- Colleen McMillan
Colleen’s Book Corner: A New Dawn
Author: John Jackson Miller
Published September 2014
Set about 6 years before Rebels Season One
Colleen’s Book Corner Begins!
Hello Nerdy Knights and welcome to my definitely not asked for Star Wars mini-book reviews! In January 2020, I jumped off the deep end into SW novels and comics (starting just with canon first but that was a slippery slope into Legends), and I finished one book (this one) and some comics when I realized I needed to write about them. I had a ton of thoughts, and who better to share with than you all?
A New Dawn for BSG and Star Wars (pun intended!)
As the resident BGS Rebels Super Stan, I had to start with A New Dawn, a novel set before the first Rebels episode. It introduces young, apathetic Kanan Jarrus. He’s kicking it on a remote world, working a dangerous job, drinking everything in sight, and basically trying to forget his past and connection to the Force. Also, he’s a fuck-boi.
Enter Hera Syndulla, pilot/spy extraordinaire. That’s right, this novel tells the story of how Kanan and Hera first meet. And let’s just say, Hera is not impressed. She’s dynamic, efficient, and alluring. And also not here for any of Kanan’s aforementioned fuck-boi shenanigans.
A True Adventure with Kanan at Its Center
There’s a daring adventure plot and plenty of interesting side characters, plus a truly messed-up Imperial villain named Count Vidian. He’s an efficiency expert, that elusive job title that oozes “I’m going to fire everyone and replace them with machines” energy. Star Destroyer Captain Rae Sloane is also a viewpoint character, bringing a more measured Imperial into the mix. Watch for her in more canon novels!
But what caught my attention was Kanan’s voice. The novel has a split narration, where multiple characters’ viewpoints are utilized, but Kanan is the story’s soul. After watching him in Rebels, it was great to see his jaded side, to see how the Padawan fared after Order 66 and his trials in the comics. He’s quippy, sexy (so he thinks), funny, and sick of most everyone in the galaxy.
He’s Han without Chewie: a lonely, desolate man. Seeing this version of Kanan juxtaposed with Hera - who already has her shit figured out - was fun to see. It made me wish that there was another novel set between this and the TV show, because we don’t get to see how the other Spectres join the Ghost in Rebels.
Conclusion - Would Recommend: 7/10 Lightsabers
You can read this novel before watching the TV series, since it doesn’t spoil anything, but it’s just as enjoyable after watching the entire show. It’s a quick, fun read. Not too long; perfect for a lazy afternoon. Be warned, once you start reading, you might not put it down.