Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away – Episode 6, LJS 384

On October 8, 2018, Dr. Brandon Hawk and curator Dot Porter met to talk about these ancient books, and to compare them with manuscripts from the collection of the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania. This series is a record of those discussions.

LJS 384, an early astronomical text

In this section of our conversation we discuss LJS 384, a mid-12th century (c. 1150) copy of William of Conches De philosophia mundi, an early astronomical text, and we talk specifically about the astronomical systems being described by medieval thinkers and how they differ from the systems we think we see being described in the manuscripts in The Last Jedi. We also talk about one of our favorite topics, the use of manuscripts over time, and how the Star Wars manuscripts show (or don’t) this very important aspect of medieval manuscripts.

Online record and digital images of LJS 384:

Video Facsimile of LJS 384 (pages turned front-to-back, no commentary):

Phil Szostak, The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (
Images of the “Tree Library” by Seth Engstrom & Rodolfo Damaggio
Mock-ups for six pages from the Jedi books by Chris Kitisakkul

Screenshots from the film and images from The Art of Star Wars are used under the Fair Use doctrine described in Section 107 of the Copyright Act (

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