An Underrated Star Wars Comic May Reveal the Plot of James Mangold's Movie
While the director has an opportunity to rewrite the Jedi origin story, there's a long history to reckon with.
James Mangold is not one to shy away from a big assignment. After elevating Wolverine in the smash hit Logan and concluding the Indiana Jones franchise with Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, he’s tackling another huge franchise film: an upcoming Star Wars movie set in an era referred to as the “Dawn of the Jedi.”
While he ended the story of Indy, in this next film he’s going all the way back to the beginning of the Star Wars timeline: 25,000 years before the rest of the Star Wars films. But while this is the first time current Star Wars canon has flashed back this far, there’s a standing precedent for this era in non-canon Legends — that may just reveal what to expect in this movie.
The origin story of the Jedi actually isn’t that old, despite being set millennia in the past. In 2012, Dark Horse Comics released a series of comics entitled Dawn of the Jedi. The series lasted for three five-issue arcs until 2015, when the Star Wars license reverted back to Marvel Comics.
Lost Legends is an Inverse series about the forgotten lore of our favorite stories.
The Dawn of the Jedi series finally revealed the origin of the Jedi. Unlike the Sith, who began as a race first and then a religious order, the Jedi have always been a melting pot. About 35,000 years before the current Star Wars timeline, pyramidal spaceships called the Tho Yor roamed the galaxy, sending out Force calls to Force-sensitive beings across the galaxy.
These spaceships eventually settled on the planet Tython, which you may recognize from The Mandalorian Season 2, where Grogu sent a call out to Jedi himself. There, the Force-sensitive populations of these ships banded together and formed a group known as the Je’daii Order. They studied the Force and its two sides, named after the light and dark moons of Tython: Ashla and Bogan.
Dawn of the Jedi focused mainly on Je’daii Journeyers, young members of the Je’daii who had graduated from being padawans but still had yet to go on a pilgrimage to cement themselves as members of the order. The story’s main characters are Shae Koda, a Dathomiri human, Tasha Ryo, the Twi’lek daughter of a great Je’daii and a crime lord, and Sek’nos Rath, a Sith (by blood, not by creed) known for being a ladies man.
These three Journeyers stumble on Xesh, a Force Hound scout from the evil Rakata species. Together, they defend the planet from a huge Force Storm — a weather phenomenon caused by a massive shift in the Force — caused by the crash of a Rakata ship.
This would be the perfect plot for James Mangold’s Star Wars movie. Not only would it incorporate the origins of the first Jedi, it would also fill in some key parts of the canon, including the origins of the temple Grogu used on Tython and the origin of the Sith as a species.
But more importantly, these three characters would provide a new cast of characters for fans to root for, essentially combining the deep lore of the Jedi origins with the coming-of-age story structure that ripples throughout Star Wars media from the first movie all the way up to The Mandalorian. It’s almost like a proto-Stranger Things: a bunch of teens find a strange and powerful friend who warns of a much bigger threat.
Mangold has previously described his upcoming movie as a biblical epic, and it doesn’t get much more epic and biblical than mysterious floating spaceships, religious pilgrims, and planet-shaking weather events. This decade-old story may have been forgotten because of the departures in canon, but that’s actually a good thing. Now, it can be the inspiration for Mangold’s story without feeling too much like a rehash, paying homage to both Legends and the lore-heavy Star Wars storytelling we’ve seen in the past few years.