From Dark Horse's site:
Here begins the tale of the dawn of the Jedi, the Star Wars of 25,000 years ago—before lightsabers, before hyperspace travel, before the Jedi spread throughout the galaxy, when connections to the Force were new.
On the planet Tython, a group of beings—scientists, philosophers, and warriors—strive to maintain peace and to balance the mystifying power known as the Force. But a stranger is coming, one who will disrupt the balance with his arrival and his own connection to the Force. Everything in their system is about to change . . . The doors to the galaxy have been opened! Collects Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi—Force Storm #1–#5.
How is it? Wait What? A strange pyramidal ship (that is left unexplained) gathers a bunch of force sensitive people from several planets and brings them together at one planet that works as a force focal point. These people and their descendants will in time be called Je'daii. Unlike "modern" Jedi these strive to be in balance with the force, this is equals parts dark and light. On day a dark side of the force user drops by this planet and hell breaks loose. The rest of the book is fighty fighty, the force this and the dark side that.
Jan Duursema, Dan Parsons Wes Dzioba and Gonzalo Flores made a good job making this book on par with the other Dark Horse Star Wars books. The myriad of alien races and different characters is really cool to see. The coloring, while not groundbreaking does a competent job. Overall the art department is very well taken care off.
I really wanted to love this one. I'm a fan of the Star Wars mythos and usually enjoy the Ostrander / Duursema's books very much. But it seems that Ostrander has lost his Midas touch. The narrative is, for the most part, uninspired, predictable and at times boring.
Ostrander uses and abuses the made up names and force memes. It seems that every other panel there's a "balance of the force", "force storm" or "dark side". And the made up names make it nigh impossible to follow the story without going back and forward in the book checking who's who. I know these are Star Wars cliches, but in Dawn of the Jedi these artifices are used to the point of exhaustion.
|Look not lightsabers|
The Je'dii social structure is almost identical to what is found in the prequel trilogy (almost 25000 years later). There doesn't seem to be much difference in the technological field also. In fact, apart from the flying cars and intergalactic travel there doesn't seem to by any significant difference. Not what one would expect for a gap of 25000 years.
|Blade Rides "Butch"|
Then there are the lightsabers issue. In Tales of the Jedi (20000 years after this story) the few lightsabers that existed had external power packs while these one work on force will alone. In the tagline for this book it clearly reads before lightsabers but this book Ostrander introduced forcesabers, that are, for the lack of a better word, lightsabers. Really slick and original trilogy looking ones.
I fell in love with this concept from the first promo image that Dark Horse put out. However this book doesn't even come close to the spirit of that early promo.
Dawn of the Jedi Volume 1 is a passable book at best. The art is good, but the writing is far from the best Ostrander and Dark Horse have produced in the past. Unless you're a die hard Star Wars fan give this one a pass.
Publisher: Dark Horse
Authors: John Ostrander, Jan Duursema, Dan Parsons Wes Dzioba, Gonzalo Flores
Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/02/review-star-wars-dawn-of-jedi-volume-1.html