I rarely dive into the world of media tie-ins: they’re often written perfunctorily, either with the obvious boredom of the competent author exhibited in every trite plot-line, or with the deluded glee of the fan-fictioner gleaming through every broken sentence. But the compelling force of nostalgia led me to read Tim Lebbon’s “Dawn of the Jedi : Into the Void,” which falls in the former category. Recently and decently written, with no obvious howlers, this is a “Star Wars” novel that happens chronologically early (some guides will say it’s the earliest) in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. It’s set before the establishment of the Galactic Republic, 26,000 years before “A New Hope.”
For the uninitiated, all this means is that Jedi is spelled as Je’daii, and instead of light sabers there are regular, unlit sabers. The rest is business as usual in the eternally open cantina of the mind. For the initiated, it means that this is tied in to a Dark Horse comic-book series, “Dawn of the Jedi,” which means that after Disney / Marvel Comics acquired the Star Wars license, the events became “Legends” because they are non-canonical, which in turn means that almost 40 years of Star Wars novelizations and graphic novels are now rendered unimportant, as the history of the Galatic expansion can’t really be referenced anymore. (For the extra- initiated: LIFE is a constantly fluctuating fiction. Nothing is canon, all is subjective perspective.)
So ANYWAY. Lanoree Brock is a bad-ass Je’daii who is learning about the Force in the planet Tython, where the Order was founded. Her brat brother Dal is not very attuned to the Force, though, preferring brutal force. Cut some years ahead, and the brother is now a madman bent on using dark matter and Gree technology to basically allow galactic travel to expand. (The Je’daii are in opposition to what looks like a very good idea and seem kinda regressive here.) Lanoree is sent on a mission to stop him. The novel alternates back and forth between the childish sibling rivalry and the adult-(ish) procedural pursuit, but it feels like a set-up to a future that won’t happen anyway, because, again, this has all been retconned.
So is it worth my time or yours to read “Star Wars” Expanded Universe Novels? They’ve all been retconned into irrelevance? Were they relevant in the first place? Is ANYTHING relevant anyway?
Eh, I probably will read a few more of these things.
In space, no one can hear you sigh.
RATING: GOOD ENOUGH