I was a little skeptical when Dawn of the Jedi was announced. It came out right around a time that I was feeling a bit disillusioned by Star Wars. Decisions by writers and editors for Del Rey, decisions involved in the writing of The Clone Wars, ultimately I was feeling like the Star Wars that had been the better part of a decade of my life was over. I’ve also always had a bit of skepticism about Star Wars comics, not because Dark Horse has ever dropped the ball, but because there’s generally more Star Wars Dark Horse releases in a year than paychecks.
What wasn’t I taking into account? John Ostrander and Jan Duursema. This pair has become a comic-making machine that is synonymous with everything good about Star Wars. Their last major project was Star Wars: Legacy, a project that combined influences from Clone Wars (the retitled earlier Star Wars: Republic comic series), New Jedi Order, the Darth Bane novels, Dark Empire, and of course the six episodes (not counting those that were released between the writing and publishing of this article) without alienating anybody who had not read them, all while telling a new and unique story about an original era in the Star Wars universe, set decades after any established canon.
Apparently, someone behind the scenes at Dark Horse saw this and gave them a similar project, upping the ante by giving them a world that acts as a prequel to Knights of the Old Republic – in addition to setting up things like the great schisms and other historical events. In a manner that I would trust very few creative teams to pull off as instinctively, humans are as much of a minority here as they were on Geonosis prior to the advent of hundreds of Jedi. Twelve species, (one of which I don’t recognize) not to mention multiple complexions of human, are present in the first issue, and it doesn’t take a Mos Eisley cantina scene or a burgeoning urban hub in order to pull it off. To top it off, the art here is absolutely gorgeous, everything that I’ve come to expect from a comic with this team working on it.