Every Ahsoka Book You Need To Read Before The Star Wars Hero Gets Her Own Series

"The Clone Wars" cartoon introduced the Togruta padawan who won the hearts of many fans. George Lucas created Ahsoka Tano to give the famed Anakin Skywalker an apprentice, thus kickstarting a game-changing piece of canon outside of his "Star Wars" feature trilogies. Originated and voiced by Ashley Eckstein, the Togruta entered "Star Wars" with a coming-of-age arc that endured across several "Star Wars" cartoons, texts, and now the live-action realm beginning with "The Mandalorian" (portrayed in the flesh by Rosario Dawson).

The upcoming live-action "Ahsoka" series, developed by Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, seems both exciting and daunting for Star Wars fans, since it heralds the live-action iterations of the fan-favorite Spectres of the Ghost crew in the "Star Wars Rebels" cartoon. If you want to (re)familiarize yourself with Ahsoka and her allies, /Film has gathered the necessary textual and illustrated projects you should read before the new show premieres.

A New Dawn novel by John Jackson Miller

Ahsoka forged a valuable alliance with the Ghost crew of "Rebels." However, the working relationships between Ahsoka Tano, the Twi'lek Hera Syndulla (voiced by Vanessa Marshall, and played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the upcoming live-action show), and human Jedi Kanan Jarrus (voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr.) have been underwritten.

You'll get to know Hera and Kanan in 2014's "A New Dawn" novel, which carries the distinction as the first book release for the reset Disney canon of "Star Wars." Set before the events of "Star Wars Rebels," John Jackson Miller's novel illustrates a younger and cynical Kanan Jarrus, a drunken brawler and freighter pilot on Gorse. When Kanan crosses paths with the mysterious Twi'lek Hera Syndulla, he rediscovers his inner Jedi and will to fight the Empire. The novel also introduces a fan-favorite Imperial Rae Sloane, who traversed Chuck Wendig's "Aftermath" book trilogy and was instrumental in the First Order.

The Kanan Marvel comics

To further understand Ahsoka's Jedi friend Kanan, you can peer into the 12-issue "Kanan" Marvel comic series written by Greg Weisman. Pepe Larraz's vibrant art documents Kanan's tragic life story: the inquisitive youngling and padawan born as Caleb Dume, the loss of his master Billaba on Kaller, and his career as a smuggler under the rough yet paternal Janus Kasmir.

While Kanan Jarrus sacrificed himself for the Ghost crew for the Lothal cause, his ghost will haunt the "Ahsoka" series. How much an older Ezra Bridger will commit to Kanan's light side teachings remains an open question. And there's also the matter of Kanan's son, Jacen, whom he had with Hera Syndulla.

"The Bad Batch" animated series retcons (and reduces) a slice of Caleb Dume's origin story on Kaller, so the "Kanan" comics stand out as the superior dimensional exploration of his backstory. From the cartoon, you would not get Kanan's doomed brotherhood with two clone soldiers, Styles and Grey, nor the effective heartbreak and violence of Depa Billaba's assassination and sacrifice.

The Servants of the Empire books by Jason Fry

In the "Star Wars Rebels" season 1 episode "Breaking Ranks," padawan Ezra Bridger (Taylor Gray) infiltrates the Imperial Academy and befriends fellow cadet Zare Leonis (Bryton James), an infiltrator who's searching for his missing sister, Dhara. There, the boys race to save their potentially Force-sensitive friend Jai Kell (Dante Basco) from being one of the Grand Inquisitors' experimental guinea pigs for Project Harvester.

Although Leonis made one more appearance, the cartoon left his quest to find his sister as a curious loose end. Luckily, Jason Fry's four-part "Servants of the Empire" junior novel series covers Leonis's story and his sister's kidnapping by the Inquisitors. Not only does it resolve the loose end, but it also expands on the torturous Force-methods applied in Inquisitor brainwashing. The rest of the series also depicts cadets distressed and brainwashed by the Imperial system. It's a slim chance, but it's possible Zare and Jai may resurface in "Ahsoka."

The Ahsoka novel by E. K. Johnston

All hope was nearly lost when "The Clone Wars" cartoon was canceled and left Ahsoka's rejection of the Jedi Order as a loose end. Ahsoka's ambivalence to the Jedi way increased her legend status. Taking notes from Dave Filoni's story outlines for the planned finale, E. K. Johnston accepted the task of depicting Ahsoka's hideout from Order 66 in a novel. The pages follow her fragmented recollection of the Siege of Mandalore, her face-off with the Sixth Brother inquisitor, the origins of her twin white lightsabers, and her integration into Bail Organa's Rebellion (and the codenamed Fulcrum network).

The revived "The Clone Wars" season 7 finale ended up adjusting some of the details (such as the staging of Tano's false grave). The "Tales of the Jedi" cartoon anthology also overrides a crucial (perhaps queer) bond she had with the Raada farmer Kaeden Larte, who was reduced to an unnamed Village Girl in the cartoon. Readers might prefer the Johnston text since it fleshes out the civilians.

