A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller

Star Wars: A New DawnA long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

The legendary “Dark Times” in Star Wars span about twenty years between Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope. This is when the Empire rises, growing in power and taking over across the galaxy. A New Dawn takes place about six years before the events in the new Star Wars Rebels cartoon. This novel is also the first in the new, official Star Wars Expanded Universe – created in consultation with Lucasfilm.

In this story we’re introduced to a whole new cast of characters. Kanan Jarrus is a drifter, a loner who never stays in one place too long. He’s been hauling miners and explosives between the dark side of the planet Gorse and its moon, Cynda, when he gets sucked into larger events beyond his control. Hera Syndulla is a Twi’lek female and one of the earliest members of the secret, underground rebellion. She’s come to Gorse to observe the Empire’s takeover of the mining operations and to scout for potential recruits. Skelly is a Clone Wars veteran and munitions expert who believes that the moon Cynda is in great danger of being destroyed through unsafe mining practices. Unfortunately for him, he can’t seem to get anyone in power to listen to him and he comes off as if he’s got a few screws loose.

Count Vidian, Emperor Palpatine’s efficiency and business expert, has been dispatched to Cynda aboard an Imperial Star Destroyer to increase production of the mining facilities – by whatever means necessary. Count Vidian is a cyborg, part human and part machine, similar to other baddies like General Grievous and Darth Vader. The Count makes for a ruthless villain, treating everyone from the Captain and crew of the Star Destroyer ship to the mining industry representatives with contempt and violence. He cares only that the Emperor’s demands are met – and that he’s able to turn a tidy profit while doing so.

There’s plenty of action as the events unfold, and some great world-building too, since just about everything happens on either Gorse or Cynda. We learn quite a bit about the unusual relationship between Gorse and Cynda, as well as the hardy miners and rough civilization that has settled on a planet that has a permanent dark side. One of the things I enjoyed most about this novel is that the characters and setting were all new, while still very much a part of the larger Star Wars universe.

John Jackson Miller also wrote the great Sci-Fi Western story, Kenobi, which I reviewed last year.

Find and reserve this book in our catalog.

Join us on Saturday, October 11 from 3-5 p.m. for Star Wars Reads Day when we’ll have fun crafts, trivia, books, and more in an event for all ages to celebrate all the reasons why we love Star Wars.

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One Response to “A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller”

  1. Best New Books of 2014: Dan B’s Picks | Wake County Libraries "Book a Day" Staff Pick Says:

    […] A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… Kanan Jarrus is a former Jedi student who’s become a loner, never staying put too long. Almost 20 years before A New Hope, the Empire defeated the Republic and the people of the galaxy began to suffer. The Emperor has sent Count Vidian to the planet Gorse and its moon Cynda to ensure productivity is high in their mining operation, no matter the cost. There just might be a spark of rebellion soon. This novel takes place shortly before the new Star Wars Rebels cartoon.  See my full review. […]

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