Star Wars: Ahsoka
For those who know my taste in books, it is no secret that my absolute favorite genre is space opera. Anyone who knows that much knows that my all-time favorite is the pinnacle of American space opera known to all: Star Wars. In recent years --- with the Disney company acquisition of Lucasfilms and the Star Wars property --- the amount of content in the universe has been given a renewed interest, greater reach and a new beginning. This was somewhat true before the Disney buyout, though given far less attention back when a television series aired on Cartoon Network known as “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” This show would lead to a shocking amount of fan praise, tie up some much maligned plot holes and characterization problems from the then recent film trilogy, and introduce the public to a now fan favorite character: Ahsoka Tano.
"Ahsoka is so hardcore, cool, caring and truly well-written as a character. I loved her and this whole book."
Despite its success, the “Clone Wars” series was canceled with numerous plotlines and character arcs seeing little to no conclusions. Ahsoka’s plotline at the end of her time on the show saw her leave the mystical order of Jedi to seek a purer path away from the war that consumed her youth. As a fan it was rough to see her go and know nothing of what became of her until the recent cartoon series, “Rebels.” But what happened in the years between? Where was Ahsoka at the end of one war and the beginning of another? What brought her back to the fray? E. K. Johnston’s new novel seeks to tie up all this and more --- and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.
In AHSOKA, our titular character has been in hiding for some years. Ahsoka hides her special abilities she learned in her days with the Jedi and fighting in the Clone Wars. She presumes all of her Jedi friends dead after the Jedi purge toward the end of the Clone Wars. In hiding she has taken up a job as a mechanic and just tries to keep her head down. She wants nothing but to keep out of the way and hope the Empire doesn’t notice her. That is until she makes a lot of new friends on a mining colony and the Empire decides it’s better to work them into an early grave.
E. K. Johnston has written what I have been calling “Rambo in Space,” with only compliments intended. First Ahsoka doesn’t want to fight anymore, but then she doesn’t have a choice and has to fight back. The escalation into action feels very natural with some believable decisions on both sides of the Rebel/Imperial conflict. Character deliberations have a tendency to bog down “Star Wars” books if executed awkwardly, but this book suffers from none of that.
Ahsoka is so hardcore, cool, caring and truly well-written as a character. I loved her and this whole book. As a Star Wars book it has the necessary components without getting bogged down in the details. Johnston handles herself in this universe with the utmost confidence.
It’s impressive. Most impressive.
Reviewed by Matthew Burbridge on October 14, 2016