Hey guys, Jason here with a review for Star Wars Dawn of the Jedi #1. Let me start off by saying that this is a book I have been waiting for since Dark Horse first let us glimpse the teaser images. Dark Horse promoted this story as "A series that establishes the beginning of the Jedi." This is no mere hyperbole. In the sprawling timeline of the Star Wars universe, Dawn of the Jedi takes place approximately 36,000 years before Luke blew up the first Death Star.
This first issue sets up the history of what can only be described as the distant ancestors of the Jedi that we have come to know and love. A lot gets revealed in the first half of the book. How the different Je'daii (and yes that is the correct spelling) races are brought together and where, what their philosophy is, how they grew to understand the Force and use its power, and how that power has affected the galaxy as the Je'daii ventured out amongst the stars. It delves into what became of the Je'daii children who were not strong in the force, and their place in the grand mythology of Star Wars. It also gives us the Je'daii code, which sheds a bright light on how different these force users are from the Jedi and Sith we know...and how similar they are at their core.
The real story, scripted by John Ostrander, doesn't really start until the history lesson is over, and we see what the galaxy is like at this point in time. Enter the Infinite Empire and the mysterious Xesh, who has an affinity for hunting down Force-sensitive people and places for his master.This is the figure that dominates the issue's cover, touted in ads as a Darth Vader-like threat to the galaxy at this time. It is pretty obvious from this issue that the odds of Xesh and the Je'daii clashing are pretty good, and I hope that we get a solid protagonist among the Je'daii next issue to give him a challenge.
There are familiar alien races and planets brought to life by the beautiful art of Jan Duursema. While the races presented here offer the familiarity of having seen them in countless other stories, there's one place in particular that's radically different from what we see in the movies. Even so, the art doesn't disappoint. Nothing takes me out of a Star Wars story more than seeing an artists interpretation of an alien race that doesn't line up with what we have seen before, but Duursema gets it, and the fans will be very pleased and maybe a little surprised by the races that show up before the end of the issue.
The real question is how this five issue arc will play out and how much will be revealed about the origins of the Je'daii before its all over. I have faith, however, that the creative team will not disappoint us. They have already won me over with Star Wars: Legacy, creating the distant future of the universe, so I have no doubt that they will do wonders in giving us the definitive origin of the Star Wars saga. I will definitely be back for issue #2, and I hope you will to.
See you in 30.