With the upcoming film ‘Star Wars: Episode VII‘, television show ‘Star Wars: Rebels‘, and 3 new comics series from Marvel on the way, it is time to see what is in store for the new novels and ‘Star Wars: A New Dawn’ is the first one that will be available! With all of the books in the Expanded Universe no longer counting as real, I’m sure many of you have wondered what we can read that will actually be able to be tied to the new shows, films, and comics. Well, “Star Wars: A New Dawn’ by John Jackson is the first chapter of the new adult fiction line and will take place before the upcoming animated series.

That means this new tale won’t be a focus on the main characters or what our heroes have been up to between the original trilogy and Episode VII. We’ll actually be seeing here is how Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla, two of the leads from ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ meet. While I’d love to learn more about these early founders of the Rebel Alliance, I’m honestly more curious on reading expanded stories of what our heroes have been up to between the two sets of trilogies. I suspect we won’t be seeing much of that until after the ‘Episode VII’ is released at the earliest.

You can hear an audio except from the novel here or read it below which is read by Vanessa Marshall who is actually playing Hera on the new animated series:

Hera wasn’t about to bring her ship into the Cyndan mining complex for an unauthorized landing. Joining the convoy, however, had gotten her close, and once out of sight of the Star Destroyer, she’d parked in orbit. Her ship’s small excursion vessel had taken her the rest of the way to a little maintenance outbuilding on the surface.

She’d studied just enough about the mining trade to know what to pretend to be: a maintenance tech for bulk–loader droids. The rest she’d thought up on the spot.

“This is the wrong entrance,” the guy inside the airlock had said.

“Oh, gosh, I’m sorry. It’s my first day, and I’m late!”

“And where’s your badge?”

“I forgot. Can you believe it? My first day!”

The man had believed it, letting her pass with a smile that said he hoped she’d keep making wrong turns in the future. People of several different species found Hera appealing to look at, and she was happy to put that to use for a good cause.

But as she walked carefully through the mining complex, she increasingly realized how difficult that cause had become. Gorse and Cynda produced a strategic material for the Empire, yes, but they were well away from the galactic center. And yet Hera spied one surveillance cam after another—-including several that the workers clearly weren’t intended to see. If Coruscant–level security had made it out to the Rim worlds, that would make any action against the Empire all the more difficult.

Another good reason to visit my friend on Gorse after this, she thought, darting lithely beneath the viewing arc of another secret cam. A rendezvous with any mystery informant was dangerous; she’d learned that quickly enough in her short career as an activist. But her contact had proven knowledge of Imperial surveillance capabilities, and she’d need that to get to the important stuff, later on.

Finding out more about Count Vidian’s methods, though, she’d have to do through old–fashioned skulking. He was on Cynda now, she knew: She’d seen him once already from afar, passing through the caverns with a tour group. It was tough to get closer. The transparent crystal columns were pretty to look at but lousy cover.

Darting through an isolated side passage, she thought she’d found a shortcut to get ahead of him. Instead, she found something else.

“Halt!” A stormtrooper appeared at the end of the corridor, his blaster raised.

Hera stopped in her tracks. “I’m sorry,” she said, putting her hand to her chest and exhaling. “You scared me!”

“Who are you?”

“I work here,” she said, approaching as if nothing was wrong. “I may be in the wrong place. It’s my first day.” She smiled.

“Where’s your badge?”

“I forgot.” Dark eyes looked down demurely, then back up. “Can you believe it? My first day!”

The stormtrooper studied her for a moment—-and then saw the blaster she was wearing. She moved before he did, delivering a high kick that knocked the blaster from the startled stormtrooper’s hands. Seeing his weapon clatter away, he lunged for it. She easily sidestepped him—-and pivoted, leaping onto the armored man’s back. Losing purchase on the crystalline floor, he stumbled, her full weight driving his head into the side wall. His helmet cracked loudly against the surface, and he slumped motionless to the ground.

“Sorry,” Hera whispered over the fallen trooper’s shoulder. “Charm doesn’t work on everyone.”

Is Hera’s story charming you so far? Do you think this looks like it could be a fun new chapter in what will now officially be canon in the ‘Star Wars’ universe? Share your thoughts below!

Novel Synopsis:

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. . . .

“The war is over. The Separatists have been defeated, and the Jedi rebellion has been foiled. We stand on the threshold of a new beginning.”—Emperor Palpatine

For a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights brought peace and order to the Galactic Republic, aided by their connection to the mystical energy field known as the Force. But they were betrayed—and the entire galaxy has paid the price. It is the Age of the Empire.

Now Emperor Palpatine, once Chancellor of the Republic and secretly a Sith follower of the dark side of the Force, has brought his own peace and order to the galaxy. Peace through brutal repression, and order through increasing control of his subjects’ lives.

But even as the Emperor tightens his iron grip, others have begun to question his means and motives. And still others, whose lives were destroyed by Palpatine’s machinations, lay scattered about the galaxy like unexploded bombs, waiting to go off. . . .

The first Star Wars novel created in collaboration with the Lucasfilm Story Group, Star Wars: A New Dawn is set during the legendary “Dark Times” between Episodes III and IV and tells the story of how two of the lead characters from the animated series Star Wars Rebels first came to cross paths. Featuring a foreword by Dave Filoni.

Source: Entertainment Weekly