Monday, July 15, 2013

Booknote: Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi, Vol. 2: Prisoner of Bogan

John Ostrander,, Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi, Vol. 2: Prisoner of Bogan. Milwaukie (OR): Dark Horse Comics, 2013. ISBN: 9781616551445

Genre: Graphic novels and comics, Science Fiction
Series: Star Wars

This series takes place approximately 35,000 years before the events in A New Hope (that's the original Star Wars film for those who may not be as versed). The Jedi as we know them do not exist yet. It is a time before hyperspace travel made possible traveling all across the galaxy. The Je'daii are the precursors of the Jedi. They are Force users who keep the peace in their world of Tython. As the story opens, Xesh, an outside warrior and Force user deemed dangerous by the Je'daii is exiled to the moon of Bogan. They hope the exile will help Xesh find balance in the Force (like sending him on a retreat, except is more like a prison when you look it over). However, another exile on Bogan is very interested in Xesh. They both figure out a way to escape from their exile, and then the troubles begin. Plus, unbeknownst to the Je'daii, Xesh is a spy for the Rakatan Infinite Empire, an evil race of Force users who use the dark side of the Force to aid them in their ruthless desire for conquest. The Rakatans also make use of a technology few Je'daii know about or seem willing to use: Force sabers.

This is an interesting and ambitious story predating the Jedi and Sith. I did find the story convoluted at times. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, many with strange names that are not always easy to remember. The plot at times seems ambitious as it goes in various directions: the Rakatan threat, Xesh's plans (some of which he can't carry out just yet because he has a memory block in place from his Rakatan master), the other exile's plan to resurrect an army from a previous war to seek revenge for losing that war, so on. The story packs a lot, and it is not always easy to follow. Since this is an ongoing series, there is more to come, so maybe things will better come together down the road. I will add that it may help to pick up the previous volume, though there is enough to figure things out here. One thing I did find interesting is how the lore of the Jedi is slowly developing; you can sort of see why the Jedi are the way they are now from their predecessors. If you like background material, this may be of interest.

The story does have a good amount of action, so readers who like that will be pleased. The art is good and colorful, well suited to the series. Fans of Star Wars will likely enjoy it. Personally, I like the Old Republic era with the Jedi and Sith. But Dawn of the Jedi does open up new possibilities. It does need to develop more, so time will tell how the story goes. I know I will probably look up the next volume to see how things turn out.

If you ask me, I'd say 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Disclosure note: This review copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley as an e-book copy in exchange for an honest review. There, we have appeased The Man once more. 

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