STAR WARS: DAWN OF THE JEDI – FORCE STORM #3
Written by John Ostrander
Art by Jan Duursema
Release Date: April 18, 2012
The saga of the Je’Daii continues in Dawn of the Jedi #3 this week and the plot just keeps getting thicker for Star Wars fans. John Ostrander is building the framework for the world we all know and love to rest on top of and he is definitely stepping up to the plate and taking the task head on. This issue continues the excellent pace Ostrander has set up so far in the series, slowly peeling away the layers of the storm that is brewing while interspersing the mystery with some fantastic action that readers expect from a Star Wars title. The Je’Daii are philosophers, but they know how to throw down as well. Add in some ominous figures and the foreboding mention of a “Force Storm” and you’ve got an entertaining adventure book set in a galaxy we know and love, yet know very little about all at the same time. Keeping this book familiar yet original is a fine line to walk and Ostrander is walking it very well so far. This issue does not feel as tight, for lack of a better term, than the last two, but it is a solid story nonetheless.
The art is where this book really shines. Jan Duursema is not only penciling the best Star Wars art in comics, she’s laying down some of the most solid art in comics, period. From start to finish this issue is consistent in it’s quality. There is no indication that this book was rushed at any point and the pencils are rock solid on every page. The fight scenes are dynamic and the large panels are intricate and easy on the eyes. Duursema is locked in on this title and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for the “Force Storm” that is coming.
I threatened Aaron with my comments for a day or so now and here they are!
My feelings on this series and in particular, the whole Star Wars
Expanded Universe, are that it is the same story told over and over again. I am a die hard SW fan, but by tolerance and
interest in the EU has been waning for the last several years. The only thing that changes are the characters,
but it is the same basic light vs. dark
story we have seen countless times with Star Wars. A galaxy in a perpetual state of conflict is
getting hard to swallow. Here we are set
at a period Dark Horse is touting as the origin of the Jedi, but it is the same
thing we have seen before.
I used to love stories about the Jedi
in earlier times. One of Dark Horses
earliest SW titles was Tales of the Jedi. I loved this series. Set 5,000 years before ANH, it was Jedi vs.
Sith on a scale we had never seen before.
It was the first time we hard really seen REAL JEDI, there were no
prequels or other EU material that depicted them at the time. Everything was familiar yet older and more
primitive looking. We learned things
about the Force, Jedi and Sith we had never seen before. Then came the prequels and the post prequel
comics and everything I had loved about what Dark Horse was doing with the
ancient days of the Old Republic started to change and become “prequelized” and
a lot of what I loved was essentially undone.
The only SW comic series I have liked since then was Legacy because it was set in the future,
just far enough to get away from what had been established in the movies and
the Jedi: Force Storm touts
itself as an origin story, but the same basic concepts we have always known about the Jedi (called Je’daii here) and their dark side
counterparts are well established. The
Je’daii might be more philosophical and spiritual than the Jedi we know and
love, but they are essentially the same.
Everything is too familiar and too established to call this an origin
story. I think Dark Horse tried to
please fans and outsiders alike by making it too familiar and I think this
really hurts the story. Even though
Issue #0 was more words than art, it gave us a brief overview of the Je-daii
and their history. I LOVED this and I
went into this series thinking we were going to get more of that history and Je’daii
philosophy. This is what I want to know
more about. They should have gone with a
true origin story and gone further back into the history of these Je-daii,
before there was a distinction between light and dark, before they went out
into other systems and brought in members of different species. Make the Force more mystical and abstract,
make it something these people don’t know so much about, make the story about
their exploration of it and the emergence of the concept of the dual
aspects. Oh, and I hate that they are
calling them Jedi and just spelling it differently.
So what do I like about this
series? I already said I liked the
discussion of the history of the Je’daii and the overview of their temples and
different paths within their order that we got in #0. Visually I like the look of the Je’daii,
their temples, and their architecture. The
art is ok and I would be able to call it great, but the movement and action
scenes are static and unnatural looking.
If I were rating this book, I would
give it a 3 or 4. Same story we have
seen over and over again in the SW EU, they just tried to pass it off as an
origin story by changing the name of the Jedi and setting it a lot earlier in