Only a Sith deals in absolutes. While this oft-quoted line from Revenge of the Sith was directed at Anakin Skywalker, it also applies to the question of Star Wars canon. From the franchise's earliest days, canonicity has been an issue due to The Star Wars Holiday Special, early comics, and the Expanded Universe books. And, despite Disney's efforts to set the record straight, Star Wars canon confusion continues with the latest cause rooted in Ahsoka Tano and the upcoming Disney+ series, Tales of the Jedi.
Lucasfilm officially announced the new six-episode animated series from The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels' Dave Filoni at the 2022 Star Wars Celebration. Set to release this fall, three of the episodes' shorts are expected to focus on Ahsoka Tano.
Of course, this is far from the first and only series to further explore this heroine's story. Filoni is currently filming the Ahsoka live-action series, starring Rosario Dawson, which is expected to release in 2023. But long before either series went into production, fans read about this character's past in 2016's Ahsoka by E. K. Johnston.
While Tales of the Jedi is expected to show more of Tano's past, there have been rumors suggesting that the Filoni-directed series will contradict what fans first read from Johnston nearly six years prior. As to what Johnston thinks about this and the issue of canon, the writer has taken to social media to respond.
Star Wars Author Responds to Ahsoka Canon Backlash
In the wake of the potential Tales of the Jedi plot leaks circulating online, certain fans have suggested that Dave Filoni and Lucasfilm conspired to change the canonicity of E.K. Johnston's Ahsoka. But according a post on Twitter by Johnston, that's not the case at all - she commented on how it's "frustrating to see people gleefully declare my book non-canon:"
"There isn't a big conspiracy behind the changes in Ahsoka's story. Dave approved the book six years ago and then kept working on her journey. It's frustrating to see people gleefully declare my book non-canon instead of just...using their imaginations. Like we did."
For the Star Wars faithful who weren't in-the-know, the fact that Filoni approved the book back in 2016 is important to note. If the character's creator approved of the book, that was Ahsoka's story at that time.
However, as the writer noted, that doesn't mean Filoni stopped working on her tale.
After Star Wars: The Clone Wars seemingly ended in 2014, Filoni managed to bring the heroine back in Star Wars Rebels before continuing her Clone Wars-era journey in the revival and final season of The Clone Wars on Disney+ in 2020.
Filoni also brought the character into live-action in both Season 1 and 2 of The Mandalorian, followed by a cameo in The Book of Boba Fett, before the start of filming her solo series.
Even though some have supported Johnston's view and pointed out that the book and new animated series can still complement one another, the Star Wars writer shared that he expects "more" of the same once the show debuts:
"It's probably going to be more when the new animated show comes out. But the alternative is what we got with Luke, which is: almost nothing."
What He Wrote Was True, From a Certain Point of View
Before the start of almost every Star Wars film, there are the words "a long time ago" because Star Wars is supposed to be a chronicle of historical events.
And, while that's part of its genius, it's also part of its problem.
Any new form of Star Wars content, whether it's on-screen or in-print, is considered part of that history. But as time within this galaxy creates new opportunities for storytelling, it affects the timeline of the other, frustrating fans and potentially weakening the impact of those stories that came before.
Since new content is always in demand, and as Lucasfilm looks to churn out more Star Wars projects than ever, it's unlikely that Tales of the Jedi will be the last time the franchise has to deal with this issue.
But though that's not what fans want to hear, in the meantime, it may be best to continue viewing Star Wars canon from a certain point of view; and, for the sake of prior Star Wars writers and creators, rely on imagination before discrediting and dismissing the work that came before.
Tales of the Jedi will premiere on Disney+ in Fall 2022.