Jedi: Fallen Order – Dark Temple #1 Review

by Dennis Keithly

A Jedi Padawan struggles with patience as she accompanies her master on a mission of exploration that is, naturally, more than it seems in Jedi: Fallen Order – Dark Temple #1.

Warning: This article includes plot points for Jedi: Fallen Order – Dark Temple #1.

Jedi Fallen Order Dark Temple #1

Jedi: Fallen Order – Dark Temple #1

Writer: Matthew Rosenberg | Artist: Paolo Villanelli | Colorist: Arif Prianto | Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino | Cover Artist: Marco Checcheto | Designer: Anthony Gambino | Assistant Editor: Tom Gronneman | Editor: Mark Paniccia

This November, Electronic Arts will release Jedi: Fallen Order, a new Star Wars video game on multiple platforms. Players will take on the role of a Padawan that escaped the fate of the Jedi during Order 66. Prior to the launch of the game, Star Wars fans have the opportunity to learn a little of the backstory in Marvel’s Jedi: Fallen Order: Dark Temple. In the first issue, readers meet Cere Junda, a Padawan that is struggling in the role assigned to her by her master on their mission in a time before Chancellor Palpatine ordered the destruction of the Jedi Order.

The Inquisitor Arrives

Dark Temple #1 begins on the world of Ontotho as an Inquisitor arrives at the site of a battle between Imperial stormtroopers and an unnamed resistance. Although the planet has largely been pacified, this one last pocket of resistance is holding out. The Inquisitor takes control of the field with her purge troopers. A brief and chaotic battle ensues, but when the resistance quits firing, the Inquisitor is confronted by a lone Jedi, or what the reader is lead to presume is a Jedi, igniting a blue lightsaber. In truth, the identity of this person is shrouded.

Like the video game this comic ties into, this scene squarely places this moment after the events of Order 66 and prior to A New Hope. In fact, the time period can be narrowed down even further to the first few years after the fall of the Republic. The Inquisitor is unrecognized by the stormtroopers on Ontotho. This suggests that the creation of the Inquisitorious is still new and word has not spread. The stormtrooper in charge at least has the good sense not to question the arrival of this Inquisitor too harshly.

Inquisitor - Dark TempleBefore the Fall

The story then retreats to a time before the fall of the Jedi Order. Dark Temple #1 turns its attention to the planet of Nameel. There, Cere Junda, a Padawan, and her master, Cordova, are tasked with investigating a disturbance between Trandoshans and Dupei monks. While Master Cordova speaks with the monks, Cere is left to keep watch over the Trandoshans.

The next part of the story is slightly predictable. Like many Padawans, Cere thinks she understands things better than she actually does. She assumes the Trandoshans are in the wrong in their debate with the monks. Therefore, she is easily goaded into a fight with the Trandoshans, and she makes the additional faux pas of interrupting a challenge to the Trandoshans’ leader’s authority. In short, she escalates a bad situation. Plus, it turns out the monks were in the wrong all along.

Cere comes off very much like Anakin Skywalker with her arrogance and brashness. In fact, she seems to have a dash of Ezra Bridger and a young Kanan Jarrus as well. As Yoda might admonish, “so certain are you?” Cere should have known better than to make assumptions. However, impulsiveness, restlessness, and recklessness are a trait common to most young Jedi. Even Rey struggles with patience.

The Next Assignment

Despite her mistakes, Cere is not kicked out of the Jedi Order. She and Cordova are assigned to a mission on the planet Ontotho. This, of course, is the same planet that the Inquisitor arrived on at the beginning of the Dark Temple #1. This is also where the miniseries seemingly gets its name. The world has recently joined the Republic, and the Daa Corporation working there discovered a new temple. Cordova and Cere are sent to assist with the exploration. There is a catch: the temple lies in lands belonging to a faction of Ontotho that refused to join the Republic.

Upon arriving on Ontotho, Cordova and Cere meet the founder of Daa Corporation, Dylanto Daa. After briefing them on the situation, he sends them on their way to the temple in armored transports. Before long, the transports come under fire. The Force has an overwhelming presence here, so the Jedi have difficulty determining where the danger is coming from. Once again, Cere acts on impulse and blindly charges off into the forest to find their attackers. She finds a body, but no answers. As she makes her return, their transports are bombed, Cordova is presumed dead, and someone knocks her out from behind.

Cere Junda

Concluding Thoughts on Dark Temple #1

Dark Temple #1 accomplishes everything it needs to as the first issue of a new series. Readers now have an idea of what kind of person Cere is – brash and headstrong with much to learn. That doesn’t separate her from many Jedi Padawans, but that is kind of the point. Padawans typically serve with a master to round out their training under the watchful guise of a seasoned veteran. Dark Temple #1 contains plenty of intrigue. Who was the person that confronted the Inquisitor holding hte lightsaber? What is going on on Ontotho? Issue one offers more questions than answers, which is what an introduction needs to do.

Cere’s journey as a presumably “orphaned” Padawan isn’t a new story either. Marvel previously told this story with Kanan Jarrus (a.k.a. Caleb Dume) in the Kanan series. Kanan overcame the loss of his master and the fall of the Jedi Order to become a Jedi Knight with a Padawan of his own. Also, Asajj Ventress was a Padawan of sorts that lost her master, Ky Narec. Her story differs in that she eventually became a Sith assassin. The point is, that although the circumstances aren’t necessarily unique, the range of outcomes is wide open. At the moment, Cere has the Jedi Order to fall back on, but Order 66 is looming. Her ultimate story is likely left for Jedi: Fallen Order.

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