A New Dawn: Star Wars

A New Dawn: Star Wars

by John Jackson Miller, Dave Filoni

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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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553392876
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/02/2014
Series: Star Wars
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 132,009
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Writer and game designer John Jackson Miller is the author of Star Wars: Kenobi, Star Wars: Knight Errant, and Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories, as well as nine Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic graphic novels. His comics work includes writing for Iron Man, Mass Effect, Bart Simpson, and Indiana Jones. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife, two children, and far too many comic books.

Read an Excerpt

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 whole 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. . . .
Years earlier . . .

“It’s time for you to go home,” Obi-Wan Kenobi said.
The Jedi Master looked at the blinking lights on the panel to his right—and then at the students watching him. The aisle between the towering computer banks in the central security station was designed for a few Jedi doing maintenance, not a crowd; but the younglings fit right in, afraid to jostle one another in the presence of their teacher for the morning.
“That’s the meaning of this signal,” the bearded man said, turning again to the interface. Rows of blue lights twinkled in a sea of green indicators. He toggled a switch. “You can’t hear anything now, or see anything. Not here in the Jedi Temple. But away from Coruscant, on planets across the galaxy, those of our Order would get the message: Return home.”

Sitting on the floor with his classmates in the central security station, young Caleb Dume listened—but not intently. His mind wandered, as it often did when he tried to imagine being out in the field.

He was lean and wiry now—ruddy skin and blue eyes under a mop of black hair. He was just one of the crowd, not yet apprenticed to a mentor. But one day, he’d be out there, traveling to exotic worlds with his Master. They’d provide peace and order for the citizens of the Galactic Republic, defeating evil wherever he found it.

Then he saw himself later as a Jedi Knight, fighting alongside the Republic’s clone warriors against the enemy Separatists. Sure, Republic Chancellor Palpatine had promised to resolve the war soon, but no one could be so rude as to end the war before Caleb got his chance.

And then, finally, he dared hope he would become a Jedi Master like Obi-Wan—accepted while still young as one of the wise sages of the Order. Then he’d really do some great feats. He’d lead the valiant battle against the Sith, the legendary evil counterpart to the Jedi.

Of course, the Sith hadn’t been seen in a thousand years, and he knew of no shadow of their return. But in his ambitions Caleb was no different from the younglings around him, whatever the gender, whatever the species. The adolescent imagination knew no bounds.

The sandy-haired Jedi Master touched the panel again. “It’s just in test mode now,” Obi-Wan said. “No one will respond. But were there a true emergency, Jedi could receive the message in several ways.” He glanced down at his listeners. “There is the basic alert signal. And then there are other components, in which you might find more detailed text and holographic messages. No matter the format, the basic purpose should be clear—”
“Go home!” the collected students shouted.

Obi-Wan nodded. Then he saw a hand being raised. “The student in the back,” he said, fishing for a name.

“Caleb Dume, right?”

“Yes, Master.”

Obi-Wan smiled. “I’m learning, too.” The students giggled. “You have a question, Caleb?”

“Yes.” The boy took a breath. “Where?”
“Where what?”
The other pupils laughed again, a little louder this time.
“Where’s home? Where do we go?”
Obi-Wan smiled. “To Coruscant, of course. Here, to the Jedi Temple. The recall is exactly what it sounds like.”
The teacher started to turn back to the beacon when he spotted
Caleb Dume jabbing his hand in the air again. Caleb wasn’t one to sit in front for every lesson—no one respected a teacher’s pet—but shyness had never been one of his afflictions.

“Yes, Caleb?”
“Why—” The boy’s voice cracked, to mild chuckles from his companions. He glared at the others and started again. “Why would you need all the Jedi here at once?”

“A very good question. Looking at this place, one would think we had all the Jedi we need!” Obi-Wan grinned at the students’ Masters, all standing outside in the more spacious control room, looking in. Out of the corner of his eye, Caleb could see Depa Billaba among them. Tan-skinned and dark-haired, she had shown interest in taking him on as her apprentice—and she studied him now from afar with her usual mostly patient look: What are you on about now, Caleb?

