Star Wars’ Tales of the Jedi just debuted on Disney+, with all six episodes having dropped at the same time. Three of them focus on the Sith Lord Count Dooku, while the other trio adds to Ahsoka’s backstory.
However, some fans might have noticed something strange about the sixth episode; others likely didn’t notice at all. Ashoka’s post-Order 66 story has some strong similarities and parallels to the 2016 Ahsoka book by E. K. Johnston.
The book was considered canon to the rest of the Star Wars franchise when it was originally released; across books, movies, shows, and games. However, the events of “Resolve”, in particular, basically strike that storyline from canon entirely.
Meet Ahsoka… or, Sorry, Ashla
After the events of Order 66, Ahsoka felt she had no other option but to retreat from the fight and stay low. This sentiment remains true across both Ahsoka Tano’s new animated tale and that of the book.
She even makes up the name, "Ashla" as a cover in both stories. Not only that, but across the two stories, she chooses to settle down in a farming environment on an ordinary planet (though, in the book, she first escapes from another world entirely before finding herself a new place to call home).
However, almost everything else about the situation is different.
In Ahsoka, the former Jedi lives comfortably for a while, posing as a mechanic amongst the planet’s agricultural workplace. This all changes when the Empire settles down on her current planet, Raada, in hopes of growing important crops for their rations.
For various reasons, things get messy, with the town falling into open sabotage against the Empire’s occupation. Ahsoka even works with them while trying to maintain her hidden secrets. She eventually has to confess to her newfound allies after saving them from incoming blaster fire with the force.
In Tales of the Jedi, the big moment that causes a shift in the status quo also revolves around Ahsoka saving a worker with the Force. However, this time, it’s simply saving someone from some slightly heavy hay bales. This doesn’t even expose her identity to everyone, just one person, not including the peeping Tom.
Additionally, in the book, there’s also a running plot line of how Ahsoka has secretly helped a Force-sensitive child from getting captured by the Empire—something she wants to do more of. This desire doesn’t make an appearance in the brief animated retelling.
On a darker note, another similarity between the two is how most of the supporting characters die at some point within the planet’s struggle against the Empire (or, in the show’s case, a single Inquisitor).
The Change in Inquisitors
The culmination of Ahsoka’s outcast story comes in the form of a duel with one of Darth Vader’s Inquisitors. This is a similarity that both the show and book share; however, there are key differences.
In the book, the Jedi hunter was known as the Sixth Brother. There’s even concept art online of what he looked like. Though, in Tales of the Jedi, the bad guy in question is someone entirely different—who is seemingly a completely new invention.
What the two stories do share is how quick the confrontation is. Even without a lightsaber, Ahsoka is a force to be reckoned with.
However, one key difference in the book is how she takes the red kyber crystals from the Inquisitor’s broken lightsaber and purifies them into the white ones she’d eventually go and put in her new lightsabers; those seen in Star Wars: Rebels.
A Reunion With Bail Organa
In the opening minutes of the short, Senator Bail Organa spots Ahsoka at Padme’s funeral. Wasting no time, he’s quick to catch up with her to try and convince her to keep the fight alive.
As told by the book, Bail Organa doesn’t actually meet face-to-face until the last third of the book—an encounter where it’s revealed that the Senator had no idea she was alive. The two of them meeting is also responsible for another major, but brief, reunion with R2-D2.
As an additional note, one of Ahsoka’s final moments with Organa in the book is when she officially creates the Fulcrum moniker, as originally introduced in Star Wars: Rebels. That’s a big plot point many might have thought Filoni would’ve put into this retelling—yet, it’s left to the now far less relevant book.
A Questionable Canon-Changing Precedent
It’s worth noting that Dave Filoni himself has previously claimed to have worked with Ahsoka writer E. K. Johnston on the story being written for his character. So, if everything was approved, why did the beloved creative decide he needed a redo?
With the fifteen-minute short completely upending the book yet still retaining just enough similarities to scratch one's head, this move may come off as a little passive-aggressive to some—maybe even spiteful.
This isn’t even the first time Filoni has caused continuity issues with this particular book. Basically any moment on the pages that refer to the battle of Mandalore doesn’t line up with what audiences saw in the final four episodes of The Clone Wars. However, those disconnects are completely understandable, given the development timeframe of both stories. in fact, when the book had come out, Filoni didn’t even know a seventh season of his beloved show was in the cards.
It’s also worth noting how the Clone Wars storyline featuring Ahsoka on Courscant, and meeting the two sisters, does share more than a handful of parallels to the former Jedi’s solo book (close-knit sisters who befriend Ashla, spending time as a mechanic, hiding her Jedi ways, etc.).
With Tales of the Jedi, there really wasn’t any need to give audiences this strange echo of the previously canon Ahsoka. Surely there were plenty of other worthwhile stories that Filoni could have found to tell without completely upending Johnston's book in the first place.
Could some of these changes have anything to do with what the writer and director is looking to achieve in his upcoming live-action Ahsoka series?
A key part of what people love about Star Wars books is how they are all canon (aside from Legends material, of course. So, hopefully, this kind of sloppy and unnecessary continuity adjustments don’t set a precedent. Otherwise, Lucasfilm may find many fans no longer investing in the franchise’s publishing side.
Tales of the Jedi is now streaming on Disney+.