The Star Wars Novel Project is a hobby of mine to read every Star Wars novel released. I write my thoughts after reading each book both to create a living memory of my progress on this project and in case any Star Wars fans find themselves curious about a particular novel. I have created a nice index of all the Star Wars novels, including links to my thoughts on each book. Please check it out to see my thoughts on the other novels.
Star Wars Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void was a 2013 novel by Tim Lebbon. As the book’s title implied, the story took place very early in Jedi history. In fact, this novel was set earlier in the Star Wars timeline than any other Star Wars Legends novel, about 26,000 years before the Battle of Yavin (Episode IV: A New Hope). At this point, it was spelled Je’daii instead of Jedi, and they had not discovered lightsabers. There was also no hyperdrive to travel to other star systems. Thus, the Tython star system, where the book took place, was mostly self-contained. The settlers had spacecraft capable of traveling between the various planets in the system, but they had no access to planets in other systems like Yavin or Coruscant.
Thousands of years in the past, mysterious Force-powered starships called Tho Yor, brought Force sensitive people of many different species from around the universe onto the planet Tython. The planet was not easy to live on, but with the Force they survived. Unfortunately, many of their children were not Force sensitive. Over time a larger and larger population existed which did not have the tools (the Force) to live on this hard planet. After a series of massive losses among non-Force users, the Je’daii made them leave the planet for their own good. These exiles eventually colonized the other planets in the Tython system. At the time of the book, most of the planets in the system now had populations in the millions. A lot of time had past, but there were still many negative feelings towards the Je’daii and their exclusive society.
Lanoree Brock, a young Je’daii Ranger, was the main character of the story. Rather than just tell the story from beginning to end, the author split the story into two parts: Lanoree’s past and her present. These two stories, really just one story, alternated from chapter to chapter. The flashback stories fleshed out the character and reinforced what was happening in the present. Lanoree’s personality was similar to Rey’s of the recent Star Wars: The Force Awakens film. Both were young and somewhat headstrong. At the same time they had good hearts. Everything they did was for good, but sometimes they were overconfident.
The overall story was about Lanoree’s efforts to turn her wayward brother, Dalien, into a good person. Lanoree sought to follow in her parent’s footsteps and become a good Je’daii. Dalien, not being force sensitive, sought to explore the secrets of the universe. He had no interest in the force or being a Je’daii. It turned out that some of the secrets he wanted to discover were believed to be very dangerous by the Je’daii. In a tense meeting, the Je’daii Council told Lanoree she had to stop her brother by whatever means necessary. This caused a lot of conflict in Lanoree because despite their huge differences in opinion, she loved her brother dearly. The great adventure of the book began.
Lanoree had to travel to several planets in the Tython system to get information on Dalien’s whereabouts and what he was exactly planning. The Je’daii feared the ancient technology but really didn’t know what Dalien planned to do with it. I noticed by the end that the story was kind of dark. Other than two nice planets, the planets all featured hostile environments. Other than Tython, the people all seemed pretty shady, always following selfish motives. Some of the scenes felt like horror. This made sense when I saw that the author, Tim Lebbon, was a horror and dark fantasy writer. It never got too dark though. The whole book Lanoree tried to turn her brother around, but she failed. In the end, she had no choice but to fight him.
I didn’t know it when I bought Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void, but it was only a small part of a larger story. There was a comic book series called Dawn of the Jedi, which had the meat of the story. Into the Void was an off-shoot novel meant to flesh out the Tython system and some of the characters from the comics a little more. This had a few downsides. Number one was that the author assumed the reader knew some of the proper nouns being thrown around and never explained them. The example I remember was the Tho Yor spaceships. Tim Lebbon frequently mentioned them but never really described them. I’m sure they were described clearly in the comics, but I didn’t read them.
The other downside was that the book ended on a cliffhanger. The author did a good job ending the story between Lanoree and Dalien Brock. The main problem set in the beginning was solved, but the last few pages were about a new, bigger threat to the Je’daii. That story was only finished in the comics. Most likely, they wanted this book to pull some novel readers into reading the comic books, but I have never gotten into comic books. I won’t see the ending to the larger story, but the smaller story between Lanoree and Dalien was ended well. Into the Void wasn’t perfect but more than worth it.
Before reading Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void it had been a long time since I had read a Star Wars book. I always like to know the background before I get to the story. I know a lot about the later years in Star Wars, but I know very little about the beginnings. Even this book didn’t cover the true beginnings, but it did cover the early Jedi people before they became so ordered. It was exciting to read. The Tython planet was comfortable to me because I got to see this planet a little bit in the Star Wars: The Old Republic computer game. The game was set much further in the future than the book, but I could at least understand the environment of the planet a little more. I am really excited to be getting started on the Star Wars Novel Project. Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void is the first in a long series of novels I may never finish. No matter what I will have fun exploring the Star Wars universe again.