jedi’s. Imagine how much it would hurt later finding out that, actually, her mentor had become evil, that he would probably want to kill her without much regret. Pretty devastating.

All in all, I loved Ahsoka. I found it to be a really enjoyable read, it’s peaked my interest in the Star Wars series and I absolutely love the title character, Ahsoka. I would have been happy to read another book involving her.

Actually, reading Ahsoka makes me want to watch the Clone Wars. So… I’m going to go do that now.

Author E. K. Johnston
Genre Science fiction
Young adult fiction
Publisher Disney-Lucasfilm Press
Publication date
October 11, 2016
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 400 (First edition, hardcover)

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