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Book Review

Book Cover

Star Wars
The Jedi Path (Hardback)


Author: Daniel Wallace
Titan Books
RRP: £12.99, US $19.95
ISBN: 978 085768 587 2
Available 26 August 2011

There has been a long history in genre products to present them as having some form of grounding in reality. Star Wars: The Jedi Path, written by Daniel Wallace, is a book which purports to be a Jedi training manual, lost during the rise of the Empire, it having supposedly found its way into the hands of the Emperor. Having been rediscovered it is once again available for new adherents to the Jedi philosophy.

The first thing you notice about the book is the lovely embossed cover and the rough crinkled edges of the pages which give the duel impressions of age and quality. So, what of the book's contents? Well, the book is an instruction manual given to new Jedi initiates, who, when they become a knight or master, pass on the tome to their own Padawan. However, this in no ordinary book, given that its first owner was Master Yoda.

In his turn he passed it on to Thame Cerulian, who, when the time came, passed it to Dooku. The book became the possession of Qui-Jinn, Obi-Wan, Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka, before disappearing for a time under the ownership of Darth Sidious. The book has an introduction by its last owner Luke Skywalker. Each owner, in turn, has added; in their own handwriting, annotations to the printed text many of which reflect the writers point of view.

There are four main parts to the book, covering an introduction to the Order, as well as the roles of initiate, Padawan and knight. Within each of these various other chapters are arranged. The contents covers the history of the order and their on-going strife with the Sith, the orders structure, making and fighting with a Lightsaber.

Throughout the manual there is a generous helping of pictures (though no photographs), drawings of creatures and ships and a lot of illustrations, especially in the portions which deal with the making and use of a Lightsaber. Contributing illustrators include Paul Allan Ballard, Jeff Carlisle, Tommy Lee Edwards, Ryan Hobson, Greg Knight, Chris Reiff, Derek Thompson, Chris Trevas, Terryl Whitlatch, Kieran Yanner, and the studios of Conceptopolis and Storm Lion.

Each chapter is supposedly written by a Jedi Master from the order's illustrious history, adding another layer of authenticity.

The odd thing is that Wallace has done such a good job at catching the tone and flavour of an academic book for initiates that sometimes the matter of fact presentation can make for some very dry passages. That said, this is generally the approach most hard core fans would wish to see and is no more unusual an approach that that taken by innumerable technical manuals. I cannot speak for Thane's contributions, but the other annotations capture the speaking style of their authors perfectly.

If you haven’t already had to build another house to store you Star Wars memorabilia, then this would made a worthy addition to any fans collection.


Charles Packer

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