Caleb had wanted to shrink into the floor, then—when Obi-Wan addressed him directly. “Why don’t you tell me, Caleb: What reasons would you expect would cause us to recall every Jedi in the Order?”

Caleb’s heart pounded as he realized everyone was watching him. In his daily life, the boy never worried about being hassled for sounding off; the kids he regularly trained with knew he never backed down. But there were students in the gathering he’d never seen before, including older ones—not to mention the Jedi Masters. And Caleb had just blundered into a chance to impress a member of the High Council in front of everyone.

Or it was a chance to founder on the question, and take their abuse. There were so many possibilities—
Including a trick question.

“I know the reasons you’d call them back,” Caleb finally said. “Unexpected reasons!”

Riotous laughter erupted from the others, all semblance of respectful order disappearing at Caleb’s words. But Obi-Wan raised his hands. “That’s as good an answer as I’ve ever heard,” he said.

The group settled down, and Obi-Wan continued: “The truth, my young friends, is I simply don’t know. I could tell you of the many times over the course of the history of the Order when Jedi have been called back to Coruscant to deal with one threat or another. Some perilous times, which resulted in great heroics. There are truths, and there are legends touched with truth, and all can teach you something. I am sure Jocasta, our librarian, would help you explore more.” He clasped his hands together. “But no two events were alike—and when the signal is given again, that event will be unique, too. It’s my hope it will never be needed, but knowing about it is part of your training. So the important thing is, when you get the signal . . .”

“ . . . go home!” the children said, Caleb included.

“Very good.” Obi-Wan deactivated the signal and walked through the crowd to the exit. The students stood and filed back out into the control room, appreciating the wider space and chatting about their return to their other lessons. The field trip to this level of the Jedi Temple was over.

Caleb stood, too, but did not leave the aisle. The Jedi taught their students to look at all sides of things, and the thought occurred to him there was another side to what they’d just been shown. Brow furrowed, he started again to raise his hand. Then he realized he was the only one left. No one was looking, or listening.

Except Obi-Wan, standing in the doorway. “What is it?” the Master called out over the din. Behind him, the others quieted, freezing in place. “What is it, Caleb?”

Surprised to have been noticed, Caleb swallowed. He saw Master Billaba frowning a little, no doubt wondering what her impulsive prospect was on about now. It was a good time to shut up. But standing alone in the aisle between the banks of lights, he was committed. “This beacon. It can send any message, right?”

“Ah,” Obi-Wan said. “No, we wouldn’t use it for regular administrative matters. As Jedi Knights—which I very much hope you will all become—you will receive such instructions individually, using less dramatic forms of—”

“Can you send people away?”

A gasp came from the group. Interrupted but not visibly irritated, Obi-Wan stared. “I’m sorry?”

“Can you send people away?” Caleb asked, pointing at the beacon controls. “It can recall every Jedi at once. Could it warn all of them away?”

The room behind Obi-Wan buzzed with whispered conversations. Master Billaba stepped into the computer room, apparently wanting to put an end to an awkward moment. “I think that’s enough, Caleb. Excuse us, Master Kenobi. We value your time.”

Obi-Wan wasn’t looking at her. He was staring back at the beacon, too, now, contemplating. “No, no,” he finally said, gesturing to the crowd without turning. “Please wait.” He scratched the back of his head and turned back to the gathering. “Yes,” he said, quietly. “I suppose it could be used to warn Jedi away.”

The students fairly rumbled with discussions in reaction.

Warn Jedi away? Jedi didn’t run! Jedi rushed toward danger! Jedi stood, Jedi fought! The other Masters stepped in, beckoning to Obi-Wan. “Students,” said one elder, “there’s no reason to—”
“No expected reason,” Obi-Wan said, pointing his index finger to the air. He sought Caleb’s gaze. “Only what our young friend said: unexpected reasons.”

A hush fell over the group. Caleb, reluctant to say anything else, let another student ask what he was thinking. “What then? If you send us all away, what then?”

