GB: Jedi Vs. Sith: The Essential Guide To The Force

If there’s one thing I love reading about, it’s the Force!

Illustrated By: Tommy Lee Edwards & Chris Trevas
Written By: Ryder Windham

To say that I loved Jedi Vs. Sith: The Essential Guide To The Force would be an understatement. I have a yet to be published review of a certain guidebook where I question whether or not any guidebook could ever top it in terms of quality. It’s safe to say that Jedi Vs. Sith: The Essential Guide To The Force is not only on par with that guidebook, but may even be a bit better. That’s not to say that Jedi Vs. Sith: The Essential Guide To The Force is perfect, it does have its problems that I will get to later in this review. However, on the whole reading Jedi Vs. Sith: The Essential Guide To The Force is a fun, worthwhile, informative, and engaging experience.

The best place to begin discussing Jedi Vs. Sith: The Essential Guide To The Force is in the way that it handles the Force. The book has a tough road to hoe in telling the story of the Force, but I feel it hoes that road admirably. The book is told from the perspective of Jedi historian Tionne Solusar. This creates an easy way to relate the information the author needs to convey and it also creates a lot of subjectivity in the material.

As far as relaying the information goes, I really dug the areas that Jedi Vs. Sith: The Essential Guide To The Force chose to cover. Sure, the book did focus a bit too much on the Jedi and the Sith. But, that is to be expected and the fact that other Force beliefs got any pages at all makes me happy. And, truth be told the majority of major Force related events in the expanded universe have involved either the Jedi or the Sith. Jedi Vs. Sith: The Essential Guide To The Force covered its ground well and managed to relay lots of information without ever turning dull or boring.

The subjectivity of Jedi Vs. Sith: The Essential Guide To The Force was frustrating in the best way. As an information guide I feel that the subjective approach of the way the Jedi view the galaxy was implanted in near perfect fashion. However, this did clash with my own beliefs on the Force. Numerous times I found myself shaking my head at the Jedi dogma that populates the book.

Quick tangent,

The Jedi religion, and it is a religion, always cracks me up. They act like the worst of any organized religion we have here on Earth. You do things their way, you can only view the Force the way they think it should be viewed, and they impose restrictive rules on their members that are ultimately unnecessary. In my mind the Jedi have a completely erroneous view of the Force, and they are no different than the Sith in the dogmatic and fascist way in which they make everyone they come across accept their view of the Force as the correct view.

Tangent over,

While I shook my head often I knew that the reason I was shaking my head so much was because of the way Ryder Windham was relaying the information about the Force. I didn’t like the Jedi spin on every bit of Force related information, but that does not mean that the book was badly written. In fact I’d say that Mr. Windham did a great job in writing Jedi Vs. Sith: The Essential Guide To The Force and making his prose completely believable as the words and beliefs of the Jedi (or the Sith in one small section).

The only real element of Jedi Vs. Sith: The Essential Guide To The Force that detracts from the book was the art. Not the art of Chris Trevas, but the art of Tommy Lee Edwards. I really like Mr. Trevas’ art work, it is detailed and painting like in a way that greatly appeals to me visually. The same cannot be said of Mr. Edwards’ art for the book. Mr. Edwards’ style is unfinished with lines all over the place and a look that is muddled in a most visually unappealing way. So many great moments were spoiled during the book because of the dire quality of Mr. Edwards’ art. The same may not hold true for others, but as far as my art palette goes the work of Mr. Edwards was definitely of a lower quality.

With the only negative aspect of Jedi Vs. Sith: The Essential Guide To The Force being some of the artwork that means the book is really good. I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to say that it is a great book, one that truly is essential for any Star Wars fan to read. This was my second time through Jedi Vs. Sith: The Essential Guide To The Force and I devoured it just as quickly as I did the first time. And just like the first time I read Jedi Vs. Sith: The Essential Guide To The Force I already feel like going back and reading it again. Jedi Vs. Sith: The Essential Guide To The Force is a guidebook that is more than just a guide to an aspect of the Star Wars universe. It is a great read, a fun time, an a worthwhile journey through the mysterious Force that makes up so much of Star Wars lore.

Rating:

A

Cheers,
Bill

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