• David Amelotti

Star Wars: The Lightsaber Collection offers thrilling, insightful look at a more civilized weapon

"This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster; An elegant weapon for a more civilized age." - Ben Kenobi, A New Hope

Star Wars fans have many entries into the franchise as the story has evolved since it was born in 1977. But a memorable moment for both the casual fan and die-hard aficionado is the first time a person witnesses a lightsaber's ignition. Maybe it's Luke wielding his father's lightsaber in Old Ben's hut on Tatooine, or a master and padawan reacting to poisonous gas as battle droids march to their position, even a fit of rage from a lost son holding onto the dark as the light constantly pulls him back - the first time someone witnesses that glowing blade and hears the hum as it moves through the air lodges itself in one's mind and launches the imagination to realms not thought reachable.

Daniel Wallace gives fans the opportunity to dive into the origins of the storied lightsaber. Along this journey, fans will learn how Jedi strived to seek balance with their blade, how the Sith failed to possess their power, and how the color of one's blade is far more than an actor's desire to be picked out among a crowd of force wielders in an epic battle.

The book opens with an initial 19 page spread that oozes off the page with details of how the weapon was designed to be in the film and it's purpose in this galaxy far, far away that lived in George Lucas' mind. Readers can examine what a lightsaber is, how and why the lightsabers' use evolved as more films were released, and study Jedi training and combat.

The layout of the book is simple. There are more than 50 force-users to study. This is complimented with nearly a dozen different types of kyber-crystal powered blades. Lightsaber illustrations by Lukasz Liszko and character illustrations by Ryan Valle compliment Wallace's practicum of the saga's version of Excalibur.

Readers can learn about Jedi like Anakin Skywalker in the book's opening section, "Jedi of the Galactic Republic." You can learn the traits of the Jedi Council, how padawans like Barriss Offee fell from grace, and how The Chosen One modified his lightsaber design after a few reckless decisions causing the saber to be replaced.

Star Wars fans who love to watch series like Clone Wars and Rebels will be thrilled to see the inclusion of characters like Ahsoka Tano, the Jedi Temple Guards, Gunji the Wookie Padawan, and Jedi Kanan Jarus. This collection is far more than just identifying parts of a saber hilt, it's a character study that allows fans develop a closer bond with their favorite heroes and villains.

There are plenty of Clone Wars characters highlighted in this book but for fun we will include Asajj Ventress. Her story takes fans back to 2003 in the Micro-series that ran on Cartoon Network. Fans of the character will know she is known as a Sith assassin and apprentice. Her duel sabers, gifted from Count Dooku, connect at the bottom of the hilts to allow her to wield her weapon similar to Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace.

Wallace's book also connects to video games with a deep dive of the Second Sister Inquisitor from the popular Jedi Fallen Order game where users play as Order 66 survivor Cal Kastis in a thrilling story. A question many fans had with the introduction of the Inquisitorius in Star Wars Rebels, is "Why do the inquisitors use spinning blades?" The reasoning is explored in this book.

We even get Lord Corvax from the first chapter of Vader Immortal, a VR series from ILMxLAB. Corvax's story is connected to why Mustafar turned into a hell-like planet.

We also get unique force-users that are not Jedi or Sith. Meet the Ren who we encountered in Charles Soule's comic, The Rise of Kylo Ren, the leader of a cult that brings an impressionable Ben Solo to Supreme Leader Snoke.

Speaking of Ben Solo. Here is the illistration of his original saber he crafted when he began his training with Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. You can see how it's a stripped down version of his cross guard saber used as Kylo Ren

One last example and a tying of a loose end to a reference made earlier in this review. The story behind Mace Windu's lightsaber going from blue to purple between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. Sometimes fans want a grandiose explanation of why something is the way it is. But often times things are more simple than what they appear. Over time Mace Windu's blade speaks to his character but initially, it's Samuel L. Jackson's desire to be "The second baddest Jedi in the universe."

Wallace displays a real understanding of Star Wars lore than makes him a master and any fan can lose themselves in the mysticism of one of the several grand creations in this galaxy.

There are times I can close my eyes and remember standing at my LEGO table at 12-years-old trying to craft my own saber with engine pieces from an X-wing fighter. Turning these pages gives me that same joy and the belief that I could wield one of this sabers to be a keeper of the peace. This is an essential read for any Star Wars fan no matter if their entry point into the franchise are a few episodes of Clone Wars or they have stripped the film of their VHS tapes.

You can order your copy of Star Wars: The Lightsaber Collection, right now on Amazon, using our exclusive link!