Obi-Wan thought for a moment before turning toward the students and giving a warm and reassuring smile. “The same as any other time. You will obey the directive—and await the next one.” Raising his arms, he dismissed the assembly. “Thank you for your time.”

The students filed out of the control room quickly, still talking. Caleb remained, watching Obi-Wan disappear through another doorway. His eyes turned back to the beacon.

He could sense Master Billaba watching him. He looked back to see her, alone, waiting in the doorway. The frown was gone; her eyes were warm and caring. She gestured for him to follow her. He did.

“My young strategist has been thinking again,” she said as they stepped into the elevator. “Any other questions?”

“Await orders.” Caleb gazed at the floor, and then up at her. “What if orders never come? I won’t know what to do.”

“Maybe you will.”
“Maybe I won’t.”
She watched him, thoughtful. “All right, maybe you won’t. But anything is possible,” she said, putting her arm on his shoulder as the door opened. “Perhaps the answer will come to you in another form.”

Caleb didn’t know what that meant. But then it was Master Billaba’s way to speak in riddles, and, as always, he forgot about them as soon as he stepped out onto the floor where the young Jedi trained. On any given day, room after room would see the mightiest warriors in the galaxy teaching the next generation in lightsaber combat, acrobatics, hand-to-hand fighting—even starship piloting, using simulators. Every discipline imaginable where a kinship with the mystical Force, the energy field all Jedi drew upon for strength, could come in handy.

And those he saw were just a tiny fraction of the Jedi Order, which had outposts and operatives throughout the known galaxy. True, the Galactic Republic was at war now with the Separatists, but the Jedi had thwarted threats for a thousand generations. How could anyone or anything challenge them?

Caleb arrived in front of a room where his classmates were already at work, sparring with wooden staffs. One of his regular dueling partners, a red-skinned humanoid boy, met him in the doorway, training weapon in hand. He had also attended the lecture. “Welcome, Young Master Serious,” he said, smirking. “What was all that back there with Master Kenobi?”

“Forget it,” Caleb said, pushing past him into the room and reaching for his own training weapon. “It’s nothing.”

“But wait!” The other boy’s free hand shot up into the air, mimicking Caleb’s questioning. “Ooh! Ooh! Call on me!”

“Yeah, you’re going to want to focus, buddy, because I’m going to whip your tail.” Caleb smiled and went to work.





