Review: Star Wars – Dawn of the Jedi – Into the Void / Author: Tim Lebbon / Publisher: Lucas Books/ Release Date: Out Now
Set in a time even older than the time of Darth Revan or Nomi Sunrider, Into the Void offers a look into the Jedi Order’s earliest days. Known as the Je’daii, the warriors guided by the Force seek to ensure peace and prosperity in this time but now face a new threat from a renegade former apprentice. Fanatically obsessed with exploring the unknown reaches of space, his ambitions put at risk the lives of countless innocents.
While it has an interesting premise, Into the Void suffers from a vast number of problems when fitting it into the lore. Despite being set at a time before lightsabers were even created, it feels as if it could have easily been a Republic era story. There is nothing here which distinguishes it from those times, and little effort is made to really explore the differences between the Je’daii and the Order. They even have the same ranks, roles and duties as their later incarnation with seemingly no evolution. This is hardly helped by Lebbon playing fast and loose with the canon, with multiple races showing up who have not even been discovered yet.
Even getting beyond these issues, the pages read like an early draft of a story. Grammar issues are rife, and the tense in which it is told shifts at random; sometimes even from page to page. Scenes are barely described or defined, leaving you often baffled at where people are and the characters feel wooden at best. A major part of this is down to dialogue, which is barren of personality or individual touches. Similarly, you’re given no impression of the differing cultures of each world, what separates each species from one another or even how they treat each other.
If you’re here for combat, you’re going to be sorely disappointed with what Into the Void offers. Space battles are almost non-existent and very poorly told, with no real punch or impact to any explosions or dangerous manoeuvres. Ground fights are just as sparse and dully uninteresting, ending almost as soon as they begin. Even chase sequences feel sluggish and one-sided, without any sense of risk to excite the reader.
Top this all off with plot holes which threaten to swallow the entire narrative, a disappointing third act and a non-ending and this is a terrible book. It’s a wasted opportunity and fails even as a generic action tale. Stay as far, far away from this one as you can get.