Thursday 26 December 2013

Star Wars: Jedi Academy

Star Wars: Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown (Scholastic Australia)
PB RRP $12.99
ISBN 978-1-74362-056-4
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Roan has been planning to follow in the footsteps of his father and older brother by attending pilot school after finishing primary. But his hopes are dashed when he’s not accepted and decides to take the place he has mysteriously been offered at Jedi School.

The mixed format – comics, reports, diary entries, newspaper pages, holomail – plays a large part in moving the story along and brings out the personalities of Roan and his class mates. I found it interesting how much the pictures of the characters (all different creatures from the Star Wars planets) influenced my perceptions and feelings about them.

School life is reassuringly the same everywhere, even at the Jedi Academy, and Roan faces the same sort of uncertainties that many young boys of middle school age face - feelings of isolation, dealing with bullies, popularity, girls and growing up.

I’m not an expert on the Star Wars world but there are many subtle jokes and Star Wars references (I did love the ‘barbaric Yawp’ nod to movie Dead Poets Society) and I’m sure Star Wars fans will uncover many more than I did.

Beneath the setting, strange creatures, planets and powers, this is ultimately a story about  fitting in and growing up. Even in a galaxy far, far away...

This fun read will be a hit with young Star Wars fans.

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