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Star Wars: A New Dawn 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 57 reviews.
Zxielle More than 1 year ago
Have you wondered what happened after Order 66 almost wiped out the Jedi? This fast paced novel will draw you in to the desperate chaotic times that followed. A must read for every Star Wars fan!
Rahl1293 More than 1 year ago
So I must begin by sharing that I am an avid Star Wars reader. I own now over 200 Star Wars books, and I have read over 100 of them. The ones I have not read, I have at least read up on. It is also important for readers to know that this marks a new beginning for Star Wars novels. All previously published novels have been marked as legends, which means they no longer will correspond with any new Star Wars novel, film, TV show, etc. This is the first Star Wars novel that will coincide with future Star Wars material (Specifically Star Wars Rebels - the new cartoon tv show) Ok, now that you know all that, let me say I really did enjoy this book. It established some background for two characters who will be in the tv show. You get to know the way they think, which is one thing I love about books compared to movies/tv shows. It didn't quite feel like other star wars novels, so anyone could read this book without missing out on anything. If you have read and appreciated star wars novels before, I still suggest reading this, although it is a very different feel. If you are looking forward to the TV show, I strongly suggest you read this book for background sake. I have read other works by John Jackson Miller and enjoyed them, so if you like his other works, you will like this too. The novel follows several characters (some good, some bad, some you don't really know) and it takes a little while to get into the book because there are at least 5 viewpoints being developed. The action was OK, nothing spectacular, no outstanding duels or anything, but it was by no means boring. The last third of the book I read in one sitting because it was that good. Chapters are also really short, so you can read and put down easily, which I found nice. Anyway, hope that helps give you an idea about the book. For fans of sci fi and Star Wars, I think it is a good read, and although not an essential read, it is an enjoyable one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great foray into the new EU and a wonderful way to get to know the characters before they come alive on television.  This is definitely something that will help me bridge the gap between my mental image of the characters and the readily apparent "Disneyfication" of the characters in the show.
Revan97 More than 1 year ago
I got the Exclusive Advance Reader's Edition of "A New Dawn" signed by both the author and cover artist themselves and although it contains a large amount of errors, I know that this doesn't represent the final copy. The story itself is interesting enough and I managed to down it all in six days. Surprisingly, no main characters appear in the book besides a brief appearance by Obi-Wan Kenobi in a segment at the beginning of the book set in the prequel trilogy era. The font is the smallest I've ever read in a Star Wars book and if the text where normal size, the book could well be one hundred pages longer. One thing that I really like is that the story is not too terribly dumbed down and I have hopes that the "Rebels" TV series will also contain a not overly juvenile plot. Rounding out the newness of the novel, Del-Rey's traditional logo is no longer the word "DEL" over the word "REY", but rather a small brown circle with the Random House house inside and the words "DEL REY" spelled out underneath. I guess that kind of helps drive home the rebootyness of "A New Dawn". It is a new dawn for Star Wars story telling and with the all new Lucasfilm Story Group leading the charge and SW veterans such as John Jackson Miller, James Luceno, Paul S. Kemp and more cranking out their stories to refill the Expanded Universe, things look to be functioning in a far more orderly fashion than ever before.
AIryoda More than 1 year ago
This is a solid Star Wars story that provides some cool back-story for Star Wars Rebels. John Jackson Miller has a consistently fun writing style, so I'm inclined to like anything that he writes. He does a good job again with this one. He has a talent for creating interesting characters that bring different elements to the story. In this book, I enjoyed the characters again, particularly Skelly and Zaluna. For viewers of Rebels, it is cool to see how Kanan and Hera came together as well. It has added a little depth to watching those episodes, which is cool. This is a relatively small-scale story, with really only a couple of locations. If you're looking for a galaxy spanning adventure, this won't give you that. But, if you're looking for a good Star Wars story with some interesting characters, you won't go wrong with A New Dawn.
AndrewPCatton More than 1 year ago
