Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi: Book One, Force Storm, by John Ostrander & Jan Duursema ISBN 9781595829795
Four out of five stars
The most significant page in this book is the “Star Wars Graphic Novel Timeline (in years)” that appears at the end. Like human history, there is a before and after switch point and they are labeled BSW4 and ASW4. The boundary point is the events in the movie “Star Wars IV: A New Hope,” so the acronyms are “Before Star Wars 4” and “After Star Wars 4.”
The timeline goes all the way back to 25,000 years BSW4, to the time when the force was being felt, but no one had reached the point where they could have it with them. That is the context of this story. Space travel exists, but it is slow and the people that have some ability to channel the force are called “the Je’daii.”
There is a great split on the planet Tython between those that could channel the force and those that could not. The planet was so dangerous that the people without the force as their ally could not live there, so they had to leave the planet. This split families, creating animosity that not even the necessity could override.
It is a brutal time of wars, conquest and the book contains the nascent beginnings of what was seen in “Star Wars IV.” The story is complex, it is the first in a series, so most of the background material for the complete line is put in place. All of the main characters are strong, although there is a bit of unnecessary bickering between some of the Je’daii.
In the tradition of Star Wars, there are powerful, deadly monsters and in the tradition of some human societies, there are gladiatorial contests. The book is a different form of Star Wars, some may not like it while others will enjoy the look back to a time far, far away when myths and the religions that they are based on were being formed.