Book Review: Ahsoka By E. K. Johnston

The Ahsoka novel was a fun, pleasant surprise. I had my doubts that a YA novel could do Ahsoka justice, but E.K. Johnston delivers a story that is both fresh and exciting, and showcases Ahsoka, like we saw in Clone Wars. We see Ahsoka who is battle-scarred from the events of Order 66, and tries to quell her grief and misses her master terribly. Flashback and Interlude scenes are dispersed throughout the novel and in one of these flashbacks, we see that Ahsoka fought Maul for possession of Mandalore. Since Rebels has degraded Maul terribly, I’m not surprised how Ahsoka gets the better of him. If a blind Kanan can do it, so can Ahsoka. We also learn that Ahsoka fakes her death (along with Rex) and leaves her lightsaber on Mandalore. She then takes the name Ashla and finds herself on a small, farming moon. Unfortunately for her, the Empire comes to town, and begins to industrialize the moon and force the farmers to grow a plant that is used as a nutrient supplement that allows a sentient to breathe less oxygen in a low-gravity environment. It’s a cool piece of tech, and as a tech junkie, I’m very titillated!

Ahsoka forms a relationship with the farmers, and even though their relationship seems basic; it quickly turns into one of complexity and it is implied a few times subtly that one of the main characters, Kaedan is attracted to her. Nothing comes of it but it is another great example of LGBT relationships forming part of our Star Wars galaxy.

Ahsoka is very efficient and acts as a strong leader; rallying the farmers of Raada against the Empire. She is eventually forced to flee and let her friends down, albeit temporarily, when she is revealed to be a Force user. With a possible Jedi on the loose, an Inquisitor is set on her tail: the Sixth Brother. He is a cruel creature and based on his meager description, sounds like he may be the same species as the gray, hulking Fifth Brother from Rebels Season 2.

Even though Ahsoka leaves, she continues to do good deeds and attracts the attention of Senator Bail Organa, whom recruits her to the fledging Rebellion. Finishing what she started, Ahsoka returns to Raada to rescue Kaedan and the other farmers.

The novel may be a young reader, but it does not pull any punches in the violence department, and we envision the Sixth Brother cut a Rodian farmer in half!

Ahsoka is like supergirl. The Empire looks like a bunch of incompetent fools, when compared to her, and she even defeats the lightsaber-wielding Inquisitor unarmed! She then takes the Inquisitors lightsaber (which exploded and killed him) crystals and “frees” them, gaining their “allegiance” and her trademark white blades. It’s very artfully done, and works well in the context of the reader learning that she couldn’t get crystals from Illum, because the Empire sacked had that world.

Ahsoka evacuates the farmers with the aid of Bail Organa and Ahsoka dubs herself Fulcrum, becoming a “rebel-gatherer” for Bail.

All in all, I loved this novel. I loved how Ahsoka dealt with situations, and I smiled when she was briefly reunited with R2-D2. However, the one thing that bugs me is the fact that Ahsoka knew Palpatine is a Sith. Who told her this? She was never in contact with Obi-Wan or Yoda after ROTS and Bail doesn’t tell her. Perhaps, she sensed it through the Force?

Anyway, I loved how the Inquisitors were brought into this story. Lucasfilm Story Group synergy! I also liked Ahsoka’s “super-girl” like abilities. Bariss Offee was mentioned and my only regret was that her fate was not revealed. Oh well; a story for another day. All in all, Ahsoka is a fantastic read and I give it 4 ½ out of 5 Death Stars.

Ahsoka is available as an import from all good book stores.  [amazon asin=1484705661&template=add to cart]