Spoilers below, so if you want just my review, stop after this paragraph: A perfect re-start, and a good starting place for new readers in a galaxy far, far away. Character-driven, vivid, and with an interesting mystery, this story should be quite pleasing to most. “Star Wars: A New Dawn,” the aptly titled first entry in the canon novels, is nothing short of perfect when it comes to building up to “Star Wars Rebels” the TV show. We are introduced to the state of the galaxy under the Empire, with many in support of Palpatine's regime, and others starting to think that things were better before the Empire. Hera is introduced as a woman with a vision of a better galaxy that could be brought about by the most unthinkable of actions: rebellion against the government. She's searching, not rushing to become a rebel. Everyone she meets with any feelings against the Empire is a study for her. She's piecing together a team that will take years to forge. She's smart in political and street senses in ways that the TV series is starting to reveal as well. Kanan's history is explored. A fascinating opening begins his story, in which, during the Clone Wars, Obi-wan Kenobi is forced to think about the beacon in the Jedi Temple when asked by a student – Kanan, in fact, though by his birth name of Caleb. Obi-wan's realization that the beacon could be used to send Jedi away from the temple reminds us that he sets it to do just that in “Revenge of the Sith.” We even get to read the words his message sent to survivng Jedi. A few lines that never received a follow up. Kanan/Caleb, left without a master after Order 66, is forced to forge a life for himself, deciding to ignore his life as a Jedi except for forming attachments. Kanan is described as never remaining in one place long, and his journey in this story – from worker to rebel, himself, burns slowly and precisely. The side characters are likable, including the interesting mix of companions Hera and Kanan pick up along the way. The villains, Count Vidian and Captain Sloan, make for an interesting pair. All the time you think the latter is under Vidian's thumb, only to learn later that she is able to deceive with the Empire's best. Vidian is a Grievous/Vader-like being with a mysterious past that is exposed along the way. I thought I knew where it was going, but the turns were very exciting, and Vidian's brutal behavior, excused as an agent of the Empire, only helped to strengthen the novel overall. A must-read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved reading the background on these characters, and the fact that it's officially part of the new canon made me like it even more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An exciting story, full of intriguing characters.
Arn More than 1 year ago
The coming of age of a young Jedi is always fun in this series. The pace is good and surprises well placed. Of course I'm a fan.
bserkr More than 1 year ago
Birth of a Rebellion Our story takes place on the imperial mining planet of Gorse and its moon Cynda. Eager to supply its fleet with an ample supply of thorilide to keep up its production of Star Destroyers, the Empire sends its industrial efficiency expert Count Vidian to maximize mining yield by any means necessary. As the system continually fails to meet imperial quotas, the count brutally abuses his power to increase production. Meanwhile two complete strangers have arrived on Gorse as well, the independent spacer Kanan Jarrus, and the mysterious pilot Hera Syndulla. The Force only knows what will happen when these three collide. A common trend I see in many Star Wars books is the emphasis on characters and plot rather than setting. Such books seem to rely on lightsaber duels and grand space battles with little character interaction with the setting itself. While such writing does have its merits, it makes it difficult to picture what the Star Wars universe is like. How do normal citizens live their day-to-day lives? What effect does imperial rule have on them? These questions are hardly explored in Star Wars media. However, I am happy to say A New Dawn breaks that trend by delivering colorful characters on top of a meticulously-crafted world. By far the strongest part of A New Dawn is how it explores the imperial setting. As I read through the book, I really got the feeling of how the Empire gets the job done and what it’s like to live on its outskirts. Though this world-building can make the first half come off as slow at times, the world piqued my curiosity and wanted me to learn more. This is further shown through its characters each representing very different walks of life in the Star Wars universe. Kanan clearly embodies the roguish, “Han Solo” element of Star Wars, being a womanizing spacer who does whatever he wants. The miner Skelly symbolizes the earnest working class who ultimately is tossed aside at the Empire’s convenience. Finally Count Vidian personifies the politics and industry of the Empire, claiming to act toward its interests but really out for personal gain. Additionally, though many would just write him off as a cheap Darth Vader rip-off, his obsession with industrial efficiency makes him a unique character in his own right. In this sense, the novel kind of reminds me of Animal Farm as the characters in both books represent different groups of people in a larger political body. I would be remiss to not mention Hera in this review, the mysterious femme fatale character whose past is kept shrouded in mystery. What we do know is she is an idealist who constantly fights against the tyranny of the Empire and isn’t afraid to use her feminine charm to achieve her goals. While we don’t learn as much about her as we could have, I very much enjoyed her character and especially her relationship with Kanan. This partnership between the scoundrel and the freedom fighter was highly reminiscent of Han and Leia during the movies and the exchanges between them were highly entertaining. The unsolved mystery behind her character only added to her appeal for me. Overall I found this book to be a great introduction to the written Star Wars universe. John Jackson Miller has perfectly conveyed the feel of the original movies while at the same time fleshing out the universe. The characters on their own tell stories within stories and truly represent what Star Wars is all about. ALTERNATE BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS: Allegiance and the Thrawn Trilogy (Heir to Empire, Dark Force Rising, and the Last Command) all by Timothy Zahn. Zahn is famous for writing great characters that perfectly convey the feel of Star Wars while at the same time add to the Star Wars experience. Both are great introductions to his work.
