- "There are some who will ask if our sacrifice here today was in vain… they will ask if Shikaakwa was worth dying for. But if we have kept the stranglehold of the Infinite Empire at bay for a while longer, our sacrifice of lives for this great cause was justified. We are the victors! The Force is with us and not our enemies!"
- ―Daegen Lok
Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi: Force War is a five-issue comic book miniseries that is the third story arc in Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi, a comic book series published by Dark Horse Comics and written by the creative team of John Ostrander and Jan Duursema. Set one year after the events of the previous story arc, The Prisoner of Bogan, Force War deals with the invasion of the Tython system by the Infinite Empire of the Rakata species. As the miniseries opens, the Rakata have conquered half of the Tython system, and the Je'daii use the Forcesabers—the dark side weapons of the Rakata—to defend their home against the invaders. Predor Skal'nas of the Empire seeks to invade Tython and locate the Infinity Gate rumored to have been built there by the Kwa species, which he hopes will elevate him into power.
The Force War begins
A year after the Infinite Empire invaded the Tython system, the Rakata have devastated Fury Station and taken Obri and Mawr, and though they were repelled at Tython, the Infinite Empire captured Ska Gora and established their command post, Rakatan Base Prime, there. The Je'daii have joined forces with the Settled Worlds in defense of their star system, and Master Rajivari has been appointed General of the allied forces. With Xesh's aid, the Je'daii have constructed Forcesabers, and though the weapons force them to forsake the Balance, it is only because of the Forcesabers that they have survived thus far. Daegen Lok is also recalled from Bogan and made to serve as the Je'daii's general.
Sub-Predor Ceh'let launches an assault on the planet Shikaakwa, with her Flesh Raider soldiers seeking to assault Ryo Fortress through the surrounding swamps; however, the Je'daii have foreseen their attack and ambush the invaders. Xesh quickly dispatches a horde of Flesh Raiders, and when he is confronted by another Force Hound, Shae Koda flies to his rescue. Xesh and Daegen Lok then flee from the destructive firepower of Rakatan Annihilators, and Lok orders Hawk Ryo's fighter squadrons to airstrike the Annihilators despite his and Xesh's proximity to the targets. Rajivari then orders the bulk of his forces to engage the enemy; as the Je'daii overrun her forces, Ceh'let is permitted to withdraw her forces back to Ska Gora. In the battle that follows, the Je'daii leave no survivors, and Sek'nos Rath is disgusted by Lok's victory speech and the Order's willingness to forsake the balance. On Ska Gora, Ceh'let openly challenges Skal'nas's authority before the other commanders. Skal'nas then explains to Ceh'let in private his true goal—the acquisition of the Infinity Gate on Tython—before killing her.
Ska Gora and Xesh's Betrayal
Xesh dreams of his past as a Force Hound. Shae Koda wakes him up, and he shares his fears that he will be pulled back under Rakatan control. Shae confesses her love for him, and Xesh rejects his old name, given to him by his old Rakatan masters, and tells her that his true name is Tau. Shae and Tau kiss. The next day, Xesh proposes a plan to end the Rakatan invasion by killing their leader, Skal'nas. To find him, Xesh uses his old Force Hound abilities, falling into darkness. He tells the Je'daii that Skal'nas's base is on Ska Gora. Trill, who has been spying on the Je'daii, contacts Skal'nas and tells him about the Je'daii plan. Skal'nas tells Trill not to interfere and let the Je'daii attack.
The Je'daii attack Ska Gora, but back on Tython, Tasha Ryo has a vision and realizes that the Je'daii are walking into a trap. Lok also realizes that it is a trap, and tells Rath to take command. Rajivari contacts the strike team and tells them to pull out, but it is too late. Koda attacks a Force Hound with lightning, and Quan-Jang saves her life by pushing the Hound off of its mount. Koda snaps at Quan-Jang, who warns her not to lose the Balance. Xesh finds Trill, but still does not remember her. She cajoles him to take her with him. They go to the Rakatan base, where they find that the Rakatan have imprisoned the surviving Je'daii, including Rath, in glass tubes. Trill shocks Xesh with lightning, stunning him.
Shae Koda and Quan-Jang continue to fight Rakatan forces. Koda tells Quan-Jang that Rath and Lok have gone missing, and that she fears for Xesh. Skal'nas restores Xesh's memory using a Rakatan device. Xesh remembers how he first found Tython for Skal'nas, who decided to send Xesh as his spy among the Je'daii. He remembers how he sabotaged Tul'kar's ship the Devourer on Skal'nas's orders, then killed Tul'kar himself. Xesh initially refuses to return to slavery, but soon returns to his role as a Force Hound. Xesh tells Skal'nas about the Je'daii seers and about Lok's vision. Skal'nas interrogates Lok, and confirms that there is an Infinity Gate in the Chasm on Tython. The Je'daii seers predict that the Rakatan will attack Tython again, this time with Xesh leading them. Skal'nas uses Xesh's connection to Tasha Ryo to blind the seers. Rajivari tells the strike force on Ska Gora that Xesh has betrayed them, and orders them to retreat. Shae Koda denies that Xesh could betray them. Sek'nos Rath and Daegen Lok both swear to kill Xesh.
