From the abilities of Force dyads to a previously unknown rank within the Jedi Order, there’s lots to uncover in this essential release.
There’s a lot of Star Wars stories out there for us to enjoy -- 11 live action movies, four series comprising 15 seasons (and counting), video games, comics, novels and other books, virtual-reality storytelling, theme park experiences, and more. And if you want to learn more about the ever-expanding Star Wars galaxy, The Star Wars Book by DK Publishing is here to rescue you. Authored by Pablo Hidalgo, Cole Horton, and Dan Zehr, The Star Wars Book dives deep through over two hundred pages -- not just into the characters, history, and technology of Star Wars, but also into how it all connects together, from Alderaan to Zuckuss. Not meant as an all-encompassing encyclopedia, The Star Wars Book focuses more on the galaxy’s most notable characters, organizations, events, and species, and provides deeper examinations for these entries. Here’s a sprinkling of the secrets held within its pages.
1. Force dyads have special powers.
Ben Solo and Rey are a dyad in the Force, connected to each other in a bond that allows them to see and feel what the other is experiencing, and even pass objects to each other over any distance. This type of Force connection hasn’t been seen in generations, meaning that there might have been other dyads earlier. Also, healing by transferring the individual’s Force energy to another is a dyad ability, as shown when Rey heals Ben, and when Ben sacrifices all his energy to restore Rey from death.
2. There is no set path to immortality through the Force.
After Qui-Gon Jinn helps Yoda connect to the Force Priestesses and gains the knowledge of how to become a spirit after death, Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi use this power themselves to have their bodies disappear upon death, and even help a redeemed Anakin become a Jedi spirit. When the Jedi Leia Organa reaches out to her son, Ben Solo, she uses up her life energy and her body fades, but she does not pass into the Force instantly. It is only after her son also dies that Leia ferries him with her into the cosmic Force together.
3. The Republic has specific term limits.
In the Republic, the Supreme Chancellor can at most serve for two four-year terms. By the time the Clone Wars start, Chancellor Sheev Palpatine has already stayed in office two years longer than his two terms would allow, showing his consolidation of power as he reforms the Senate during the growing Separatist Crisis.
4. There are new additions to the Sith legacy.
Fans of the Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith comic series by Charles Soule, here’s something for you. Lord Momin, the Sith Lord who lived before the Rule of Two and had his consciousness trapped in his mask when the Jedi stopped his city-destroying superweapon, has now been promoted to Darth Momin. His former master, Lady Shaa, who died on his lightsaber blade, is likewise Darth Shaa.
5. The road to Jedi Knight begins not at “youngling.”
We all know the stages of a Jedi: younglings train to become padawan apprentices, padawans face the Trials to become knights, knights who successfully train padawans become masters, and the wisest of them become Grand Masters, like Yoda. There’s now a name for the youngest stage of being in the Jedi Order: Initiates. Recognized for their Force sensitivity by the Jedi and taken from their families, infants and toddlers (and sometimes even older children) become initiates, with their minds able to be steered away from fear and other dark emotions as they grow into childhood.
6. New details of the First Order’s origins revealed.
While we know that the military might of the First Order was built up in the Unknown Regions by the escaping Imperial leadership in the decades after the Battle of Jakku, the First Order also had its start inside the New Republic. Agents of the First Order helped push for a stronger centralized role of the New Republic government, which in turn caused a political stalemate, forcing systems that fear losing control of their autonomy to break away from the New Republic -- in a coalition called the First Order.
7. Meet the Kast clan.
The Star Wars Book shows off some of the sigils of various Mandalorian houses and clans, including the signets of House Vizsla, Clan Eldar, and Clan Mudhorn. Also included is the crest of House Kast -- a stylized rendering of a vexis, the serpentine creature seen on Pasaana in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. While a few members of the Kast family have been known, including supercommando leader Rook Kast and artist Veraslayn Kast, the House Kast is first introduced here, and with it, an untold story of how a member of House Kast earned the right to wear a vexis.
8. The Mandalorian’s homeworld uncovered.
From The Mandalorian, we know that Mando wasn’t born on the planet Mandalore. In his entry, we learn that before he was rescued by members of Death Watch, Din Djarin called Aq Vetina his home. Is it his town, or is it a planet? Even for The Star Wars Book, some things are still a mystery.
The Star Wars Book is available now.
James Floyd is a writer, photographer, and organizer of puzzle adventures. He’s a bit tall for a Jawa. You can follow him on Twitter at @jamesjawa or check out his articles on Club Jade and Big Shiny Robot.
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