Skip_Wiley More than 1 year ago
True to its title, A New Dawn blazes nothing but new territory. Though the surroundings and trappings of the Star Wars universe are mostly still in place - very little about this book feels welcoming to a veteran Star Wars readers. There are zero characters to be recognized except for an early appearance from Obi-Wan Kenobi in the flashback prologue. The continual references to Master Depa Billaba in this flashback cause the first major ripples in canon vs EU. Billaba is said to be the master of Kanan Jarrus - the book's protagonist - when he was a young apprentice at the temple. His musings and recollections describe her gentle wisdom and guidance. Details of her death are not detailed but it is implied that she died during the purge and Jarrus feels a sense of failure for not being able to protect her - in fact the reader is left with the sense that her death was a sacrifice intended to let Jarrus escape. Now readers of the EU may recognize Billaba from her role in the novel Shatterpoint during the Clone Wars. She has fallen to the dark side when Mace Windu locates her and she ends up locked away in the temple's prison ward on Coruscant by the end of the novel. It is highly unlikely that someone with that kind of record during the war (not to mention the fact that she was perhaps permanently comatose) would be back teaching apprentices by the time of the purge. So there it is: start chalking up the differences. Depa Billaba is not a crazy fallen Jedi prone to murder (if not genocide) - she was a wise and gentle master who fell during Order 66 and the resulting purge. So, as I said, the story feels rather foreign - much like reading Crosscurrent or Scourge - with the only familiarity coming from its surroundings and galactic events. However, not all is familiar. I can't tell if it's simply John Jackson Miller's writing style or an intentional choice by Lucasfilm's new story group, but it seems some terminology has changed. There were mentions of "hovercrafts" and "repulsorlifts." I've never heard a vehicle in the Star Wars universe referred to as a hovercraft before and the term "replusorlift" has always been used to describe a type of technology that gave anti-gravity flight capabilities to vehicles. In this novel, the term is used to describe an actual type of vehicle. Instead of a speeder equipped with repulsorlifts, for example, the speeder itself is simply called a repulsorlift. Normally such differences wouldn't be worth my attention but, in this case, I was desperately trying to find any familiarity in this new world of unified story development. The result was that these minor changes were more noticeable than they should be. I'm hoping it isn't a sign of things to come because the greatest joy of reading Star Wars novels for me is the instant familiarity of settings, technology, and terminology - even if the plot and characters are unfamiliar. If you can get beyond the initial requisite canon vs non-canon analysis and the uncertainty it brings, the novel reads like most Star Wars novels. This certainly isn't JJM's first rodeo in this galaxy, so that's no surprise. I did find that the plot twists seemed a bit forced, unlikely, and ungainly though. Toward the end I found myself confused by who was deliberately misleading who and what the actual truth was. I'm sure some of that was intentional but I'd like to think that most author's aren't actually trying to lose their audience by confusing them completely. The same can be said for Kanan's personality shifts. He cares, he doesn't care. He's callous, he's protective. Hot and cold constantly. Some of this is certainly him trying to put on an appearance to hide his former self, but much of it is also the person he's chosen to become to avoid the pains of his past. So it can be assumed that this dual nature was intentional, but it often feels more disjointed than it should. Even in his internal dialog where the reader is privy to his private thoughts, there is a repeated inconsistency to his character. Honestly there were times where I wasn't particularly sure I wanted to root for this guy. Again, this was probably intentional to some extent but it seemed like it just went too far. In the end, this was an adventurous story with tones of good vs evil (always), greed, conservationism, and a quest for justice in a society where the meaning of that word has been forgotten. The plot developments often seemed a bit too convenient and designed solely to bring story lines together for the climax. For all the talk of the Empire's iron fist and total control of everything and everyone, this band of renegades seems to have little difficulty slipping out of every situation in which they find themselves. So readers may rest easy knowing that even in this new galaxy of