Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Review: 'Star Wars: Jedi Academy'

3 comments
By: Dominic Jones

One of the more unexpected presents I found under my tree this Christmas was the book Star Wars: Jedi Academy by: Jeffery Brown.  Brown has previously written and illustrated the popular Darth Vader and Son and Vader's Little Princess, collections of one panel comics that show Vader's life as your run-of-the-mill father, so I, naturally, was intrigued by the book.  And just so we're clear, this book has zero relation (other than being Star Wars, of course) to the Jedi Academy video game or trilogy of novels by Kevin J. Anderson.

The book is best described as part comic book, part journal, and part scrapbook.  And it is fantastic!  The story follows young Roan Novachez, a Tatooine native who dreams of becoming a pilot, but winds up on a journey to become a Jedi Knight.  Sound familiar?  Well the comparisons between Roan and Luke and Anakin Skywalker pretty much end there.  The book is written from an 'in-universe' style, as if it were Roan's Journal.  Some of the entries are written like typical journal entries, while others are drawn out as a comic book.  On top of that it includes 'artifacts' from Roan's first year such as school newspaper covers and letters from home.  Jedi Academy follows Roan through his first year at the Jedi Academy and covers everything from lightsaber classes to the science fair to gym class taught by a Wookiee!   Brown injects just enough Star Wars into common middle school occurrences to make the book laugh out loud worthy no matter how old you are.

Jedi Academy is definitely aimed at younger audience and thus deals with issues such as bullies, fitting in, and your first school dance.  However, there is a universality to many of the issues that anyone who has set foot somewhere new and intimidating can understand (new school, new job, etc.).  For example, when Roan first arrives at the Jedi temple and is nervous of finding his way around, rather than thinking back to middle school, I found myself thinking back to three months ago when I first arrived at my university campus and tried to find my way to my first lecture (now that an adventure!)

That being said there are plenty of other elements to amuse older fans.  For example, when Roan describes his first impressions of Master Yoda he includes the comment that Yoda "looks like a puppet."  (I hope I don't have to explain to you why that's funny!)  On top of that there are references to real world things, such as famous works of art, that will provide adults with a laugh but may go over the heads of younger readers.

If you are looking for a "serious" contribution to the Star Wars canon, then this is not the book for you.  However, if you're looking for a fun read with a few laughs then do yourself a favor and pick up this book.  Jedi Academy definitely will appeal to kids and the kid inside you.  And it will definitely leave you wanting more (sequel?)

Rating: 9.5/10


This article is an opinion piece and represents the views of the writer, and not the entire Star Wars Underworld organization
This article is an opinion piece and represents the views of the writer, and not the entire Star Wars Underworld organization. - See more at: http://www.starwarsunderworld.com/2013/01/clone-wars-review-missing-in-action.html#sthash.Ma2jvVxC.dpuf
This article is an opinion piece and represents the views of the writer, and not the entire Star Wars Underworld organization. - See more at: http://www.starwarsunderworld.com/2013/01/clone-wars-review-missing-in-action.html#sthash.Ma2jvVxC.dpuf

3 comments:

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