by Nick Chidgey Before Luke Skywalker, before the Old Republic, before the Jedi Order, comes the beginning of it all, in Dawn of the Jedi #1, by the always reliable team of John Ostrander and Jan Duursema, who have either together, or separately, contributed greatly to the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
Much like their previous Star Wars collaboration, Legacy, Ostrander and Duursema are introducing us to a whole new world within this familiar universe, but instead of taking us to the far future, they are instead sending us to the distant past, before the time of the Old Republic, to the very beginning of the Jedi Order, when the earliest of these mystic warriors learned to control the Force.
This first issue dedicates its first half to some necessary exposition, detailing how various species, who have been called by the Force, come together to learn its secrets and form the prototype for what will become the Jedi.
However, not all is simply introductory filler, as the story soon picks up, and we our introduced to the villains.
The galaxy is controlled by the Rakatan Empire, aliens who have enslaved countless worlds, and our seeking out any Force sensitives who may stand in their way of total domination. Under their employ are deadly "Force hounds," lightsaber wielding assassins who hunt down any potential threat to their masters' empire, and these early Jedi (who are so primitive compared to their more familiar descendants that they don't even have lightsabers), are now in their sights.
As always, Ostrander's script is to the point, and his introductions are with little confusion, and Duursema's art is always a joy to look at, although it does make me wonder why every Star Wars book seems to have a contractual obligation to feature a Darth Vader-esque figure. Haven't we had enough of the masked villain clad in black armor? Then again, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
TL;DR: For a first issue, it's a well done beginning to a new chapter in the Star Wars saga, and though it has many elements that have been done before, when has that ever stopped anyone from enjoying more Star Wars?
Star Wars: Dawn of The Jedi is written by John Ostrander with art by Jan Duursema. We also reviewed issue #0 (a preview book). Published by Dark Horse, both issues #0 & #1 are going into a second printing, arriving at your local comic book shop March 21 along with issue #2.
A review PDF of Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi #1 was graciously provided to Spandexless by the publisher.
Nick Chidgey is a contributor to Spandexless.com.