canonized unified story development, the stormtroopers (poster children for evil, efficient brutality) still are a bunch of bumbling fools who can't shoot. Never-the-less it was an entertaining read with a semi-satisfying conclusion. My biggest regret was that the only two characters we saw from the upcoming "Rebels" series are Hera and Kanan. I was hoping to see Chopper and, at least, get more of a feel for The Ghost. Instead the ship was left as a mystery for the entire novel and not really revealed at the end except in the barest of details. As a first glimpse of a new (yet old) universe, I'd say it was marginally successful. It was an entertaining enough read that showed that the new world order at Lucasfilm isn't completely abandoning the old ways (as Count Vidian would have us do). In the meantime, I'll need to read a few more before I make total judgement on this new canon.
-Roc More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. The pace of the story was fast, the characters very enjoyable, and I liked getting glimpses into this time period of the Star Wars universe. This story also felt like Star Wars, that is no easy feat considering all the characters are new and unknown to us. For me the book read fast and I liked the short chapter structure. That should not be taken as the book was simple or childish, because it was not. This is an adult Star Wars book. I've read a lot of Star Wars EU books over the years, and honestly I was not someone who was upset with the announcement that the EU would be relabeled as "Legends". That being said this book did not rewrite anything in the old canon and actually incorporated some things from the EU. So I think those that were upset with the EU changes will be very happy with this first book in the new canon. After reading this I am really looking forward the other upcoming novels.
ryan1234500 More than 1 year ago
Star Wars: A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller Spoilers Ahead! The first book published in the new Star Wars canon is five star. I have read all the novels in the Star Wars timeline set in the prequel era and before, and A New Dawn is easily in the top five. It is set eight years after Revenge of the Sith, and eleven years before A New Hope. It is a prequel novel to the animated series Star Wars: Rebels, which will take place six years after the events of this book. The story opens with a great flashback to a young Jedi (whom I correctly assumed to be the future REBELS hero, Kanan) during the Clone Wars. After Order 66, Kanan grows up to be a somewhat sad, ordinary civilian, usually drowning his sorrows at the local cantina. But he can't help himself from getting involved when people need help, despite claiming to want nothing to do with sticking his neck out for people. The line which perfectly captures Kanan's character early in the book is his protestation: "I don't know who you think I am, but I DO NOT go around randomly helping people!" This was a great story point and Kanan's characterization was really one of my favorite aspects of this book. Hera, the Twi'lek heroine of REBELS, is cautiously putting out feelers, searching for people and information that will be useful someday in a rebellion against the Empire. She has no idea that that 'someday' is not as far away as she believes and that the galaxy is slowly awakening to rebellion. Hera was so great in this book it was easy to see why Kanan was so infatuated with her. I never warmed to Imperial Captain Sloane, but it was interesting to see a female in a powerful position during the reign of the Empire. The main villian in the book was a very interesting choice. Cyborg Imperial Count Vidian is like no other villian I have experienced in Star Wars. He isn't a force user, nor even a very powerful fighter. He has super human strength due to his cybernetic augmentation, but he rarely uses his brute force. Instead his manifests his particular brand of evil in that he is a ruthless, utilitarian businessman. He is out to make things work well for the Empire and for his pocketbook. Vidian can see no value in a person unless he is useful to his plans and the will of the Empire. The only negative about Vidian is that I never really got into the subplot about his backstory and the revelations of his history. One of the interesting aspects of the novel is the thoughts it has to give on the surveillance state that has built up on the planet Gorse. This is especially relevant in today's world. The final chapters of the book are really the highlight of the story for me. Kanan picks up his lightsaber before heading off for what is sure to be the climatic battle of the story, all the while trying to convince himself that he has no plans to ever use it. And in the end he is forced to reveal to Hera that he is a force-user. They head off into the galaxy to slowly spark the fires of rebellion. The biggest lingering thread from this book is what intrigues me most. As Hera is contemplating the fact that Kanan must have been a very young Jedi and somehow escaped Order 66, her thoughts go to what could have happened to allow him to escape. She wonders if someone warned him about what was about to happen, and if that person is still alive today? This moment seemed to be alluding to something which will happen in the series, perhaps a reunion with this person who helped Kanan survive Order 66. I'm left wondering if this person is someone we have seen before. Could REBELS bring us the eventual return of Captain Rex? Or even more interesting, Ahsoka? I'd give A New Dawn 9 Stars out of 10. I'm very much looking forward to the next book, Star Wars: Tarkin by James Luceno.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Following my second read-through of "Star Wars: A New Dawn," I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the plot. Kanan is just as likable as he is in the television series "Star Wars: Rebels," as is his co-pilot Hera. The villain of this work, Count Vidian is terrifying. I look forward to the author's next Star Wars entry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good book shows how kanan and hera met
