Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi (Force Storm) is the start of an ongoing comic book series by Dark Horse, John Ostrander and Jan Duursema. John and Jan are the same guys behind Star Wars: Legacy (which I’ve read but never reviewed). This comic arc shows you the beginnings of the Jedi Order, has interesting characters and a decent plot.
Even if you’re not a Star Wars fan, you can pick it up and enjoy it since it doesn’t reference any other material. It’s pretty standalone.
The History: It’s nice to learn more about the origins of the mythical Jedi in the Star Wars universe. Even back then the Je’daii as they called themselves were embroiled in conflict.
It’s nice to learn about their philosophy of balance regarding the Force. They name the two sides after the twin moons of Tython: bright Ashla and dark Bogan. The names add a bit of spice to your typical Light side, Dark side titles.
The Characters: The main characters are Xesh, Shae Koda, Sek’nos Rath and Tasha Ryo. As characters go, some are unique — most Jedi from the modern era have less interesting backstories.
Tasha Ryo, the Twilek for instance is the daughter of a temple master Je’daii and a crime lord. She finds herself torn between the duties of the Order and the demands of her father, who wishes she joined his criminal empire.
Sek’nos is a ladies man, son of diplomats and a lover of weapons.
Shae is Xesh’ main love interest. She was orphaned at an early age when her parents were killed during the Despot’s War. She’s a rancor-dragon tamer (i.e. beast rider).
Xesh was a slave who killed his master. He doesn’t know what he’s doing on the planet. He strives to make contact with his masters but a part of him yearns for freedom.
His story gets better in later arcs of the comic. He is only introduced in this arc.
The Plot: As plots go it’s fairly decent for a Star Wars story. The Je’daii live in an isolated part of the galaxy away from the ever hungry Rakata of the Infinite Empire. Suddenly one of their Force Hounds, Xesh, locates the planet, kills his master and crash lands.
Will the Rakata find Tython? Will Xesh contact his masters? What will Xesh do with his newfound freedom?
These are the big story questions of the Force Storm arc of Dawn of the Jedi.
The following are more like minor criticisms than anything else. I personally didn’t much to hate in this arc.
The Je’daii Order: This is less a criticism of Dawn of the Jedi Force Storm than it is of the overall history of the Star Wars universe. The Order is founded by a mysterious pyramid starship buried in the mountains of Ando Prime. It gathers people from all across the galaxy from most of the known races.
All of these individuals are Force sensitive.
It is never explained about how Force sensitives came to be in the first place. Maybe that’s part of the unanswered mystery? That means there were force users even before the Tho Yor gathered them.
So why do it now? Maybe it’ll be explained later. Maybe not.
Force Sabers: Force sabres do exactly the same thing as light sabres except they run on dark emotions. Was this technology lost forever after the death of the Rakatan empire? They never appear again in later eras of the Star Wars Universe.
Rancor-Dragons: This almost reminds me of Sith alchemy. How is it that rancor-dragons never appear in later eras? Were the Tython rancor-dragons wiped out?
I mean if the Je’daii Order predates the modern Jedi Order you’d think the secret of making Rancor-Dragons would exist. Maybe it got transferred over to dark side alchemy? I don’t know if this will get explained at all.
Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi Force Storm is a great start to another comic book series by Dark Horse Comics and John Ostrander. It was an excellent introduction to the era before the Republic, the characters are generally interesting and the plot is intriguing enough to make you want to read the next arc.
It’s definitely worth picking up if you’re a Star Wars fan. Even if you’re not, it’s a good start to a standalone series.