The ‘Ahsoka’ Novel Is Necessary To Get The Full Effect of Her ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ Journey
Now that Star Wars: The Clone Wars has come to a conclusion, Ahsoka and Rex’s story for this particular era of their lives is finally shown on-screen. They were specifically made for Star Wars: The Clone Wars but after the show was canceled, they never got to that bookend of their journeys. The series just stopped and they both popped up again in Star Wars Rebels, 15 years after Revenge of the Sith and Order 66 (the Jedi Purge). [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7 finale].
Finally, the series was able to show Order 66 from their point of view and how they survived. Fans are left with a final image of Ahsoka leaving her lightsaber at the ship’s crash site. And then the haunting final look at Darth Vader finding her saber, confirming, to him, that she’s dead. If you really want closure on Ahsoka’s Clone Wars story, reading her novel is the next step.
Ahsoka’s story doesn’t end, and there’s a lot that goes on before she shows up in ‘Star Wars Rebels’
Ahsoka, the novel, is written by E.K. Johnston and takes place right around a year after the events of Revenge of the Sith and the Siege of Mandalore. Without giving too much away from the book, Ahsoka is hiding out like a lot of other Jedi who survived. She’s not a part of the Rebel Alliance yet, and she’s just getting by as a civilian. She’s closed off her access to the Force and doesn’t have lightsabers.
The Clone Wars Season 7 retconned some things that were in the book. For instance, Anakin changed her lightsabers to blue in the show, but in the novel, she buries her green ones. Also, in the book, she and Rex make a fake grave for themselves to ward off anyone looking to see if they survived. But it is all so vague, that maybe it’s not a true “retcon.” That was done on purpose so that Johnston didn’t get too much into what went down on Mandalore with Maul because this current season was already in the planning stages. Although Johnston does write that they dueled.
There is still over a decade of work Ahsoka did before appearing on Star Wars Rebels, but this novel shows how she dealt with the Jedi Purge, losing Anakin and Obi-Wan, and why she made the decision to become a rebel. Which, if you know Ahsoka’s character, was bound to happen at some point.
The novel dives into the trauma she has to deal with and does a great job of showing more of Ahsoka’s growth
Something Star Wars doesn’t really get into in the movies is the immense trauma that these characters endure and how they deal with it. There’s really not a ton of time to do so, and it’s touched on a little bit here and there. But wars are raged, people killed all around them, and there’s very little internal struggle that the audience sees. Trauma isn’t really explored.
Now, Ewan McGregor recently said that the Untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi series will dive into that for his character. And Ahsoka’s novel really got into that for her. Again, without giving too many details, because the book does it gorgeously, Ahsoka has a lot of PTSD. She believes her master died, which takes a toll. Ahsoka also is super closed off to any type of close relationship, friendly or otherwise. She has a hard time wrapping her head around the concept of “family,” and her trust is shattered.
The greatest thing about the character of Ahsoka is that she is constantly evolving. Fans met her when she was 14, immature, and very confident; a lot like her master. As the show progressed, she grew on fans more and more because she was growing up in front of them. By the time she leaves the Order in Season 5, she’s grown into someone who can make that tough choice. And in the course of one book, she becomes more like the Ahsoka we see in Star Wars Rebels.
Ahsoka’s final scene on camera is reason enough to read the novel
The Twitter user @_joieful actually posted a great video edit that takes one of Ahsoka’s inner monologues from the novel and puts it over her final scene in all of The Clone Wars. This is the perfect example of why the novel is important to really grasp Ahsoka’s full story. The audiobook features Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka, which adds even more weight to the novel’s relevance.
The audio says:
Ahsoka held her lightsabers. Her last physical connection to the Jedi and to her service in the Clone Wars. It was so hard to give them up, even though she knew she had to. But Anakin had given them to her when she had found a mission. When she had reached out to her former master for help, he had reached back and given her the Jedi weapons to do the job. He’d accepted her return. And it felt like a failure to leave the lightsabers behind a second time.
This is a flashback Ahsoka has to the very moment we see in the finale. As stated above, there are things that she remembers that don’t necessarily work with how the series ends, now. But emotionally, it’s all there. This is just one example of how the novel continues this Clone Wars narrative.
Ahsoka’s story is truly one of the best in all of the franchise. And the book really is the necessary link between The Clone Wars Ahsoka and Star Wars Rebels Ahsoka/Fulcrum.