A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. . . .
“The war is over. The Separatists have been defeated, and the Jedi rebellion has been foiled. We stand on the threshold of a new beginning.”—Emperor Palpatine
For a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights brought peace and order to the Galactic Republic, aided by their connection to the mystical energy field known as the Force. But they were betrayed—and the entire galaxy has paid the price. It is the Age of the Empire.
Now Emperor Palpatine, once Chancellor of the Republic and secretly a Sith follower of the dark side of the Force, has brought his own peace and order to the galaxy. Peace through brutal repression, and order through increasing control of his subjects’ lives.
But even as the Emperor tightens his iron grip, others have begun to question his means and motives. And still others, whose lives were destroyed by Palpatine’s machinations, lay scattered about the galaxy like unexploded bombs, waiting to go off. . . .
The first Star Wars novel created in collaboration with the Lucasfilm Story Group, Star Wars: A New Dawn is set during the legendary “Dark Times” between Episodes III and IV and tells the story of how two of the lead characters from the animated series Star Wars Rebels first came to cross paths. Featuring a foreword by Dave Filoni.
Praise for A New Dawn
“A New Dawn is a fine start to the new Expanded Universe. [John Jackson] Miller steps confidently into the unexplored territory and owns it; he’s crafted a story with pacing and dialogue that feels like classic Star Wars.”—Nerdist
“An entertaining adventure . . . with a cast of heroes that mixes laughter with intriguing depths of character. . . . John Jackson Miller packs in plenty of action and surprises.”—Roqoo Depot
“A confidently told story that gives fans a lot of reason to be hopeful about what’s to come as we move into this new phase of Star Wars . . . The book certainly got me even more excited for Rebels and to see more of Kanan and Hera’s adventures. We’re also introduced to other characters I would love to see again at some point, whether on Rebels, in another book or, who knows, in live-action at some point.”—IGN
“A New Dawn delivers a classic Star Wars experience that fans of all ages will be able to enjoy. It is extremely well-written, with an incredibly diverse cast too. Miller’s prose can easily suck readers in, and leave them speechless when 100 pages have flown by in the blink of an eye.”—Far Far Away Radio
“A New Dawn brings us into this new dawn of storytelling with energy, excitement, and characters that have become instantly ensconced into the Star Wars vernacular, and the results will satisfy Star Wars fans of many different palates.”—Coffee with Kenobi
“A New Dawn is a well-written novel full of intrigue and twists and turns that does an excellent job of letting Star Wars fans get to know Kanan and Hera.”—Tosche Station
“A New Dawn finds an era never before written about in the Star Wars universe—the years prior to the original movie, Episode IV—in robust good health. The narrative takes place on two worlds and a handful of ships in between them, but as with the best of all Star Wars moments, hints at hidden depths beyond.”—Mashable
A New Dawn of Hope for Fans
I was among the many fans disappointed to find out that the Expanded Universe was ending, declared non-canon, and rebranded “Legends” by Lucasfilm/Disney. However, I was hopeful that it would truly mean what was being promised: a new, cohesive canon, where the films, shows, games, books, and comics all intertwine and reference one another.
And that promise came true. We now have a Clone Wars character in Rogue One, Thrawn in Rebels and his own upcoming novel, Rae Sloane in multiple novels and the comics… It’s a better time than ever to be a Star Wars fan, and it all starts here, with A New Dawn, the first canon novel.
The novel itself is a great read. John Jackson Miller, who I already loved for his KotOR comics and Knight Errant, does these characters justice in a way that’s especially impressive considering Rebels hadn’t yet begun when he wrote this book. It has adventure, heart, and sets up characters who have become incredibly important and beloved.
It may be new, but...
Star Wars novels get bashed for being simplistically written at times, which is occasionally warranted. However, JJM has been my consistently favorite Star Wars author, especially after reading "Kenobi" and "The Lost Tribe of the Sith" short stories. While I'm still recovering from the seemingly erasure of the Expanded Universe at the hands of Mickey Mouse, my irritation was met equally with excitement that the new canon novels would begin with another hopeful gem from JJM.
Unfortunately, while the book is good, the downsides of it are very widely promoted on forums and reviews. For the first 30-40% of the book, the story spends entirely too much time reciting unnecessary details about mining and not enough character development. By the end, some of these complaints are redeemed, specifically understanding of the main characters that will be featured in the Star Wars: Rebels series. However, as I've also read in many places, it just doesn't have the complete feel of a true Star Wars story.
Placement-wise, it's between Episode III and IV. While there are other books that cover how the clones transition into stormtroopers, there are elements of this book that just seem to happen. Eliminating some of cool elements of the former Expanded Universe will eventually be overwhelmed with new material that many younger readers probably won't care, but for those of us in this from the beginning, it seems a bit arrogant to have discarded some elements of the Expanded Universe that were actually interesting storylines.
The characters in this novel seem like altered versions of characters we've already seen before, so attaching emotion or interest in these characters is a little more difficult to achieve. I didn't want to dislike this book because of its importance, especially the expectations of having JJM write it. However. this was also his first book written by committee. The feel, the voice, is more elementary, possibly even generic, which is unlike JJM, so my gut tells me there were too many chiefs involved in its creation.
Perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps the older generation is no longer the target audience, which would make more sense after reading this book. Perhaps it will work. There are a line of more interesting novels coming that may help provide some depth to these characters that we are allegedly supposed to embrace. Let's hope so.
Great read, gave an origin of Rebels!