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Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force (Star Wars) Paperback – November 27, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ryder Windham is the author of more than fifty Star Wars books, including Star Wars: The Complete Vader and Millennium Falcon: A 3-D Owner s Manual. A former graphic designer and comic book editor, he is an instructor and the Certificate Advisor for the Comic and Sequential Art Program at Rhode Island School of Design Continuing Education and an honorary member of the 501st Legion. He resides with his family in Providence, Rhode Island.
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Product Details

  • Series: Star Wars
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; First Print edition (November 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780345493347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345493347
  • ASIN: 0345493346
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.6 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Adrian Ion on December 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
The "Essential Guide" series to the Star Wars universe has (perhaps surprisingly) never had a book devoted entirely to the "Force". And this one does not disappoint! The attempt at an "in-universe" historical style (supposedly, the "author" is a Jedi in the New Jedi Order) makes it immersive and fun to read. The information deals with a wide variety of Force-related subjects that any Star Wars fan would be interested in: from the origins and history of the Jedi and Sith orders to the construction of lightsabers and Jedi martial arts. The only thing that I personally felt to be missing is a more "scientific" or "physical" explanation of the Force and its workings (like in-universe scientific theories on how the Force is produced and how it interacts with regular matter and energy), but that might have conflicted with the "historian's perspective" that it adopts instead.
Despite any shortcomings in the text itself, however, the illustrations alone make it worth the complete 5 stars! They are simply breathtaking... and the amount of time and sweat put into them by the artists must have been staggering. It's strange to say it, but it feels more like an art book than a dry listing of Star Wars lore! Any Star Wars fan would love these wonderful works of art!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is necessary for all fans. It's like.. the Star Wars Bible!
It's a canon in-universe source as well!
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Wookieepedia Page - [...]

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So Basically This is a Historical (in-universe) Text. It is written by Tionne Solusar in the year 40 A.B.Y; for those who do not know she is a Jedi Historian. Her subject is to explain the conflict between the Jedi and the Sith from it's beginnings to as far as she can tell (40aby, but another takes over in the end to tell the Legacy comics stuff which is RAD). She is a Historian first and a Jedi second she says basically and she takes a neutral stance on the facts.

There are also, First-Hand Accounts from characters. Like just straight-up transcripts of Holocrons. There's things like Mace Windu explaining Vaapad, Luke Skywalker expressing his views on the Dark Side and the mistakes he made during his training (Episode V), Dooku giving an account of pretty much everything he did becoming a Sith and his views on the force. [some of these have completely changed the way I view parts of the movies]

Part 1 is an incredible timeline, and the basic history of everything from the 100yrs Darkness, the Great Hyperspace War etc up to Luke Skywalker's Duel with Lumiya.

Part 2 is about the Jedi. You get things like Cin Drallig's actual classes (from a recording), Descriptions of Force-Abilities, all the different lightside views on the force, Lightsaber Combat etc.

That's all I'll go into for more info check out the Wookieepedia Page

The best part is the Index in the back. If you aren't convinced you need this book. Go to Borders or whatever read the Intro by Tionne Solusar and lookup some favorite characters in the index to see how many pages they are on cause they really crammed almost everything into this.

Oh and the art is just.... Incredible. When I got mine I spent 2 hours just looking at the pictures alone.. It's amazing
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Format: Paperback
First, the book is beautiful and I love it. I certainly don't regret buying it.

Second, I am disappointed in it. I, too, was hoping for more philosophical meat.

The art is amazing - I have to constantly resist the temptation to cut out pages and frame them! I'm glad I never bought the Essential Chronology because this is enough of a chronology plus oodles of other historical details. I think it's superior to the Essential Chronology.

What this book lacks (and I know I'm not alone in thinking these are what people expected the book to contain):

This book lacks descriptions of The Force. Surprising, huh?

The book IS a great history of the Jedi and Sith. It also goes in depth into different Force powers (which, honestly, I could have done without)and construction of light sabers and schools of light saber fighting styles. So, if, when reading the novels you just can't get enough of Mace Windu discussing Vapaad, well, you'll like this book. But, again, this book is a history of people, events, and techniques.

This book IS NOT about the Force.

I thought I was just being picky when I couldn't find anything to explain the difference between the Living Force and the Unifying Force. But then another review pointed out something even more conspicuous by its abscence and I couldn't believe I didn't notice it - NO discussion of light versus dark! There are countless lists and entries about people who are on the light or dark side but very little discussion of what that means or what their motives are. Although, you do get entries "written" by Luke Skywalker and Count Dooku about their experiences with the dark side.

And THAT is, for me, the selling point of the book.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Length: 2:24 Mins
Coming in at a heavy 231 pages, Star Wars: The Essential guide to the Force offers a very large overview of the history of the Force and the people who shaped our understanding of it. Here is a list of what the book offers.

Contents
1- History and holocrons - Covers the history of Holocrons, Significant battles
2- The Jedi - Jedi evolution, Force-sensitive abilities, Jedi spirits, Detecting Jedi powers, The Force as a source of energy, Force anomalies, Lightsabers
3- The Dark Side - Dark Jedi. Dark side disciples, Under Exar Kun's influence, Luke Skywalker on the Dark Side
4- The Sith - The Darth title, Gatekeeper of the Telos holocron, The Dark Side compendium
5- Other Force-using organizations
6- The Chosen One

PROS:
1- The quality of both the paper and the printing is outstanding.
2- The images, both artistic drawings for the book and the images that were done for the comic books, are great.
3- The book covers a wide array of both historical and personal events that formed the Jedi order and the Sith.
4- The writing, which is in first-person, gives the reader a more personal connection to the words on the page.
5- Gives the reader a glimpse into the future of the franchise with information that is beyond the current novels.
6- Covers more than just the Jedi and the Sith. The book delves into more information of lesser known characters.
7- Gives information on technology, teachings and religions of both the Sith and Jedi.

CONS:
1- Doesn't give any more information into what the Force truly is. It has been described as a religion and/or a practice. It would have been nice to learn more of the science or faith behind the mystical power that surrounds us all.

All Feedback is Appreciated. Thanks and good reading.
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