Star Wars: The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force by Daniel Wallace
Review by Sean Mason
This ancient training manual, crafted by early Jedi Masters, has educated and enlightened generations of Jedi. It explains the history and hierarchy of the Jedi Order, and what Jedi must know to take their place as defenders of the peace in the galaxy from mastery of the Force to the nuances of lightsaber combat. A single copy of this manual has survived. It is now passed on to you…
This is an odd book to review seeing as it is a fictional non-fiction book. This tome is a manual for force users, a guide to your time rising through the ranks of the Jedi Academy.
The book is wonderfully and thoughtfully designed. The cover is simple – Jedi don’t covet possessions after all – and the great artwork and even choice of paper are lovely touches.
The book is annotated by the various Jedi that have owned it, offering insights, asides and jokes that give the text life. They are easily the best element of the book. Obi-Wan Kenobi hoping he will never have to use a form of lightsaber combat for removing limbs and thus foreshadowing his fight with Anakin is one example of the kind of reference that fans will enjoy. There are also references to wider continuity and the expanded universe that fans will enjoy as well without alienating more “casual” fans.
The book has an easy prose style and is quite short. You could easily read it in a couple of hours but is more likely something you will just dip in and out of whenever you have a spare minute.
It would have been nice if the book had delved more deeply into aspects of the Jedi life or if there had been experiments with short fiction – perhaps case studies of famous Jedi. This is a book for all ages and not meant to tax the reader. One other nit-pick is that, although various people have contributed to the main text of the book, they all sound like one voice – not unexpected but more variety would have been nice. It is only in the annotations that we get some individual flavour.
There is plenty to learn here (although die hard fans know most of it already) but it lacks real depth. It’s a perfect Christmas gift kind of book and a good reference guide. Any Star Wars fan will enjoy having it on their bookshelf.
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