Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void is not really my kind of Star Wars book. It’s very much not my era and while I’ve bought some of the Dawn of the Jedi comics, I haven’t actually read any of them yet. But you know? I tried it, and despite my long tendency to not get more than a chapter or two into most Star Wars books set before Return of the Jedi, I kept reading. And I actually enjoyed it.
The Dawn of the Jedi period – introduced in a a comic from John Ostrander and Jan Duursema – is set about 36,000 years before A New Hope, in the earliest days of the Jedi (here called Je’daii) before the Old Republic. Into the Void is actually my first encounter with it, and while some questions are certainly raised, I think it’s safe to say that one doesn’t to know anything about the comics to enjoy the book.
We’re heading into the final stretch of the season for Star Wars: The Clone Wars, with the last two episodes of the Ahsoka arc coming this way in the next two Saturdays. ‘Sabotage’ put a terrorist attack on the Jedi Temple, with Ahsoka catching the culprit, but ‘The Jedi Who Knew Too Much’ now has Ahsoka on the run, framed for killing that suspect, and some clonetroopers I do a little reviewing and catch up on other reviews and news for The Clone Wars:
Adjustments. The Han on the Crucible cover got a slight tweak. (Why yes, it is a slow week for EU news!) The important thing is, the release date remains the same: July 9.
Street dates. Speaking of upcoming releases, pencil in Joe Schreiber’s Maul: Lockdown for a January 21, 2014 release. Not because we don’t believe it’s coming, but because this far out, dates are subject to change. And on that note, 2014 is now an actual thing on our release schedule. Meanwhile, if you don’t want to wait most of a year to read about Maul, Aaron Goins has a list of 7 tales you can check out right now.
It’s been only a little more than a week since the first issue of Brian Wood’s Star Wars series came and flew off the shelves. With the second printing of issue #1 expected in stores on February 6, and issue #2 (introducing Boba Fett) coming out on February 13, let’s see what people are thinking about the start of the series promoted as “This is Star Wars as you remember it . . . and as you have never seen it before” – are they fussing or are they loving it?
I guess someone threw the Scoundrels switch yesterday, because there’s been a minor flood of coverage for Timothy Zahn’s book.
MTV Geek has a book trailer which I can’t bring myself to watch. (Sorry, I Have Issues with the entire concept. Blame Vector Prime.)
Perhaps paying homage to one of our fandom’s oldest traditions, Suvudu has a “holiday card insert” so you can gift the book ahead of the official release date. And it looks like they’re ‘introducing’ the individual scoundrels one-by-one, starting with Lando.
I’ve been struggling with how to approach this arc, and I guess I wasn’t the only one. When these four episodes premiered at Celebration VI, it looked as if Lucasfilm wasn’t sure what to do with them. Maybe the Powers That Be™ thought the story skewed a bit too young, maybe they were considering it for a possible spin-off series, maybe they just didn’t know if it was any good. Those are all guesses, I honestly have no idea. All I know for sure is this: I won’t review this arc. I can’t.
Here’s why. If you haven’t seen this arc, it’d be a crime to ruin any of it for you. This is the flat-out best work this show has ever done. The characterizations are smart and layered, the action is breathtaking, the emotions are earned, the gags are funny, the pacing is superb, the casting is brilliant and the voicework in general is a joy to hear. In short, each and every creative decision is terrific. Even characters who should be tired by now feel fresh and surprising. So instead of a review, consider this a challenge: if you don’t watch The Clone Wars, take my word for it and check out these four episodes. I’ll burn you a DVD if you can’t find them on your own! This show keeps managing to top its own high-standards, and this storyline really illustrates just how far the series has come.
One of the weird realizations about The Big Announcement is that if they’re going to make Episodes VII through IX, there’s no reason they won’t make Episodes X through XII as well. And if you find the idea of endless Star Wars movies a bit jarring, well, you’re not alone. But the truth is, we’ve already seen new Star Wars movies, because that’s what The Clone Wars has become: a series of longer-form stories, told over several installments. Yes, there are some standalone episodes throw in (and they’re almost always terrific), but it seems like these mini-movies are now the dominant mode. And that can be good. And that can be bad.
Editor’s note: This review covers the whole Onderon arc, episodes 5.02 – 5.05: ‘A War on Two Fronts,’ ‘Front Runners,’ ‘The Soft War,’ and ‘Tipping Points.’
Everyone’s mouthing off about Adi Gallia in this episode, so allow me to join in the chorus. Though my complaint isn’t quite the same as everyone else’s. I mean, c’mon folks, it’s Adi Gallia. Maybe she’s someone’s favorite character in the history of ever, but to me, she’s always been a big pile of whoop-dee-doo. True, I once wrote a limerick in which I charmingly rhymed her name with diarrhea, but her appearances in this show and elsewhere in the EU have left me with exactly zero impression of her. So it’s hard to get emotional about a dullard, even a dullard who just happens to be a famous prequel Jedi. (Is that redundant? I kid, I kid.)
Interviews. Mark at Jedi News chats with new author Tim Lebbon, who’s writing the Dawn of the Jedi novel Into the Void for next year. Meanwhile, John Jackson Miller chatted with fans on Facebook last week. There’s another chat this afternoon with Leland Chee.
Street date shuffle. The release of Reaves and Bohnoff’s The Last Jedi has moved up by a month on the Random House catalog. It’s now scheduled for February 26, making it likely to be the first release of 2013.
Meanwhile, there are several early non-spoiler reviews already up. Knights Archive’s Bry Dean says “Aaron Allston built a great new adventure like only he can do, utilizing known characters in a way that was familiar, yet fresh.”
Peter Morrison at Lightsaber Rattling “particularly enjoyed” the book. He goes into a lot more detail on both new and returning members the X-Wing cast (though he doesn’t spoil the plot!) saying that “the characters are allowed to shine.”
Star Wars Report’s Aaron Goins is completely new to the X-Wing books. He does caution that you may want to read the old stuff, but praises Allston’s characters… Though he did find the humor a bit much at times. Still, he says “I was not expecting to like this book nearly as much as I did. It was the characters and storytelling that won me over. ”