Out today is the latest Star Wars reference book from publisher DK. Ultimate Star Wars is a enormous hardcover book spanning 320 pages and weighing in at over 4 pounds. The work of co-authors Ryder Windham, Adam Bray, Daniel Wallace and Tricia Barr the book also features a foreword by actor Anthony Daniels.
Ultimate Star Wars is a gorgeous book, pulling images from the films, television shows, still photography and images of props and models it is a feast for the eyes that you soon realize is only an appetizer for the main course of Star Wars knowledge that you can gorge yourself on.
I consider myself a pretty well read and knowledgeable Star Wars fan, but in this new canon reality in which we live there is much that I have learned that I need to unlearn. So I was excited to dig into this book to see what it had to offer. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book had a bunch of information that was new to me. This is a pretty big feat for a Star Wars reference book to accomplish.
The book covers all of the films, The Clone Wars, and Star Wars Rebels and also includes information from some of the new books by Del Rey and even includes characters from the mobile game Star Wars Commander. To the best of my reading I don’t see any reference to the new Marvel comics in the book, but that is likely more a factor of publishing deadlines than anything else. There also is not anything overtly related to The Force Awakens in the book.
The book presents information in a variety of ways, particular scenes are highlighted with 2-page spreads, characters have individual entries that range from thumbnail to 2-page spreads and there are two different formats of timelines, a larger bubble timeline and a smaller sidebar individual character timeline. There are also a few short behind the scenes sections, which in all honesty are probably the weakest section of the book, because they just don’t have as much space to go in-depth as the other sections.
The book includes a tremendous index in the back for easy reference and a consistent format which makes looking for the information you are looking for pretty easy.
There are some obvious mistakes in the book, but that happens in most published works. The other big critique for me as a reader as some of the entries seem truncated in a way while others seem much more complete or up to date regarding a character or event.
A curious thing is in spite of having multiple timelines in the book, they are pretty vague about dating in most situations. I am curious if this is going to be more of an effort from the Story Group going forward to be less exact with dating, putting stuff in sequence but being a little more vague to help them fudge any conflicts that arise.
All in all I really enjoyed DK’s Ultimate Star Wars book, something I can’t say for many of the more general saga reference books.
Editor’s Note: A review copy was provided by the publisher for the purposes of this review.