Star Wars: Rebels has become a huge hit for Star Wars fans. Though it takes place between two known events in Star Wars history, it’s getting to be just as popular as the upcoming Force Awakens timeline. Along with the tv series there is a comic series and a novel that has been released. Star Wars: A New Dawn is the story of how Kanan and Hera met to join forces as the crew of the Ghost.
The story revolves around not just Kanan and Hera, but a slew of other interesting characters. Count Vidian is the main bad guy. He’s an Imperial agent and employs Captain Sloane to fulfill his dark purposes. Vidian is a cyborg that sounds as mechanical and malicious as Vader, minus the powers of the Force. Skelly and Zaluna are supporting characters for Hera and Kanan. All of them are operating on a planet called Gorse and its moon.
The troubles center around a mining operation that supplies fuel for Star Destroyers. The Emperor wants production increased, but at what cost?
Much of the telling stays on Kanan as he is the reluctant hero after Order 66 has destroyed much of the Jedi Order, and made Caleb Dume, Kanan’s original identity, a criminal. Hera is already an agent against the Empire.
Without giving too much away, things are not as they appear, and twists and turns keep us guessing who’s helping who.
A New Dawn is very much about characterizing Kanan and Hera, but also the Empire itself. As we see in the Rebels tv series, the Empire isn’t entirely hated with everyone. We know they’re bad, and suppressing people left and right, but how bad are they? This book shows more about the Empire’s indifference to its citizens through Count Vidian.
It’s a good thing to have the Empire more fleshed out with characters besides Tarkin, Vader and the Emperor. Count Vidian is the villain you want to hate. And he really personifies the Empire’s evil.
Though we know the outcome of the story with Kanan and Hera, it’s still a suspenseful tale. There is much about their relationship we don’t know in the television series, and the book clears up some of it. Throughout the novel is the question on what Kanan wants to do about the Rebellion. There’s an obvious reluctance because of what happened to the Jedi. But, Hera is very much an agent of it. Is this what they set out to do as adventurers on the Ghost? That’s part of the book as well.
I have read a few Star Wars novels and they are often hit or miss. The franchise has taken a new turn with any new novels, including A New Dawn, are canon unless otherwise noted. It makes it even more intriguing to go through many of the books that are appearing. Being a fan in particular with the Rebels side of Star Wars, I’ve been wanting to grab as much as possible relating to the group. So, having the canonical Rebels novel was a no-brainer to me, though I was concerned at how it would turn out in my taste for Star Wars.
A New Dawn did not disappoint me! It was a great Star Wars tale, though maybe not as grand as something like A New Hope. It still had heights of thrills, and the low times of character growth that appears in many of the films. Knowing the end roughly, that Hera and Kanan would be together, it was still keeping me gripped to know the how and why. Both ended up being very satisfying.
For any Star Wars fan, this is a must read as it gives more history to the Empire, and gives us more of some great characters from the franchise. Time will tell how all of this will relate to the cartoon, or even the greater Star Wars picture, but it certainly has its ties to the beginning of the rebellion.
There is more excitement in the novel than low points. But, sometimes the calm was a little too calming. Overall, it was well put together with seemingly disconnected points culminating in a high thrill, many chapter ending. And, when I say many chapters, that is not a deterrent to reading. By the end, you want the story to keep going! And it makes me eagerly anticipate more Rebels centric novels!