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.
©2014 John Jackson Miller (P)2014 Random House Audio
I was wondering if this would be consistent with the other stories in the Star Wars universe,shouldn't have worried. The new characters were intriguing and the story was entertaining and enjoyable. Once again Mark Thompson has done a fantastic job with the portrayal of the different characters voices, he makes the different characters come to life.
Say something about yourself!
Following on the success of his previous Star Wars offering, Kenobi, and in conjunction with the newly-formed Lucasfilm Story Group, John Jackson Miller throttles us forward from the end of the prequel era and into the Dark Times, the largely uncharted territory between trilogies. The Clone Wars are over. The Empire has risen. The surviving Jedi are in hiding, hunted by Darth Vader and his minions. The management style of the day is subjugation, murder, and wanton destruction. And there are some people in the galaxy who truly see what's going on, and they can't just lie down and take it like "good citizens."
This book takes place some 6 years before the events of the upcoming Star Wars: Rebels animated series, which itself will take place 5 years before the events of Episode IV: A New Hope. In other words, 8 years after Revenge of the Sith, and 11 years before A New Hope, squarely in the midst of the worst time the galaxy has ever suffered.
The story here covers the first encounter of our newest heroes, Jedi Kanan Jarrus and freedom fighter Hera Syndulla (perhaps related to Clone Wars era fighter Cham Syndulla?) as the Rebellion begins in the form of small, isolated cells. It also provides our first look at the new era of Star Wars, wherein everything is officially canon, so in this regard it's a New Dawn in more ways than one.
Although Kanan and Hera are most definitely at the forefront, their first adventure gives us a supporting cast as strong, rich, and three-dimensional as any that Miller has offered in the past. From the conspiracy theorizing Skelly to the Imperial monster Count Vidian (who is a most worthy addition to the Star Wars villains list), the supporting cast give us a very close look at what ordinary life is like under Palpatine's Empire... and what it means to rebel against it.
Kanan and Hera themselves seem to have the banter we've seen in the preview videos already intact, harkening back to the classic days of Han Solo and Princess Leia. It's that kind of dynamic, without being a carbon copy of it. With them, they bring along all of the adventure and swashbuckling we've come to know since 1977. I was excited for Rebels before. Now I'm chomping at the bit for it.
The audio production is as high quality as any of the offerings from the Star Wars camp in recent years. Veteran narrator Marc Thompson plays the roles to the hilt, and the subtle additions of John Williams theme music and those famous sound effects are dropped in to add that extra layer of awesome you just don't get from most audiobooks.
If everything that's been hinted at is true, this animated series will not only tie the trilogies together, but it will eventually play on themes offered from Clone Wars and offer some new threads to be continued in the upcoming Episode VII. As a fan, that's simply too hard to resist. The future looks bright ahead, and this book is the on-ramp.
After listening to this, I hope the show gives Hera more to do. She is a far more interesting and likable character than Kanan.
After having watched the first several episodes of the new Star Wars: Rebels series with my son, I was interested in this book that gives an introduction and some back story to a couple of the main characters. I was also hopeful as this is the same author who also produced the most excellent "Kenobi" novel recently.
While decent, it's no "Kenobi". That's unfair to a degree, I know as this story has to essentially introduce new major characters to the new Star Wars canon, while "Kenobi" gave us a missing chapter in the life of a well known existing character.
Still, while the novel serves as a useful introduction to the characters, I think they deserved a better story. This one has something of a carbon copy feel of other Star Wars stories we've seen and read about before. Miller is definitely capable of better.
The biggest saving grace of this story, at least for the audiobook form that I consumed it in, is once again Marc Thompson's excellent narration.
Out of all of the new "Cannon" books this by far and Above the best.
....well untill Timothy Zahns books come out ;)
Ps. Never watched the tv series but sure as crap going to know.
Pss. 25 years of star wars book reading experience.
Sci-Fi nerd, musician, reading enthusiast
A great introduction to the stars of the new television show "Star Wars Rebels". I really enjoyed the backstory for Kanan and Hera, two rather enigmatic characters from the show. The show might be child oriented, but this book most definitely was not. Excellent entry into the new Star Wars canon, and worth a read for any Star Wars fan.
For the audiobook: Marc Thompson does a great job bringing the individual characters to life. Very easy to follow.
Excited to start the new journeys. This was a great story, and as always, Marc Thompson delivered top notch narration. I'll miss the old EU, but I am excited that I will be here for the beginning of the new one, makes it more personal.
The book is expertly performance and production makes it feel like one of the old radio dramatization they did in the70's and 80's. The characters are fresh and new unless you watch Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD. An excellent villain brings into mind some of the villains from the 50's Zorro television show. Story felt sparse in spots but like where it is headed. It is interesting that Lucasfilm / Disney decide that the future of Star Wars is so deeply rooted in the past. With episode VII coming out at the end of the year Rebels seems to be the only info that might glimpse into the future.
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