Even the most critical Star Wars fans will give Lucasfilm points for licensing this subversive graphic novel.
On the 2012 census, 176,632 people in England and Wales listed their religion as Jedi. At this point, Star Wars books may qualify as religious texts. Some of the comics and novels would be considered apocrypha, as they depart wildly from the plot of the films. Brown has cornered the market on Jedi Sunday school stories, as it were, with two previous picture books about little Luke and Leia and their dad, Darth Vader. This graphic novel stars Roan, a reluctant young Jedi-in-training. He’d rather be a fighter pilot like all his friends. This chronicle of his year at Jedi Academy takes familiar Star Wars tropes and runs with them and is at its best when it subverts the traditional doctrine. The scenes with Yoda are hilarious; Roan can’t understand a word he says. YODA: “Ohhhh! Good to meet me, it is, hm? Heh Heh!” ROAN: “Um, what?” The plot rambles from time to time, and not every joke works, but even the Bible has its share of dubious puns. If this book is apocryphal, it’s more fun than some of the actual movies and a lot funnier. One of the droids breaks down like an old VCR, right when it’s supposed to deliver an urgent message.
Sacrilege of the most satisfying kind. (Graphic fantasy. 8-12)