"Star Wars": Essential Guide to Moons and Planets Paperback – 21 Aug 1998
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If you've ever wondered where a Wookie comes from, or had trouble remembering where that hidden Rebel base is located, then look no further. The fourth in the Essential Guides series offers a comprehensive and accessible guide to the exciting and exotic locations of the ever-expanding Star Wars universe.
As well as some of the more familiar planets such as Tatooine, Hoth and Coscurant (The Imperial homeworld), this large-format, illustrated volume gives the low-down on some of the further-flung corners of the galaxy, including planets and moons featured in the comic and paperback spin-offs. Each planet featured has a detailed account of the local terrain, the indigenous natives and their significance and relevance to Star Wars lore in general.
Obi-Wan may have taught you well, young one, but not as well as Daniel Wallace, the author of this edition, whose obsessive enthusiasm for the most famous sci-fi franchise in the universe led to Lucasfilm commissioning him to produce a series of these Essential Guides. Casual Star Wars fans may find some of the entries too obscure to be of interest, but for the army of fanatical aficionados, this is a valuable and informative addition to the growing body of Star Wars literature. --Ed Maidment
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Well, it's not the maps - these are quite beautiful, actually. If I have one criticism about them it's that they are sometimes a bit too busy. Trying to follow some of the timelines (have a look at The Mandalorian Wars, for example) is really quite difficult. But that aside, I can't complain.
There are two main sections to the text - one discussing the various regions and territories, and the other a history of galactic events. Both are good, but inevitably sketchy. I found myself reading a section and wanting more information. I also found it difficult to follow the events described in the text with the maps, having to constantly look up the index to find a planet on the map. Frustrating. Also frustrating were sections like "A Closer Look: Tatooine, Geonosis and the Arkanis Sector." You would think this would tell you everything you wanted to know about Tatooine and Geonosis. No, it refers you to another page altogether!
The third part of the book is the one most easily recognisable to Role-Playing Gamers, which outlines many of the main planets in the Star Wars universe. I found this the least interesting bit - the summaries of the worlds are brief - but I suppose do contain information that isn't found elsewhere in the book.
All this aside, though, the book is not bad at all. I would forgive all if an index was included that allowed the reader to look up a planet and go straight to the page to read about it.
The art in the book is great especially the amazing detail found in the maps but also in the potraits and depiction of events which are handled by Chris Trevas whose work can be seen in The Essential Guide to the Force. I can not recommend this book highly enough it is without question a must buy for any Star Wars fan.
The second part focuses on a planet a page detailing its history, solar system and all about its population. Again the detail is amazing
The last part takes every era of history - expanded universe and films - and follows the movements involved in the stories, system to system, with an accompanying map with lines following the character movements.
Throughout, the diagrams and pictures are bright, easy to follow and detailed and make the book attractive. My only criticism would be that for someone who is not familiar with the books, and over time this will increase, there is no cross referencing of systems with books, so if a planet sparks your interest you will have to do research yourself to read about it, and without a knowledge and interest in the Expanded Universe the book has limited use. Also, the Universe and films will continue to expand so the book will become out of date.
From a mapping point of view, I'm fascinated by how to map a galaxy, and this book is probably a good as you will get. There is a similar book based in the Star Trek galaxy (Star Trek Star Charts) which is more diagram based but less detailed and more confusing. This book definitely has it beat.
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Excellent, quality product. Information on select planets, regions around the galaxy, historical...Read more