Fans have long wondered what happened to Ahsoka after she left the Jedi Order near the end of the Clone Wars, and before she re-appeared as the mysterious Rebel operative Fulcrum in Rebels. Finally, her story will begin to be told. Following her experiences with the Jedi and the devastation of Order 66, Ahsoka is unsure she can be part of a larger whole ever again. But her desire to fight the evils of the Empire and protect those who need it will lead her right to Bail Organa, and the Rebel Alliance….
Author: E.K. Johnston
Narrator: Ashely Eckstein
Published: October 2016
Genre: Sci-Fi/Young Adult/Star Wars
So Ahsoka is legitimately one of my favorite Star Wars characters. Right there alongside Plo Koon, Kit Fisto, and Asajj Ventress. Sure she was a tad annoying in earlier seasons, but she grew on me, and really came into her own as a Jedi.
Which is what made her finale in the Clone Wars television series that much sadder. Of course you can tell she probably doesn’t meet her end in the series, seeing as this book takes place after the fact. But for a while her fate was totally up in the air.
That is until she appeared in Star Wars Rebels! A show I love but one I haven’t been able to watch because I don’t have cable. Seeing Ahsoka in action in the few episodes I’ve grabbed just makes me love her more, seeing her grown-up, those badass white lightsabers, seeing her help begin the Rebel Alliance. I was completely ecstatic when I heard there would be a YA novel centered on her time a few years after she left the Order.
So how did I like it?
Honestly, it’s nothing short of spectacular. I went the audio route when I heard Ashley Eckstien herself would be narrating the audiobook version. I mean Ahsoka herself gets to narrate this story! How awesome is that?
Then having Eckstien dictate Johnston’s writing? It’s magical, the way Johnston writes it’s just…. it’s so…. it’s Star Wars! She captures the voice perfectly, not only for the character of Ahsoka, but for the universe this story is set in! And the side-characters, they might be my favorite side characters out of all the new Star Wars Canon novels.
Also, points to Johnston for making a Star Wars novel more diverse than most books set on Earth. Seriously, nearly everyone Ahsoka comes across is depicted with brown skin. Then we have even more queer characters finding their way into the Star Wars canon! It’s just a moment, but throughout the novel Kaeden leaves hints of her attraction to Ahsoka, culminating in a short reveal, but still, it was nice. (And hopefully we can get some confirmation that Ahsoka is gay, bisexual, or pansexual somewhere in the future!)
My one complaint might be the length, I wish this was either longer, or there were more books in the works. I’d love to see Ahsoka’s work right up until she meets the cast of Star Wars: Rebels, and then more books that take place between seasons.
I really hope we get more books of this caliber in the Star Wars universe, I hope Johnston gets to work on more because I really feel like her style is a good fit for the universe, and i REALLY hope we get more Ahsoka related things in the future. She’s an excellent character, and I hope Filoni doesn’t make her go the way of Asajj Ventress or something like that.
As I mentioned, Ahsoka herself narrates this story. I really love Eckstien’s acting here, and while the narration does suffer on occasion (mostly when Eckstien is voicing male characters or on occasion when I got Ahsoka and other side characters mixed up), it’s still top-notch.
It also follows the traditional Star Wars route, with full soundtrack and sound-effects. Someone ignites a lightsaber? You’re gonna hear it. Music during more emotional or powerful moments? It’s here. There were some occasions where the music swelled when it probably shouldn’t have. More emotional themes that really didn’t match the tone of what was going on, or music swelling and then just dropping off.
But I’ve seen that a lot in many Star Wars audiobooks, and while it doesn’t detract, it feels sort of jarring. Honestly, audiobooks are probably the way to go for Star Wars books. All the ones I’ve ever listened to have had sound-effects. Lightsabers, ships’s taking off and firing, explosions. It really adds an extra layer to the story, so if you can, go with a Star Wars audio!