Tython and the Prime Gate
The Je'daii fall back to Tython. Shae Koda and Quan-Jang discuss whether she can kill Xesh if necessary. Tasha Ryo retrieves the Holocron of A'nang, and says that she and Ters Sendon will meditate on it for guidance. Skal'nas begins the Second battle of Tython by first destroying a strike force hidden on Tython's moon Ashla. Rori Fenn and Hawk Ryo fight against the Rakata in their fighters. Skal'nas orders Trill to lead his army while Xesh remains at his side. She is angered by this, and swears she will kill Xesh. Skal'nas tries to get Daegen Lok to tell him how he entered the Chasm, but Lok reveals nothing. The Je'daii fight Trill's forces, but Koda senses Xesh and goes to confront him. Skal'nas lands at the Chasm with Xesh and Lok. He reveals that the Infinity Gate at the bottom of the Chasm is not an ordinary gate, but a Prime Gate, which needs no other gate to function. Skal'nas and Xesh descend into the Chasm.
Sek'nos Rath frees himself from his confinement and kills the Rakatan guards around him. He frees the Rakatan slaves and leads them against their former masters. Tasha Ryo and Ters Sendon activate A'nang's Holocron. A'nang says that now that the Rakata have arrived, it is time for Tython to awaken. Flesh Raiders attack Lok, who is chained up next to the Chasm. He frees himself and attacks the Raiders. Sek'nos Rath arrives and saves him from a Flesh Raider. They both say that they want to kill Xesh, and agree that whoever kills the most Raiders gets the first strike. Shae Koda also arrives. Lok reveals that the way to enter the Chasm safely is to focus on the sigil on the Tho Yor. Koda and Lok descend into the Chasm.
Skal'nas and Xesh reach the Prime Gate. Quan-Jang finds Rath, who tells him that Koda and Xesh entered the Chasm. As they descend, Lok urges Koda to give into her anger. Trill finds Rath, and they fight. Rath abandons the Balance and gives in to the dark side despite Quan-Jang's warnings. He kills Trill. Koda and Lok reach the Prime Gate. Lok fights Skal'nas while Koda fights Xesh. Xesh says that their relationship was all a lie and he was a willing spy for Skal'nas. Koda refuses to believe it and urges him to throw off Skal'nas's control once again. Lok tries to use his mind twist ability on Skal'nas, but is overwhelmed by the darkness in Skal'nas's mind. Skal'nas stabs him, and urges Xesh to finish off Koda. Skal'nas activates the Prime Gate and declares himself ruler of the galaxy. Tasha brings A'nang's Holocron to the lowest level of Anil Kesh. A'nang tells her that she needs to reawaken the Tho Yor, but it will cost her mortal body. Tasha bids farewell to Ters Sendon.
Koda urges Xesh one last time to return to the Je'daii. Skal'nas attacks her with lightning, and tells Xesh that love is a lie. Xesh attacks Skal'nas. Tasha steps into the beam of light in Anil Kesh, awakening the Tho Yor, which attack the Rakatan ships. Skal'nas and Xesh duel, but the Tho Yor fire a beam which destroys the Prime Gate. Xesh kills Skal'nas, and declares that he truly is Tau. Koda tells Tau that Lok is alive. They narrowly escape the Chasm as it explodes. The Rakata turn on each other and flee the Tython system.
After the battle, Daegen Lok tells the masters that he and his followers will continue using the Forcesabers, despite how they skew the Balance, since there are still dangers such as Flesh Raiders who escaped into the wilderness. The Masters warn that he could be sent back to Bogan, but he replies that he will never go back there. Shae Koda and Tau explore Tython together and kiss. They walk off together into the Silent Desert.
Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi: Force War was first announced by Dark Horse Comics at Wondercon 2013 on April 1, where it was announced that the next arc of Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi would be titled "Force Wars." When Dawn of the Jedi: The Prisoner of Bogan 5 was released on May 22, it named the next arc as "Force War." Dawn of the Jedi: Force War 1, the first issue in the arc, was first announced on August 14, 2013 in Dark Horse's November solicitations, and all of the following issues have been announced each month afterward. The creative team of John Ostrander and Jan Duursema wrote the story for Force War, and Ostrander wrote the scripts while Duursema drew the pencils for the five-issue miniseries. David Michael Beck draws the covers for all five issues, and Dan Parsons and Wes Dzioba handle inking and coloring duties respectively. Michael Heisler is the letterer for the series, and Randy Stradley serves as editor.
- "Xesh has forgotten much of his life as a Force Hound of the Rakata. But he never forgot these creatures—mutated lower caste Rakata, bred in the thousands as soldiers. As weapons, hungering to kill, hungering to eat. Flesh Raiders."
- ―Xesh recalls the origins of the Flesh Raiders
The Flesh Raiders that appear in Force War 1 are a species which first originated in the video game Star Wars: The Old Republic, and the comic was the first Star Wars material outside of the game's metaseries to depict the species. Force War 1 supplies backstory for the Flesh Raiders, establishing them as mutated lower-caste Rakata, and gives a precedent for their presence on Tython in The Old Republic, twenty-four thousand years later. The issue is also the first to depict a female Rakata in Ceh'let, and introduces the fact that female Rakata have hair unlike their male counterparts. Force War 1 depicts Rajivari, a character first introduced in The Old Republic, as the general of the Je'daii and the Settled Worlds, and builds off of Rajivari's established in-game history as a Je'daii leader.
|Color code key:|
|Collected (TPB) issue||Released issue||Future issue|
|Issue||Title||Publication date||Trade paperback||Epic Collection|
|1||Force War 1||November 20, 2013||
Book Three—Force War
June 24, 2014
Tales of the Jedi Vol. 1
December 8, 2020
|2||Force War 2||December 18, 2013|
|3||Force War 3||January 15, 2014|
|4||Force War 4||February 19, 2014|
|5||Force War 5||March 19, 2014|
Notes and references