Star Wars Lore That Could Be Key to James Mangold’s Dawn of the Jedi Movie

Bryan Young
Movies Sci-Fi
Movies Sci-Fi Star Wars

The history of the Star Wars galaxy is vast and goes back centuries, but on screen in live action – at least so far – we’ve only seen stories from relatively small portion of that timeline. We’ve had stories that span backward a few hundred years, and mentions of stories that stretch even further back, but nothing definitive when it comes to the truly early days… until now.

At Star Wars Celebration, it was announced that James Mangold (Logan, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny) would be directing a film about the dawn of the Jedi, set 25,000 years in Star Wars’ past and, according to Lucasfilm, “telling the tale of the first Jedi to wield the Force and harness it as a liberating power in an era of chaos and oppression.”

For a creative like Mangold, it makes sense why he’d want to set a story in this part of the timeline. There aren’t a lot of story or continuity conflicts and there is very little in the way of established storylines. It’s a wide-open field of creative fertility. But that doesn’t mean it’s barren of pre-existing meaning. There are definitely many elements of Star Wars already introduced into canon that could lead back to James Mangold’s movie, given the subject matter.

Let’s dive into some aspects we think could play into this story…


In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Ahsoka Tano travel to a mysterious nexus of the Force called Mortis. It’s described as a nexus through which all the Force flows, and is a spiritual realm that is more metaphorical than reality. After Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Ahsoka have their adventure inside Mortis, they realize only a few minutes have passed by in reality, giving it a sense of being almost outside of time.

At least during the era of The Clone Wars, Mortis is home to three beings: Father, Son, and Daughter. They are avatars of the Force. Son represents the dark side, Daughter represents the light side, and Father acts as a balance between them, keeping them both in check. As the Chosen One, Anakin Skywalker was asked to remain on Mortis and act as that balance point for the Father, who was dying. Anakin refused his destiny and returned to the mortal realm after turning to the Dark Side under Son’s influence — just briefly, at this point, thanks to Father’s intervention — after learning his future. His mind was wiped by Father and he forgot the ordeal completely.

For anyone exploring the origins of the Force, Mortis would be a great place to explore. How does the Force flow through this nexus and how long has this been the case? Could one of the first Jedi get swept up into this ethereal realm where anything can happen? It seems like a distinct possibility.

Force Priestesses

In the sixth season of The Clone Wars, Master Yoda went on a quest to discover himself and the origins of the Force. He visited a place called The Wellspring of Life and encountered mysterious creatures that have come to be known as Force Priestesses. They were representative of the connection between the Living Force and the Cosmic Force, and introduced Yoda to the idea that the Wellspring of Life was the birthplace of the midi-chlorians and all life in the galaxy. The Force planet, as it’s also known, is unmarked on star charts and is largely a mystery.

In The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn explains to Anakin Skywalker that without midi-chlorians life in the galaxy could not exist, but they are the conduit through which those who use the Force can hear the will of the Force. Contrary to some interpretations, midi-chlorians are not the Force itself, but merely a method for Force users to listen to the will of the Force. The Force is mystical and can’t be boiled down to the science applied to it by organic beings.

By examining the origins of the first Jedi to wield the Force, midi-chlorians and the influence of the Force Priestesses might really be mandatory.

The First Jedi Temple

Luke Skywalker in the first Jedi Temple
The First Jedi Temple

In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we learn that Luke Skywalker has been hiding on Ahch-To, long believed to be the site of the First Jedi Temple. If the Jedi make it far enough to build a temple, it feels a safe bet that Ahch-To could figure into the story James Mangold will be telling.

At Star Wars Celebration, Lucasfilm unveiled a timeline of eras with accompanying icons. The icon for “The Dawn of the Jedi” era is the same symbol of a Jedi found inside the temple in The Last Jedi.

Very little is known about the temple of Ahch-To. We know for sure that it’s been overseen by the indigenous caretakers and is home to the original, sacred Jedi texts. Could the texts figure into the narrative? Anything is possible.


Yoda looks at the visage of Darth Bane on Moraband
Yoda looks at the visage of Darth Bane on Moraband

With the first Jedi being the subject of a film, one might wonder if the Sith will appear. In the Star Wars canon, the history of the Sith is very dim. There’s nothing definitive. We know that Darth Bane existed and established a rule of two, but before that, we know very little.

One thing we do know, however, is about the ancient Sith homeworld. Moraband is what it’s known as currently, but in antiquity it was referred to as Korriban. This was where the Sith came to be. And if there is something that could date back 25,000 years in Star Wars beyond simply the Jedi, it’s the rivalry between the Jedi and the Sith.

Many Jedi have traveled to Moraband to learn about different aspects of the Force. In The Clone Wars, Yoda was bidden by the Force Priestesses to visit Moraband. Luke Skywalker went there later as well to learn about the nature of the Force, as revealed in Star Wars: The Dark Side.

It’s not so much of a stretch to think James Mangold would have the first Jedi visit a place so strong in the Dark Side to be tested as well.

Bryan Young
Bryan Young is an award-winning author, filmmaker, journalist, and comics writer. He's written for outlets ranging from StarWars.Com and The Huffington Post to Syfy and /Film. His latest novel is BattleTech: A Question of Survival.