Review: Stories of Jedi and Sith celebrates Star Wars characters familiar and new

Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) in Lucasfilm's OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.
Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) in Lucasfilm's OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved. /

Truth be told, we will probably never get a Star Wars series quite like The Clone Wars again. The show told a complete story, but many of its episodes still functioned like an anthology of sorts — a collection of narratives all feeding into a larger Star Wars event or theme. The closest thing might be books like Stories of Jedi and Sith — the very sort of collection of tales that enrich Star Wars in ways not many other forms of media can.

Stories of Jedi and Sith is an anthology made up of 10 stories written by 10 separate authors — some familiar to the franchise, others newer to the scene. Each story features a different character or set of characters across different eras of a galaxy far, far away — beginning with The High Republic and ending with a Rey-centered tale. All these narratives revolve around the Force, the people who wield it, and how it defines them … and how it affects those around them.

Revenge of the Sith
Ian McDiarmid (Emperor Palpatine) and Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker) in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005). © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

But it dives so much deeper than that. Touching on themes of trauma, and identity, and changing perspectives. This is what makes this book truly special; these stories are for everyone. This may not be the adult Star Wars novel you’re familiar with, but that doesn’t make it any less important, insightful, or powerful. In fact, the short story format sets a foundation for tales that hit even harder than longer stories broken up by chapters. Each writer only gets so much space to make their point, and every story lands exactly as intended. Some are comical. Some are heartbreaking. But every single one speaks to the larger Star Wars story. What does it mean to be a Jedi? What happens when you judge someone without knowing what they’re really about? How can you trust others if you don’t even trust yourself?

It’s the kind of book you’ll pick up again — it’s easy to go back through it and revisit different stories at different times. Re-experience your favorites. Give your least favorites another chance. See things you may have missed the first time, perhaps. Pick out quotes that speak to you and the parts of Star Wars storytelling that stick with you most.

General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) in STAR WARS: EPISODE IX
General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) in STAR WARS: EPISODE IX /

Here is each story, who wrote it, and when it relatively takes place on the timeline:

  • “What a Jedi Makes” by Michael Kogge (The High Republic)
  • “Resolve” by Alex Segura (pre-Prequels)
  • “The Eye of the Beholder” by Sarwat Chadda (Clone Wars)
  • “A Jedi’s Duty” by Karen Strong (Clone Wars)
  • “Worthless” by Delilah S. Dawson (Clone Wars)
  • “The Ghosts of Maul” by Michael Morreci (post-Clone Wars)
  • “Blood Moon Uprising” by Vera Strange (pre-Original Trilogy)
  • “Luke on the Bright Side” by Sam Maggs (Original Trilogy)
  • “Masters” by Tessa Gratton (Original Trilogy)
  • “Through the Turbulence” by Roseanne A. Brown (Sequel Trilogy)

All these stories, combined with breathtaking illustrations by Jake Bartok, creates a truly marvelous package. It’s like a gift, as so many Star Wars books are to those who read them.

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Don’t skip this book because it’s a short story anthology, or because it’s not an adult novel. Set across multiple eras in the Star Wars timeline, a mix of familiar and new characters, and a series of expertly written narratives, Stories of Jedi and Sith contains something for every Star Wars fan no matter their favorite elements of the franchise. It enhances so many stories that have come before, and paves the way for many more stories to come after.

I hope this isn’t the last Star Wars anthology like this. If you’re intrigued by the premise, show your support by purchasing a copy of the hook for yourself or someone you know, and/or telling the authors and publisher how much it means to you. It makes all the difference.

Stories of Jedi and Sith is available now wherever Star Wars books are sold.

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