Review via Yodasnews Contributor Jacob Burdis:
Star Wars fans everywhere are anxiously counting down the days until December 16th, 2016 for the premiere of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which will tell the epic story of how the Rebel Alliance obtained the plans for the Death Star. To build anticipation, Disney has released the young adult novel Ahsoka, written by E. K. Johnston, to tell the story of no-longer jedi padawan Ahsoka Tano and her adventures between leaving the Jedi Order near the end of the Clone Wars and her involvement with the Rebel Alliance. The novel does a fantastic job both exploring the specific story of Ahsoka, while also providing subtle, yet insightful clues about life in the galaxy post Order 66.
Ahsoka Tano is arguably one of the most interesting characters in the Star Wars Universe. Before now, we have seen her incredible skill as the padawan of Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars and then later as the mysterious Rebel operator known as “Fulcrum,” aiding Hera Syndulla and her Rebel cell in the “Rebels” animated series.
The story is set about 1 year after Order 66, though it occasionally jumps back to the events immediately preceding the execution order and how Ahsoka was able to escape with her life. Ahsoka, now going by the name “Ashla” to preserve her anonymity, is hiding in the Outer Rim to avoid Imperial attention and figure out what to do with her life. Believing Anakin, Obi-Wan, and all of her other Jedi friends to be dead, she is trying to become accustomed to an “ordinary” life as a wandering starship mechanic.
It doesn’t take long, however, for Ahsoka to recognize and confront her inner conflict between self-preservation and her jedi instincts to protect the innocent. She finds herself in the middle of a local uprising on the remote agricultural moon of Raada during an Imperial occupation to harvest the moon’s resources. Ahsoka struggles to decide whether she will stay in hiding, or risk exposing herself to the empire to protect her new friends.
The novel is very well written, with the right balance of action and introspection to give both excitement and perspective to the reader. We begin to understand how monumental Order 66 really was, and how it shook the galaxy to the core. After watching the films, we may take for granted our omniscience, not realizing that most of the galaxy didn’t know the simple facts that Emperor Palpatine is a Sith Lord, and that former Jedi Master Anakin Skywalker’s mangled face lies behind Darth Vader’s ominous mask.
Throughout the novel, we also are given delightful tidbits about the mysterious process a jedi must go through to obtain a kyber crystal to construct a new lightsaber, and how the process has changed now that the Empire is in possession of the planet Ilum. We learn a bit more about who and what the inquisitors are that hunt the remaining Jedi and force sensitive children. And we come to understand better the pivotal role Bail Organa played in assembling the dissidents that would become the Rebel Alliance we have come to love in the original trilogy.
I wholeheartedly recommend Ahsoka for all Star Wars fans, especially as a step in preparing for the Rogue One Anthology Film (read more about how I recommend preparing for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story).
Click Here or the image below to pick this up via digital, audio or physical form. We would like to thank Del Rey/Penguin Random House for providing the review sample.