The Doctor Aphra comics

In its own right, "Doctor Aphra" is an adventurous saga following the trickster archaeologist Chelli Lona Aphra who bugs (and flirts with) bounty hunters, imperials, and rebels alike. Aphra is an annoying troublemaker, but she is a compelling hot mess with scores of crimes, debts, disgruntled exes that might want to kill her, and spontaneous smarts like Indiana Jones. From encounters with Darth Vader to a whirlwind romance with an Imperial and encountering the AI consciousness of a vengeful Force-wielder, Aphra remains a magnet for chaos.

She also ended up capturing Hera Syndulla at one point. As a tie-in to "Ahsoka," this may be one of the more isolated reading recommendations, but it does glimpse into the post-"Rebels" career of General Hera Syndulla. In these pages, Hera is a grumpier take on the character than her cartoon counterpart. Having been strung along in Doctor Aphra's shenanigans, Hera does not like this amoral treasure hunter one bit.

The Alphabet Squadron books by Alexander Freed

If the sequel trilogy indicates anything, keeping the peace is just as cumbersome as fighting for it. After "Return of the Jedi" and the decisive Endor battle, a group of New Republic pilots still face Imperial threats. In his will, Emperor Palpatine ordered "Operation: Cinder," a directive to burn all the planets to punish the galaxy for his death. The Imperial-defect Yrica Quell is selected to join Alphabet Squadron, who must hunt down the Shadow Wing, a series of TIE fighters terrorizing the galaxy. Their search expanded for two more books where Quell comes to terms with terrible secrets.

Never able to catch a break from the cause, General Hera Syndulla plays a major role in overseeing the Squadron. The final novel, "Victory Price," also reveals some of her own survival insecurities. If there's anything we can gather, she hopes she can live to be a good mother to her son Jacen Syndulla. And Kanan Jarrus still haunts her thoughts.

Star Wars Rebels Magazine and more comics

Some of the "Star Wars Rebels Magazines" and their "Rebels" tie-in comics may have been inaccessible to some because they were published by the Germany-based Panini or the United Kingdom-based Egmont UK Ltd. Luckily, Dark Horse Comics recently compiled these stories in a trade paperback for U.S. readers.

The colorful illustrations (by Bob Molesworth, Ingo Römling, and Eva Widermann) are bursting with warmth. One German-published comic in particular, "Ocean Rescue," groups Ahsoka, Sabine, and Hera on a mission to rescue an inmate from an underwater Imperial prison. Notably, the "Rebels" series ends with Ahsoka and Sabine flying off to search for Ezra Bridger, and the comic marks one of the few times Ahsoka and Sabine engaged in a close working relationship prior to the cartoon's finale. If Ahsoka's dynamic with the Ghost leaders, Kanan and Hera, was underwritten, then Ahsoka's acquaintance with Sabine (voiced by Tiya Sircar in the cartoon, and played by Natasha Liu Bordizzo in live-action) is more vacant. But it makes for a fascinating one-shot that may foreshadow how Ahsoka and Sabine's partnership might develop in "Ahsoka."

The Ghost crew also popped up in IDW Publishing's "Star Wars Adventures #7" comic, so that's worth adding to your list as well.

The Thrawn books by Timothy Zahn

Ahsoka Tano's first "The Mandalorian" season 2 appearance dropped this crucial teaser: She's hunting for the legendary Grand Admiral Thrawn (voiced by Lars Mikkelson in "Rebels"), notorious for his Sherlockian attention to detail and study of (Imperial-stolen) art. There, she may find the answers to Ezra Bridger's whereabouts after the purrgil space whales hyperspaced Thawn's Star Destroyer — and Ezra — into uncharted stars.

A famed Imperial veteran of the "Star Wars" Legends from Timothy Zahn's 1991 book "Heir to the Empire," the Disney canon reset allowed Zahn to write a familiar yet refreshing background for the Chiss character. In the first of the new books, "Thrawn," Zahn forges a believable bond between the young Imperial Eli Vantos and the Chiss. Luke Ross also adapted the first novel for the Marvel comics.

The second book, "Alliances," follows Thrawn's collaboration with Anakin Skywalker (and Darth Vader) as he investigates a disturbance in the Force. The third book, "Treason," reunites him with Eli as the former sets out to prove his tactical brilliance to the Empire, but Thrawn must also choose between his allegiance to the Empire and the Chiss Ascendancy. Zahn's "Ascendancy" books further dive into the Chiss conflicts Thrawn grew up with. One complexity you'll get from Zahn's text that does not surface in the "Rebels" series is that his Chiss heritage possessed a complicated relationship with the Empire, so Thrawn had to carefully navigate a xenophobic human-dominated Imperial society. It's only a matter of time before he appears on screen in live-action, so having this background knowledge could enhance your experience as Favreau and Filoni's live-action shows increasingly rely on audiences having outside knowledge to be able to fully appreciate the complexities of the plots.