The momentum in Dawn of the Jedi begins to pick up as we are introduced to a wider cast of characters, with each visited by a vision of the Force Hound, Xesh. At no point should you think that this is your run of the mill exposition filled issue. Ostrander keeps each introduction unique to the character and exciting for the reader. Like Tasha, whose father would rather her fulfill clan obligations than be a Je’daii to Sek’nos, who is determined to be the first to wield force lightning even at the chagrin of his grandparents. Ostrander connects each piece and successfully builds to the gathering of the group as they finally come face to face with Xesh.
With a franchise as rich in history and canon as Star Wars, it’s refreshing that this creative team can still bring something new and exciting to the table. Ostrander continues to write these great stories that leave you knowing that as good as they are, something cooler is on the horizon. The build up in this issue was reminiscent of how we met some of his characters in Legacy. In only a few pages each we’re given very different personalities that are established so well that you don’t need to be a longtime fan to enjoy what’s going on or understand the story.
One thing that’s always lent to the uniqueness of Star Wars would be the visual aspect of the franchise. From the exotic locations to the various alien races that populate the galaxies, you’re given something you have never seen before. Duursema continues to expand on that with her artwork. The backgrounds and environments are just as detailed as the characters within the panels, making this one of the best looking books from beginning to end. The character designs are a mix of the familiar and new, as well. It was great seeing the samurai influence on the bounty hunter, and the fact that some of the Force wielders are using katana-like swords instead of lightsabers. However, Xesh seems to be one of the first to actually fashion one, as Duursema gives us a sweet reveal at the end of the book.
Regardless of what decade you were introduced to Star Wars, this title chronicles the very beginning, and it couldn’t be in better hands. A jumping on point that isn’t bogged down with a lot of history because you’re being introduced to it as it’s happening. Now we just have to wait for the next issue to see what Xesh really wants with the group, and if any of them will be left alive when it’s all said and done.