Cambridge's head librarian smacks down Star Wars Jedi archives

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Dec 14, 2012

When the scientifically minded watch Star Wars, they think, "Parsecs are measurements of distance, not time." When soldiers watch it, they think, "I could take out 10 teddy bears with that blaster." But what does the head librarian of Cambridge University think?

Andy Priestner, head librarian at Cambridge University's business school, analyzed the Jedi archives as portrayed in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: The Clone Wars and written about in detail on Wookieepedia. In a very thorough breakdown—the kind that can only be done by a determined fan and expert in his field—he declared the Jedis' approach to library science very "old-fashioned."

For example, he pointed out that although the archives are based on holobooks and datacards, they're actually placed on physical shelves. He also found their access policy of "no removal of material" confusing. Worst of all, the Jedi were not allowed "remote access" of the archives:

"Jedi had to find time in their busy droid-battling schedule to travel to the Library, which probably explains why its COMPLETELY EMPTY throughout the episode I was watching. I can't imagine that Jocasta's annual footfall stats are higher than mine and on the face of it she certainly appears to have a much more exciting collection.
Priestner also makes mention of Jocasta Nu, the chief librarian, seen in the clip below, who could not help Obi-Wan Kenobi find the Kamino system. He points out her YouTube nickname is "the Worst Librarian in the Galaxy."

However, the real-world librarian was pleased by the fictional librarians' job of briefing the Jedi Knights before battle and "for creating portfolios of information which were transmitted to the Jedi High Council to help them reach more 'informed decisions'. Now that's more like it."

Priestner continues:

"Those shelves and shelves of e-books and those access restrictions still bother me though, but wait... what's this, I've just found out that librarian Jocasta was eventually killed by the young Darth Vader himself for not providing the information he wanted, clearly a very dissatisfied library user, and on the evidence of the approach largely taken, who can blame him?"

We see that murder in the video game Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

While we don't think Priestner is condoning murder, we have absolutely experienced library rage when our favorite books have gone missing. Good thing we don't have working lightsabers. ...

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