In Review: Guardians of the Whills by Greg Rucka

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*This book review may contain spoilers for those that have not yet read Guardians of the Whills by Greg Rucka.*

An excerpt from Guardians of the Whills…

The Force is with me,

And I am one with the Force;

And I fear nothing,

Because all is as the Force wills it.

-The Guardian’s Mantra, author unknown

From collected Poems, Prayers, and Meditations on the Force,

Edited by Kozem Pel, Disciple of the Whills.

Synopsis:

On Jedha, a desert world full of legend and myth, in the Holy City, two longtime friends, Baze and Chirrut who once were Guardians of the Whills, protectors of the Kyber Temple and the disciples who worshipped there. That is, until the Empire came and placed the planet under Imperial rule. The Empire destroyed the temple and the people fled. So now, Baze and Chirrut protect the people of Jedha, refusing to cower to the ways of the Empire, but it’s not enough. And so, they seek the help of a man named Saw Gerrera, a man who wants to take down the Empire. After all, one can only defy the Empire for so long without repercussion and in the end, what will it cost them?

I perceive, in all things, this truth:

That we are forever bound to the Force,

And that the Force forever binds us together.

What we do to one, we therefore do to all.

And thus it is upon us to grant to all

What we would wish for ourselves.

-Karyn I’Yin, Sisters of Sarrav

From Collected Poems, Prayers, and Meditation on the Force,

Edited by Kozem Pel, Disciple of  the Whills

 

Review:

Honestly, for the first time in a long time, I don’t know where to start. But, I’ll say this, this is exactly the kind of storytelling we need! In fact, as a young adult book, Guardians of the Whills is a literary gem that’s full of Star Wars lore.

Greg Rucka did an amazing job. He was able to infuse Force fables with useful story content. And yet, he kept the continuity in check. The addition of the “Force Lore” from different sects of Force believers and users was brilliant! So much so that it only adds that much more depth to what we already know and what is still yet to come (i.e. The Last Jedi).

The moment between breaths

Is the balance of the Force.

Between life and death.

Rest and action.

Serenity and passion.

Hope and despair.

-Nartun Trecim, Ascendant of Mau

From Collected Poems, Prayers, and Meditation on the Force,

Edited by Kozem Pel, Disciple of  the Whills

 

Seriously, these Force-filled scriptures were the icing on the cake for a fan like me. I’m sure not everyone is going to agree or feel as forcefully satisfied as I do, but this only leads me to believe that the Force is so much bigger than we had originally thought. And that’s not all. We now know that the Force has a long history, one that has not only been documented and passed down for many, many generations but also revised too. Hence, “a prophecy that misread could have been” comes to mind.

Now, in addition to all the new Force revelations, we get to see how the will of the Force connects with the living Force through the paths of our characters. We learn that Saw Gerrera was a choice of “last resort” for our Guardians, Baze and Chirrut. Unfortunately, this decision leaves an open wound between them and Saw, and gives readers that much more of an explanation, and appreciation for what transpires in those last minutes on Jedha in Rogue One.

So, between the Force lore and new character continuity, this story is a win-win for me. From a learning standpoint alone, this young adult book scores a 10 on my scorecard for essential reading consideration. It’s 234 pages of sheer brilliance! Seriously, I can see this becoming one of my go-back-to books for references and connections to the saga as it continues to grow throughout the generations.

*Thanks to Disney Books and Lucasfilm Press for supplying us with an advanced copy of Guardians of the Whills for review purposes.*

Star Wars: Guardians of the Whills written by Greg Rucka and published by Disney Books and Lucasfilm Press is available for purchase on May 2nd, 2017.