Star Wars: The Jedi Path (Vault Edition)
When I first heard about the Vault Edition of the new Star Wars book, The Jedi Path, I thought it would make a cool collector’s item. After all, this was a book about becoming a Jedi, supposedly written by Jedi with notations made in the margins by Jedi. Sounded pretty neat. I was totally unprepared for just how cool it really could be.
Almost reverently placed inside a black cardboard box, the Vault Edition of The Jedi Path is just that - a heavy plastic case made to look like an actual metal vault or some sort of futuristic time capsule. Depressing a button on the vault…well, I don’t know how else to describe it - it pops the seal. The vault actually makes a pop/hiss sound as if an airtight seal has been opened. The interior lights up a brilliant blue as a platform in the vault raises to the tune of hydraulic sound, revealing the book contained inside. I was so delighted by this awesomely realistic representation of uncovering and opening an artifact that I simply had to close it and do it again…and again…and again. I even re-enacted the vault opening for a couple of friends who are Star Wars fans and they, too, delighted in the effects.
Then, there is the book itself. The Jedi Path is a leather bound book with pages made to look aged and warn with use. This guide to becoming a Jedi is written by some fairly important Jedi of the past including former Grand Master Fae Coven, Ace Starfighter Pilot Crix Sunburris, Chief Librarian Restelly Quist, Battlemaster Skarch Vaunk, Biologist Bowspritz, Seer Sabla-Mandibu, Recruiter Morrit Ch’gally and Agricultural Corps Leader Gal-Stod Slagistrough. You may have heard of some of these elder Jedi spoken of in past novels or comic books. They are your guides down The Jedi Path.
The manual itself appears to have been owned by several Jedi...and a couple of Sith. The list of owners are as follows: Yoda, Thame Cerulian (the only member of this elite club who has only appeared in the Expanded Universe), Count Dooku, Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, Darth Sidious and Luke Skywalker. A note has been left behind by Luke Skywalker detailing the history of this book and how and when it passed from hand to hand. The various owners of this manual have jotted down notes about its contents in the margin, offering up insight into how certain paragraphs or teachings made them feel. They also left behind parts of themselves, including a Jedi cred coin that once belonged to Thame Cerulian, Qui-Gon’s Padawan braid, Anakin’s flight patch and more.
A great deal of thought went into the creation of this book from its unique packaging to the manual and its teachings to the illustrations to the notations left by the various owners of the manual. A burnt poster of the Jedi code is included to add some authenticity. Pages have been “ripped” out in The Prophecy section of the manual, as if someone wished to prevent the spread of the details of the Jedi Prophecy to others who might have found it important.
As I read through the manual, I found that a great many of the teachings could be used in the everyday lives of the non-Jedi. Things like learning to control one’s anger, humility and being fair and impartial are ideals anyone could aspire to. Practicing along with some of the Jedi lightsaber technique diagrams and descriptions could actually give someone a decent workout.
What’s great about this manual is that it offers up a look at the history of the Jedi, their teachings, their reasons for certain actions before, during and after the Clone Wars and more. There is so much revealed here, like the reasoning behind different color lightsabers, the different types of paths you can choose as you move forward from Padawan to full-fledged Jedi, the reason certain Force techniques are never used by Jedi and so much more.
The Vault Edition of The Jedi Path makes for a great, albeit expensive, gift for any Star Wars fan. Yes, I did say expensive, but when you look at the packaging and the amount of work that went into the creation of this item and think of the cheese-eating grin that will appear on your favorite Star Wars fan’s face every time that vault is open, the cost is definitely worth it. I can’t wait for a Sith Path manual to come out. Wonder how they will package that, who the manual would be written by and just whose hands it will have passed through before finding its way into mine!
To read more about the creation of The Jedi Path, check out Daniel Wallace’s blog at http://geekosity.blogspot.com/. He actually goes through the manual page by page, noting certain cool items, explaining others and pointing out goofs. A very interesting read.