Overview

Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi #0

Review

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Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi #0

Credits

  • Words: John Ostrander
  • Art: Jan Duursema
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $3.50
  • Release Date: Feb 1, 2012

The sourcebook is strong in this one, but is it meant for the Jedi Academy?

If the Prequel Trilogy rewound the plot of Star Wars by two or three decades, that was only a blink of time in the span from the original stories to that of Dawn of the Jedi. Retracing the original users of the Force, Dawn looks to show a rather unheard of chapter in that of the Star Wars saga, one before Jedi, Sith, Skywalkers, and the Empire.

There's one thing that needs to be made clear about Dawn of the Jedi #0; this isn't a prequel story to the main series, this is a guidebook to the series. This is no different than a Who's Who, Official Marvel Handbook, or Secret Files and Origins. There's no narrative, no concept of a frame for the facts and plot points related within; while one, such as children learning at the academy, would have been hammered in awkwardly, it would give the book more substance than what it currently is, a semi-Wikipedia of the events of this era.

The book initially focuses on the world of Tython, a planet thriving and rich with the Force. If Tatooine was the desert planet and Hoth was the ice planet, illogical as those concepts are, Tython is apparently the Force planet. It is here that the Je'Daii (pronounce it aloud, or even just look at the word, and you'll see where they're going with this), the earlier users of the Force (before the Jedi and Sith) mastered its abilities. Various temples were spread across the globe, allowing the users to focus on one specific faction of the Force before moving on to the next.

From there, the guide goes on to check out the various ships of the era, the worlds they travel to, and protagonists and antagonists of the era. All are interesting… if ancient Star Wars history is something you'd like to study. Without any sort of reason to care about this stuff, or to even find it intriguing, the book reads as a pitch for the series and not a $3.50 expansion.

In large parts, the art seems unfinished. Some appears to be CG designs, some black and white pencil sketches, and the few completed images of characters in the book are just unflattering. The writing is largely just stating facts outright, and a few notable bits, such as the "Je'Daii" and "Forcesabers" are all so telegraphed as to their intent and future purpose that there's little left to the imagination.

Dawn of the Jedi is a tolerable-enough guideline and info source for the era, but has such a minimal shelf appeal, exploring a world that, for all intents and purposes, the average reader has no concept of, and it appears more like homework than an intriguing tome. After the story is over, it might work to clear things up or function as an academic retelling of the plot, but in this situation, it's just dry and boring text.

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