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Flat and boring story, little to no character development, and Kanan as a whole was just plain annoying. The only interesting character of this novel was Sloan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DarthRuiz More than 1 year ago
Excellent read for any SW fan and SW rebels fan
374barry374 More than 1 year ago
I love the rebels tv series it feels like classic star and once i found out there were some prequel books to it ( this and ezras gamble ) I knew i need every minute the ghost crew had to offer me. First off John Miller is a wonderful author who has shown his talent multiple times ( particularly his sith e books). I really liked the characterizations used i liked kanan as a wanderer someone who just moves around looking for work and a good time until the authorities show up. Also the elephant in the room this book introduces Rae Sloane who is turning into arguably the most important character in the disney canon. She really is a different villian not evil like the emporer or cunning like tarkin but devoted the the idea of peace ( through force). Vidian is kind of a forgetable villian and hera is just there we don't learn anything about her but that shes pretty. The sory is pretty good with some twists bassicly the empire needs more tholride to make turbo lasers for battle ships but all the mines are not working enough so he sends in an effeciancy expert and he hatches a plan to get the mineral and ruin his rival in just 1 year but it involves dooming a planet so hero and kanan team with a self proclaimed bomb expert and survaliance expert to stop them. these are some great characters who i would love to see turn up in rebels ( especially Sloane since thrawn will be there)
NevarDrath More than 1 year ago
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.
Timmy2Tone More than 1 year ago
For the sake of fairness I want to first notify everyone that reads this, I am a massive Star Wars fan, it was impossible for me to catch up on the EU so i didnt mind the canon wipe..Now i can catch up and stay caught up in the universe. I also always buy both the Hardcover physical copy and and Audible copy to listen to at work since i dont always have time to read at home when i get off. Now onto the first ever new canon Star Wars novel. Now this is a strange beast. When it first came out nobody knew who Kanan Jarrus was, so first reading the book i must admit the first quarter or third of the novel with all the mining stuff almost lost me, i was just absolutely bored, but it picked up before i dropped out and then i just couldn't stop. Although Kanan never uses a lightsaber so the cover is a little misleading. The new canon did not start off with a bang in my opinion but did indeed get me excited for more. Amazing characters like Kanan. Hera, the ever present Rey Sloane, and the main villain who i am terribly sorry i cannot remember his name but he was great. A few years later after knowing Kanan like he was family from the phenomenal Kanan comic to the awesome animated show Star Wars Rebels I went back and read it again...and it was night and day. so much better to read after knowing very well who the character was and the relationships he had built. Also knowing more about Rey Sloane as she constantly pops up in canon Comics and Novels.. Result: I recommend it to any huge Star Wars fan who has to everything, but i would highly suggest reading it after reading the comic or at the very least watching Season 1 and 2 of Star Wars Rebels...I would recommend the Audiobook to any readers who dont have patience for a very very slow start and honestly I much preferred the Audio book over the physical novel
Wangchuk More than 1 year ago
How fitting that a book called A New Dawn is the first novel in the new Star Wars canon. This novel is really good but not great. Kanan Jarrus is really great as a protagonist here. You can see how out of touch he is with the force and the ways of the Jedi. He's tried his best to repress his old identity, but sometimes it seeps through a little. His relationship with Hera feels real, and you can sense the romantic tones in the air at times. Skelly is an extremely interesting character who is thought of as crazy, but you really feel for him. The biggest problem with this novel is that I felt less invested in the last third than most of the rest of the book. Until the last 20 pages or so, I was losing interest, but thankfully the book still comes through in the end. If you like Star Wars Rebels this is a must-read. If not, it is still a really good read that shows the lives of workers and rebels during the dark times brought on by the Empire.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Iron-Angel More than 1 year ago
uglygosling More than 1 year ago
Once you get started reading this book you will have a hard time putting it down.