This Wednesday saw the debut of the latest series in what seems to be an ever expanding universe of Star Wars comics from Dark Horse. It’s safe to say we both love Star Wars and comic books, but as is the case with a lot of licensed properties, neither of us have actually ever read a Star Wars comic book before. Dawn of the Jedi #0 serves as a primer to a new series beginning February 15th. As you’ll see this particular issue might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it gives a glimpse of an intriguing new series.
PTB: I don’t think either of us realized exactly what this book was before opening it up. When I first saw the text up front, I thought it was a great way to establish the setting. Then it kept going.
KevinMLD: I knew it was the debut issue of a new Star Wars series set in the distant past written by John Ostrander. I’m a guy who was a huge fan of Star Wars but felt really let down by the prequels, so I’ve avoided most Star Wars product for the last decade. But something about Ostrander writing a series set in the distant past sounded cool. When I opened issue zero and it wasn’t actually a comic book I was pretty surprised.
PTB: Obviously, you’re not alone in being let down by the prequels. I haven’t avoided Star Wars in recent years, but I certainly haven’t embraced it. The Battlefront video games are the only things that stand out from what I’ve been exposed to. I love Halo, but Battlefront really captured my attention for a time.
While this introduction to Dawn of the Jedi was a little dry, it really whet my appetite for issue #1.
KevinMLD: That’s clearly their goal. The issue is predominantly text with a few images sprinkled throughout. It acts as a primer for the upcoming series, providing readers with bios on some of the major players and histories of some of these worlds. It reminds me of the “DVD extras” that come in the back of some trade paperbacks or the type of content DC has been shoving in the back of their Justice League title so that they can charge an extra dollar. The book outlines a lot of ground work for what’s to come including that we’ll be following the training of a group of Je’ daii, ancient predecessors to the Jedi, and that at this point in time the Sith are a race of people rather than servants of the Dark Side.
PTB: I was intrigued by all the world building in the book. I like seeing a glimpse into the creative process and all the work that goes into writing a story like this even if it doesn’t appear on panel. It reminded me of the Planet Hulk guide that Marvel published years ago, but that had the advantage of shipping after the story had started. This was hard to digest without a real appreciation of who the characters are.
KevinMLD: Yeah most of this content was wasted on me. I kind of felt like I was reading the back of an action figure card.
PTB: The art work was interesting as it included sketches for most of the character sections, but what appeared to be digital painting for the scenery pieces and vehicles.
KevinMLD: Do you expect the art in the series to be a similar mishmash?
Looking at some of the other titles in Dark Horse’s Star Wars line, it appears the books are divided into different historical periods. I’m impressed by the approach and it seems like they’re covering a lot of ground. Even though this book is the earliest thing we’ve seen in the Star Wars universe, they still make mention of ancient history.
KevinMLD: Yeah. Even this early version of the Star Wars universe has a well thought out past. I wonder how much of that will come into play in the series and how much is just to give characters backstories and personalities.
PTB: I always wonder if this expanded universe stuff is canon. It should’t matter if it’s good story, but I like some cohesion.
KevinMLD: George Lucas has indicated the films are canon and everything else is a parallel universe though I think representatives from Lucas Film review everything.
PTB: All the talk of flying space pyramids and setting the book 35,000 years before A New Hope made this seem like it’s going to be a very different type of Star Wars book.
KevinMLD: While not the flying pyramids in particular, the appeal of a very different Star Wars book was the reason I identified this as something we should look at.
PTB: While I liked Dawn of the Jedi #0, I would only recommend owning it for committed fans of Star Wars history or those who really want a preview of this particular era and series.
KevinMLD: I guess largely because I didn’t realize it wasn’t a comic before I opened it, I was a little disappointed by this book. I definitely don’t think it’s worth $3.50. Having said that, it did nothing to destroy my excitement for what could be a cool new series.
Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi #1 is available February 15th, 2012 from Dark Horse Comics. Find a comic book store near you.