The concluding issue of Prisoner of Bogan continues the extraordinary level of storytelling and artwork we’ve come to expect from the Dawn of the Jedi series. Set tens of thousands of years before the events of the movies we all know and love, the series is essentially pre-history for the Star Wars galaxy, referencing many elements from all areas of the Expanded Universe, conspicuously the Rakatan Empire from Knights Of The Old Republic.
The precursors of the Jedi, known as the Je’daii, are at a turning point of their times past and existence. For millennia they have striven to keep balance between the Light Side of the Force and the Dark Side of the Force. But an outsider alien rich in the power of the Dark Side, a Force Hound bound to the Rakatan known as Xesh, crash lands on the Je’daii home planet of Tython, forcing everything into imbalance.
Once captured, Xesh is exiled to the Tython moon of Bogan, named so for its symbolic exemplification of the Dark Side, where he is expected to meditate on his outlook. The exile causes him to become further enraged at the Je’daii, but stronger because of his new found “freedom” from Rakatan enslavement. However, while on Bogan, he comes across another exiled Je’daii (gone mad from prophetic visions of doom) named Daegen Lok.
The two join forces as Lok becomes bent on holding possession of his own Forcesaber, the weapon of the Rakatan Force Hounds. He becomes obsessed further with his vision of an invading army, and determined to take over the Je’daii, believing that only the Dark Side of the Force will defend them from the fire of his vision.
The Je’daii track down Lok and Xesh, leading to an inevitable confrontation in which the first lightsabers clash in battle and duel. Meanwhile, a Holocron provides the leaders of the Je’daii further clarification of the visions, discovering that the invading force seen in the mind of the demented Lok – and now, they are on their way to Tython”¦
It’s been clear throughout the Prisoner of Bogan that John Ostrander and Jan Duursema have a lengthy road map planned out for Dawn of the Jedi. For decades, there has been lore and apocrypha circulated among Star Wars fans to try and map out this prehistoric period – and the writing team is finally fleshing it out. Every moment in Prisoner of Bogan is less about what is happening to the individual characters, and more of an effort to move the plot along into the inevitable confrontation between the Je’daii and the Rakatan Infinite Empire.
The artwork in Dawn of the Jedi continues to be spectacular – a god-tier effort by Jan Duursema, Dan Parsons, and Wes Dzioba that mirrors their efforts from the first Legacy series. There are several visual indications that reference Legacy in this issue actually; most notably with Daegen Lok, who evolves his appearance through the series. In this concluding chapter, I found myself reminded of Cade Skywalker – Lok is a chap who is steeped in the Dark Side, but his intentions are noble – he wants to protect the Je’daii. There are many visual references to their previous work, and it helps move the story along.
Prisoner of Bogan #5 is an awesome read, and Star Wars fans who have been following this series, or who are interested of this early history, are sure to enjoy it. However, the long expositional texts continue in this issue as they have done throughout the series, and I feel that this may alienate many casual readers from plummeting in. This is one definitely for the fans, but as things accelerate to the next inevitable conflict, the setup for the story may pay off in the story arc that follows.