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Comic Book / Dawn of the Jedi

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A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
In an era before lightsabers, before adherents of the Force were divided into light and dark, what does it mean to be a Jedi? And how did the Order first come to be?
— Comic Book Resources' preview of Dawn of the Jedi.

Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi is a Star Wars Legends comic book series from Dark Horse Comics, written by John Ostrander and pencilled by Jan Duursema. It was set in the earliest days of the Jedi Order, beginning in 36,453 BBY, in a time before the polarization of the light and dark sides of the Force. A novel, Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void, written by Tim Lebbon and set at the same time as the comics but starring different characters, was also published.

Published from February 2012 to March 2014, this comic series is the earliest-set work in the Star Wars franchise. It is also one of the last Legends works to be produced before the continuity was formally discontinued by the Lucasfilm Story Group following the Disney takeover.

The stories contain the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Shae Koda and Tasha Ryo. Honestly, any female Je'daii, though they're the two most prominent.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted, we see good members of the Sith species. Played essentially straight with the Rakata, though issue nine reveals via flashback how they became corrupted.
  • Ancient Astronauts: Thousands of years before the Republic, Jedi, or Sith, ships called Tho Yor (which were themselves ancient) traveled to different planets across the galaxy, called to the force sensitive individuals there, and gathered them on Tython.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: As opposed to their polarized doctrinal descendants the Jedi and Sith, the Je'daii believe in this.
  • Beard of Evil: Daegen Lok.
  • Benevolent Precursors: the Kwa tried to be this. Unfortunately, their desire to nurture other races ended up unleashing the Rakata.
  • Big Bad: Daegen Lok and Predor Skal'nas are both competing for Big Bad status with Xesh acting as The Dragon to Daegen Lok.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Rakata have been driven away and their Infinite Empire collapses within a few centuries, Xesh has made his Heel–Face Turn for good, almost all of the major Je'daii characters have survived. However, the seers have been blinded, Tasha Ryo has performed a Heroic Sacrifice and the masters are unsure and at strife how to continue, foreshadowing the civil war between Ashla and Bogan followers of the Je'daii described in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Said conflict causes a cataclysm that leaves Tython uninhabitable for millenia...just 10 years after the comic ends.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: It's less that Xesh is evil and more that he has no idea "good" is even a thing; not only does he not understand it, he isn't even aware it's a concept. He fully expects Shae to kill and eat him while he's weak (but he gives her his blessing to eat his heart, the prize portion) and has no concept of what a "healer" is.
  • The Casanova: Sek'nos Rath is really popular with da ladies.
  • Call-Forward: The Force War features Rakatan Annihilators, which resemble OG-9 homing spider droids used by the Separatists since Attack of the Clones, as well as the Je'daii Red and Blue Squadrons.
  • Continuity Snarl: Several species depicted to have settled Tython (including but not limited to True Sith, Twi'leks, Noghri, and Wookies) are depicted elsewhere in the Extended Universe to have been confined to their respective homeworlds until much later in Galactic history, and their respective first contacts with outsiders are considered Red Letter Dates in such EU books as The Essential Chronology and The Essential Atlas.
    • Possibly justified in that these species did not settle Tython on their own, and since this happened thousands of years in the past it probably wouldn't have been considered "first contact" if it was remembered at all.
  • Dark Action Girl: Trill, Predor Skal'nas' "Force Hound".
  • Dark Messiah: How Daegan Lok sees himself. Time will tell if he can pull it off.
  • The Dragon: Xesh for Predor Tul'kar and later, Lok, Trill for Skal'nas.
  • The Empire: The Rakatan Infinite Empire.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Xesh fully expects the Je'daii to abandon each other to save their own skins. When the Je'daii do the exact opposite he's completely taken aback.
  • Evil Former Friend: Daegan Lok for Hawk Ryo.
  • Evil Overlord: Skal'nas. The Rakatan in general to other species.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Daegan Lok fully intends to take over the Je'daii and Tython system... in order to oppose the Rakata.
  • Foregone Conclusion: There will be a schism in the Je'daii, four Je'daii will form the Jedi and eventually give way to the Sith as well, Tython will be abandoned.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Rakatans have no taboo against cannibalism; in fact, this is implied to be the only way they have of dealing with their dead.
  • Lack of Empathy: The Rakata don't really do empathy, and train their Force Hounds likewise. Played with by Xesh, who is mostly devoid of empathy but has the odd flare of it. Never having been trained to deal with that emotion, it's more than a little confusing for him.
  • Living Battery: The Rakata power their ships by keeping Force-Sensitive slaves in pods that cause them constant pain in order to draw Dark Side force energy from them.
  • The Mole: Ore'mun is Skal'nas' spy on Tul'kar's forces.
  • Old Master: Miarta Sek and Thok Rath.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Predor Skal'nas has yet to move from his command chamber.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: As mentioned above, Rakatan tech was powered by Force-Sensitive slaves, while most of them were Adults, just as many were adolescents and young children. The Rakata did not care for age, only that they were Force-Sensitive.
  • Prequel in the Lost Age: 36,000 years before Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Again the Rakatans.
  • The Social Darwinist: Appears to be the guiding philosophy of the Rakata.
  • The Starscream: Tul'kar. In general, any given Rakata can be exptected to be this to their immediate superior.
  • Time Skip: At the start of "Force War", the Rakata and the Je'daii have already been fighting for a year. The authors had presumably rushed things so they could finish the storyline before Lucasfilm/Disney cancelled the series, which indeed happened.
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: Several examples, but a notable one has a Je'daii who is increasingly using the Dark Side suddenly get angry at one of her friends for kill stealing...despite being in the middle of a war.
  • The Un-Reveal: The exact nature of the Tho Yor is never made clear. While Tasha Ryo claims to understand them moments before her death, and A'nang at least understood their abilities, we never learn who made them or for what purpose. They may have been made by the Kwa, or they may be far older. Even more interesting, they are the first known occurence of the Bendu-symbol, which was used throughout galactic history.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Tul'kar is set up as potentially the Big Bad, but is killed offscreen early on. He does show up in flashbacks later, though.
  • When It All Began: This is the single earliest point in the Star Wars Expanded Universe chronology. It explores how the Jedi Order came into existence and how the divide between the light and dark sides got started, thus setting the stage for the galactic conflicts of the next 36,000-plus years.
  • Wild Card: Xesh.
  • Worthy Opponent: How Xesh sees Shae.
  • You Are Number 6: Variation; Rakatan slaves (including Xesh and Trill) are named after letters of the Aurebesh alphabet.