In memory of Sir Sean Connery or a least the SNL version of him,
This Week’s Word Is “Saber!”
I do love Star Wars; season two of The Mandalorian is a family event here, as I imagine it is in many of our reader’s houses. I also love Insight Edition books, especially its Star Wars volumes, so I was thrilled to have the chance to review The Lightsaber Collection. It’s the next best thing to having a collection of working sabers and is an indispensable guide to those elegant weapons from a civilized age.
What Is Star Wars: The Lightsaber Collection?
Few things say Star Wars like a lightsaber. For many fans they are the essence of the Star Wars universe, so to have them drawn together in a single volume is very exciting. This book even includes the first reveal of Stellan Gios’s broadsword lightsaber, taken from the forthcoming High Republic era, the basis of the next Star Wars universe print expansion.
The book itself is a long format hardback. It measures only 16cm high but is over 30cm long with 155 pages. The book uses some images from the film but most of the artwork is illustration. Lukasz Liszko has created some amazing photo-realistic lightsaber images whilst Ryan Valle provides each saber with fine character portraits.
The book is broken down into 3 main sections, bracketed by a short introduction and a spine-tingling index. This book may have the most exciting index in the history of publishing, but more on that later. The introduction discusses what a lightsaber is and how they are designed, both from a real-world perspective and their role in the Star Wars narrative. It sets the scene for the Jedi and their iconic weaponry.
The first main section of the book has 31 entries. “Jedi of the Galactic Empire” focuses on every Light Side Jedi, famous and not so famous. The book draws on many media threads for its entries: the movies, tv-series, computer games, and comic books.
The majority of entries follow the same double-page format. On the left-hand page, there is a character portrait, written description of the lightsaber, and a picture of the ignited saber. On the opposite leaf is a larger picture of the lightsaber (or sabers if their owner is a dual wielder). Some entries such as “The Skywalker Lightsaber” and Darth Maul have a fold-out page, extending the length of the image to three full pages. In the case of the Skywalker lightsaber, this offers extra space for additional text describing the significance of the lightsaber to the saga.
Ahsoka Tano is given two entries, one for her Clone Wars sabers and another for her Rebels era sabers. I learned from reading the book that her Rebels era sabers are are white to show that Ahsoka’s path is different from any other character in the franchise. Similarly, Obi-Wan has two entries too, Padawan and Jedi Master.
The second section of the book is “Acolytes of the Dark Side,” a fairly self-explanatory title for the 20 entries it contains. Here, as you’d expect, you’ll find Maul, Sidious, Dooku, and Ren, as well as a host of inquisitors. This section also includes a look at the saber wielded by “Dark Side Rey” in The Last Jedi and an entry for the “always fascinating but now newly exciting because of The Mandalorian“Darksaber.
The final section of the book is called A New Jedi Tradition. It has a comparatively short 8 entries and includes Rey Skywalker, Leia Organa, two entries for Ezra Bridger, one of which is for his awesome Rebels pistol saber, as well as Kanan Jarrus, and Fallen Order’s Cal Kestis.
The index has six pages of vertically parallel lightsabers with their wielders written underneath them. Writing this, I’ve realized it’s pretty useless as an index, as it doesn’t tell what page you need to look at to find them (for this the contents is much better) but as an awe-inspiring visual representation of the saga’s lightsabers, it’s perfect. Honestly, the index would make the best poster!
Why Read Star Wars: The Lightsaber Collection?
We’re very fortunate that lots of books come into our house. Very few of them have caused as big a stir and discussion as this one. All of my kids have pored over it, discovering bits of trivia and remembering scenes from the films and tv shows. My youngest who loves Ahsoka and the Darksaber has read these entries over and over. He loves this book.
I’ve seen very few books that capture the essence of Star Wars as well as The Lightsaber Collection. It does everything it sets out to do and does it brilliantly. The evocative appeal of the lightsaber is perfectly captured in this book and I think it’s a “must-have” for Star Wars fan.
If you’d like to pick up a copy of Star Wars: The Lightsaber Collection you can do so here, in the US and here, in the UK.
If you enjoyed this review you can check out my other Word Wednesday posts, here.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to write this review.