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Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi: Into The Void by Tim Lebbon (book review).

December 17, 2019 | By | Reply More

Set thousands of years before the ‘Star Wars’ films, the ‘Dawn Of The Jedi’ series of novels focuses on the Je’daii order, a group of Force-sensitive individuals dedicated to keeping the balance within the Force. So, while somewhat analogous to the Jedi Knights of the ‘Star Wars’ universe featured in the films, they rejected the idea of the Light and Dark sides being preferable and instead looked to maintain a sort of middle way.

In any case, the two main characters, Dalien Brock and Lanoree Brock, in this novel are siblings, one of whom is hell-bent on using a doomsday weapon to destroy an entire planet. Right here is one of the problems with the ‘Star Wars’ universe: the reliance on the same sort of plotlines being reused again and again.

For sure the journey the chief antagonist, Dalien Brock, endures is one that picks apart the seeming contractions inherent in the Force as a quasi-religious ideal. To what extent are the Je’daii or, for that matter, the more recent Jedi, slaves to the Force rather than free individuals, given their inability to live emotionally fulfilling independent lives? On the other hand, Lanoree Brock is in some ways simply a female version of an idealised Jedi.

So while her emotional connections to her brother and her friends do feel a bit richer and more complex than usual and she’s certainly more aggressive than the average Jedi, she’s perhaps a bit less interesting a character than her more tortured brother. It’s hard to care if she wins because it’s not at all obvious she’s right. Arguing there’s a balance in the Force sounds good as a motto but, in practice, it just doesn’t make any sense to argue that the best path for any civilisation is one that embraces both good and evil on equal terms.

Really, the biggest problem for this novel is that it doesn’t really come across as the ‘dawn’ of anything. The names of things and people aren’t the same as the classic movie period of course, but the technology feels more or less comparable in function even if the details might be different. It’s not like we’re spending time with people just picking up on the Force and what it can do or what it means to turn to either the Light or the Dark side.

If you like chases across space with a few funky aliens thrown in for good measure, then ‘Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi: Into The Void’ will be right up your street. But there’s nothing lost by skipping this book, even if you’re interested in the origins of the Jedi and their mastery of the Force.

Neale Monks

December 2019

(pub: Arrow Books/Random House, 2014. 328 page paperback. Price: £ 8.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-099-59423-0)

check out websites: www.randomhouse.co.uk and www.starwars.com

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Category: Books, Star Wars

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