Review: Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia

The heroic trio of authors Adam Bray, Cole Horton and Tricia Barr return for DK’s newest massive Star Wars coffee table book, Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia.

With so many encyclopedia, dictionary, and guide books it sometimes seems like we get the same information repackaged and presented with small changes or additions in content. Occasionally we get a book that does something new that is a revelation. In The Visual Encyclopedia we get what I say without  any hesitation is one of the best systems of organization for the presentation of images and information I have seen in one of these Star Wars reference books.

The 200 page book is organized into five broad categories, geography, nature, history, culture and science. Each chapter is divided into smaller sections and when it makes sense each page is further divided between types or factions.

The visual representation of scenes, creatures, objects and people is top-notch. The book uses a mixture of film and animation stills, animation models, character reference shots, and prop and costume shots to present an incredibly deep view at things that in some cases were only on-screen for the blink of an eye.

A good deal of the information in the book is something that many fans will have read or heard before, but I was blown away with the details seen in the props in particular, this is the first time I have seen some of these items in this much detail. I could spend hours just going back and forth over the pages of blaster pistols and rifles.

Given the way the book is constructed there is a section that will appeal to every Star Wars fan no matter what their individual passions in the saga are. One of the unexpected joys for me was seeing “The Languages of the Galaxy” spread, it is a Rosetta stone of Star Wars scripts.  The only downside of the book is that given how densely packed the book is with visual information it hurts that some of the images are not larger. This is a book that begs for a digital release so that you can zoom in on the various prop and costume details in even greater detail.

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Bound in a handsome white hardcover with high quality paper throughout and full color images, this is one of DK’s best and most comprehensive Star Wars books to date.

A must buy for yourself or the Star Wars fan in your life.

Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia is on sale now.

 

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