Spoilers for the Ahsoka novel follow.
The following Star Wars Insights includes some information picked up in the new Ahsoka novel. If you would like to remain completely spoiler free, you might want to skip this edition...
I'm currently reading Ahsoka, and so far I'm loving it, but if you thought the origin of Ahsoka's white lightsabers would be the only insight you'd get in this book, you're in for a surprise.
In the book Ahsoka, by E.K. Johnston, our heroine is going by the name Ashla (a name familiar to Star Wars die hards), and she is hiding out on a moon called Raada. Whilst there "Ashla" takes up work as an engineer, repairing the threshers used by local farmers. All too soon the Empire appear and become a permanent fixture on the moon. The Empire immediately seize control of the farming operation and replace the local farmers seed with its own.
Ahsoka points out to her new friends, and tiny Rebel cell, that the seed will produce a food supplement that is destined to go off world and will leave the moon of Raada baron.
I think its reasonable to assume that the supplements Ahsoka speaks of are the food packs we see Rey working so hard for in The Force Awakens. I'm guessing when those Imperial ships crashed on Jakku, they we loaded with enough ration packs to fuel the substantial personnel on board. Ration packs seem to have become the local currency by the time of The Force Awakens, but it's Ahsoka's comments about the effect this type of farming has on the moon's soil that got me thinking.
I've been thinking about Jedha, following the release of the trailer for Rogue One last week and one thing in particular caught my imagination. It's the Jedi statue in the sand that had me wondering what's the deal with Jedha? Was this planet once central to the Jedi religion and was it once a fertile moon, capable of supporting an abundance of life? There are some shots in the original trailer, like the one below, that seem to suggest the planet has been heavily mined, most likely by the Empire. Could Ahsoka's information about the effect of farming Imperial crops for ration packs be clue to what happened to Jedha after Order 66?
I'll admit that the ruined Jedi statue looks like it has been lying there for hundreds of years, but what if Jedha was one of the first planets Palpatine devoured in his efforts to bolster the Imperial war machine? Did his troops head to one of the most important Jedi worlds and topple the statues, gather up the populous and confine them to a small city, whilst they mined the planet for Kyber Crystals and over farmed its surface, leaving the moon baron and ruined within two decades of the last Jedi falling?
It would fit into Palatines hatred for the Jedi and his thirst for a cruel revenge. Revenge that includes destroying every inch of a Jedi Holy Land. Perhaps a blast from the Death Star's super laser will be the cherry on this particular cake for Palpatine?
I'm certain this is ground the expanded story telling will be focusing on in coming years, buts its fun to start piecing these bits together now. What do you think happened on Jedha? And was it a fate shared by Jakku? Is the over farming Ahsoka spoke off to blame for the ruin of these two worlds? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Thank you for reading,