The novel ‘Star Wars: Ahsoka’ by E. K. Johnston gave us a glimpse of the Siege of Mandalore before it was re-invented in ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’. In the prologue of the book, many details are revealed that don’t match up with the events of Season 7. What follows are the highlights of the major differences between the novel and the animated series.
1. The Lightsabers!
I assumed Ahsoka would retain her original green lightsabers in this last story arc in The Clone Wars as she had for the previous 6 seasons. The novel specifically references Ahsoka still having them in the Siege of Mandalore, “The familiar green energy sang as she activated her lightsabers…” So, why doesn’t she have the green blades in the show? Did Anakin change the kyber crystal? Nothing I know of directly says a Jedi can’t take apart another’s lightsaber, but even if he could, why would he?
Dave Filoni said on Twitter that he wanted to show more of the connection between master and apprentice with Anakin and Ahsoka, so he said Anakin shifted the angle of Ahsoka’s crystals so that they were blue. Personally, I’m not quite satisfied with this answer, because never in Star Wars have we heard of different angling of kyber crystals causing different colors. But I guess now it’s canon. As a side note, Ahsoka also sports a pair of white lightsabers in the animated series Star Wars Rebels, which she creates using a re-purified kyber crystal she took from an Inquisitor’s dual-bladed lightsaber in the Ahsoka novel.
2. Maul’s Capture
In the episode, ‘The Phantom Apprentice,’ Ahsoka pursues Maul into the uppermost levels of the dome surrounding the Mandalorian city of Sundari. Maul falls off a sliced beam, and Ahsoka suspends him with the Force just as Republic gunships arrive. Mandalorians onboard the gunships tie up Maul with their cables, and a trooper stuns him unconscious.
In the novel, Ahsoka taunts Maul, making him more and more angry, until he finally lunges at her. She holds him back with her lightsaber long enough for her hidden clones to capture him in a ray shield. The banter in the scene was amazing, as E. K. Johnston perfectly captured Ahsoka and Maul’s characters and personalities. It’s too bad that some of the dialogue from the book didn’t make it into the show. My favorite lines are when Maul says to Ahsoka that she’s “not even a real Jedi.” And she quips back, “It’ll be a fair fight then. You’re only half a Sith”. I believe the banter and ray shield scene was sacrificed so that Ahsoka and Maul could have the vital conversation that revealed Maul’s vision; which was that Anakin Skywalker was the key to destroying the remaining balance of the Force.
3. Order 66
During Order 66 in the animated series, Ahsoka is transporting Maul to the Jedi Council on Coruscant. After Maul is freed by Ahsoka to create a diversion, he destroys the hyperdrive generators. Maul then steals the only functioning shuttle left on the Republic cruiser but before he can get away, Ahsoka reaches out with the Force to pull him back. Meanwhile, Rex is being overwhelmed by his clone brothers, and Ahsoka must choose between saving Rex or capturing Maul. She chooses Rex in the show and the novel.
The only difference here is that in the novel, this takes place on Mandalore whereas it takes place on the Republic cruiser in the show.
4. Ahsoka Leaves A Message
In the finale episode, ‘Victory and Death,’ Ahsoka stands staring at the clone graveyard she’s created with ARC Trooper Jesse’s helmet in the forefront. She leaves one of her lightsabers, possibly as a message to Anakin or as a clue that she also died in the crash. It’s up to the finder to decide which.
In the novel, Ahsoka makes a fake memorial to Rex buried in another clone’s armor. Johnston wrote in the novel, “you couldn’t tell clones apart when they were dead, especially when they were buried in another’s set of armor.” Rex’s helmet is left on the grave which holds a different trooper with Rex’s armor which was likely repainted to look like his own. I don’t believe Rex would want to give up his armor after all it went through in the Clone Wars as he wears sections of it in Star Wars Rebels. This showed Ahsoka’s intuitiveness, thinking of small details even in her state of confusion and grief. She leaves BOTH of her lightsabers, as a sign of respect for the man she ‘killed’. This allows him to escape to the Outer Rim without Imperials tracking him.
I am disappointed that Dave Filoni used so little of the material from the Ahsoka novel and that he did so many things that directly contradicted it. There’s some amazing work in the novel, my personal favorite being the banter between Ahsoka and Maul.
Then again, the banter and ray shield scene, as I call it, was sacrificed both so that Maul and Ahsoka could have a conversation, and because I can’t see the scene being as good on screen as descriptive words in the novel. As amazing actors as they are, some of Ahsoka’s inner thoughts in the novel just couldn’t be expressed on screen quite as well, of course that’s just my opinion.
May The Force Be With You, Always!
Author Bio – Jonathan Marroquin
Hi, my name is Jonathan Marroquin and I am 14 years old. My first memory of Star Wars is seeing a VHS tape and my grandpa explaining that it was a sci-fi movie. I fell in love with it immediately. In the next few days, I watched Star Wars: A New Hope more times than I could count. I like to say Star Wars was my first love, and it’s stayed true to me ever since. A LEGO enthusiast and stop-motion animator, I enjoy writing fan fiction in the Star Wars and Harry Potter universes. I also design LEGO starships both Canonical and Star Wars-inspired in my spare time. May The Force Be With You, Always!