Book Review | Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary (New Edition)

The Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary takes us beyond the galaxy far, far away to discover the wealth of the Star Wars universe.

One of the highlights in any Star Wars book collecting fans library is the must-own Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary from DK books. There are many editions but with the release of the new films and new animated shows and characters, a new volume needs to be released. After all, it wouldn’t be the complete dictionary otherwise! I’m proud to say that I own practically every version of the dictionary going back through the years but with the upcoming edition, DK Books and the authors have outdone themselves.

Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary (New Edition) | by Pablo Hidalgo, David Reynolds, James Luceno, Ryder Windham, Jason Fry

Written by established and proven authors James Luceno, David West Reynolds, Ryder Windham, Jason Fry and the legendary Pablo Hidalgo, this new edition is the greatest one yet. Not only is the book filled with full-colour photographs and information but every item, character and Planet is described in fantastic, limitless detail. From the opening Galaxy overview to the ending look into the Resistance Ground forces from the Battle of Crait, no stone in the Star Wars universe is left unturned.

Book Review | Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary (New Edition)

The weapons are displayed in all their glory with detailed descriptions of every function of their existence. Page 14 gives us an incredibly detailed inside look at the workings of the famed Lightsaber. Would you know one contains cycling field energizers or a power vortex ring? You will when you read the book and marvel at the in-depth breakdowns of everything a Star Wars fan holds dear. The first part of this incredible encyclopaedia covers the Prequel trilogy era. Turn the page and get an in-depth description of the Jedi and their fighting skills. Learn the Jedi gestures and what they mean. Discover how Ahsoka Tano looks up to Aayla Secura as a mentor. Learn the moves used in Lightsaber combat. Get the inside look at the Jedi High Council and the most senior and powerful members contained in it. Tremble as you learn the traits and secrets of the Sith. Discover Darth Maul’s lightsaber blades are red due to corrupted Kyber Crystals. All this and more awaits you in this part of the book. We then come to the Original Trilogy era section. We turn the page to be greeted by a brand new part of the book dedicated to this year’s Solo: A Star Wars Story film. Sadly, this only stretches across two pages and could have gone into more detail. It doesn’t tell us anything new or relevant that we didn’t already know so to me is a wasted opportunity here.

Book Review | Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary (New Edition)

Over the page lies a section on Rebel leaders. This combines original trilogy leaders with leaders from the standalone film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. A welcome if brief read here. This is followed by a section on the heroes of Rogue One, Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor and alike are represented with a look at their weapons and their attire. Again, sadly another all too brief section. We now come to our original heroes. Now the book regains it’s awesomeness again as we are plunged into great detail about Luke, Han and Leia. An extremely welcome double page spread brings us in-depth details about our robot favourites, R2-D2 and C-3PO. Every circuit and chip is exposed for us to see and learn what makes our metal counterparts tick. Data files bring us more information about each of them and are a welcome part of the book. Every detail about our childhood favourites is dragged into the light and presented to us. Adding to the charm is the section on Rebel droids and in particular the inclusion of C1-10P (Chopper) from the Star Wars: Rebels animated show. This fan favourite appears alongside 2-1B and FX-7 bringing us some of the less well-regarded droids from the saga. We now come across the imperial leader’s section and in particular, Director Orson Krennic and Grand Moff Tarkin. Seeing this duo almost side by side seems fitting even though, in truth, actors Ben Mendelsohn and Sir Peter Cushing never got the chance to work together but through the marvel of CGI and Face mapping, it appears to us that they stand face to face and side by side with each other. The rest of the Imperial Army and their weapons and arsenal are presented to us with full detail. The obligatory section on Darth Vader is a real delight. Earlier, in the prequel trilogy part of the book, Vader gets a piece but in this section, everything we ever wanted to know about the grandest villain of them all is given to us. And for a fan like me, the double page spread on the Stormtrooper is pure bliss. Every part of the uniform is examined and named. It still doesn’t explain why their aim is so bad but after reading the information, I’m going to blame it on the polarized lenses in their helmets! Every part of the original trilogy is examined in which I consider to be the best section of the book.

Star Wars The Complete Visual Dictionary 2

This brings us up to just over halfway through the book and the sequel era. It opens, quite fittingly with General Leia Organa. The late and greatly missed Carrie Fisher smiles out at us from page 220, opening the sequel era section. The resistance and its commanders greet us with information on every one of them. Poe Dameron gets his own four-page spread following him from Resistance pilot to reluctant leader. This serves to give us enough information to really delve into Oscar Issac’s character and we can see what an important character he has been through the first two movies of this era and what a huge part he will play in the saga closure in December next year. BB-8 gets his two-page spread which is both enlightening and amusing. We have come to love this little ball droid and the information we gain from the book can only endear him to us even more. Finn and Rey both get a four-page spread, again like Poe, covering their journey from The Force Awakens through to the end of The Last Jedi. It gives us an insight into their respective journeys and we can only speculate on their eventual fates.

Book Review | Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary (New Edition)

Niiama Outpost and its inhabitants make an appearance. Han and Chewie return to greet us like old friends. Luke’s temple island and the creatures it contains are covered. Luke Skywalker gets a four-page spread detailing his journey from an island hermit to being The Last Jedi. All aspects of the resistance and its ships and weaponry are covered in great detail. Which brings us up upon the dreaded First order. Opening with the fearsome Supreme Leader Snoke and his attendants and guards, no stone is left unturned. Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma are rewarded with their own four-page spread each. And we finally get an answer to how Phasma managed to escape from the trash compactor on the Starkiller Base! No spoilers but the answers are quite simple and are contained in page 291. The entire First Order is covered from lowly bridge crew member through to a General Hux. A welcome treat is a nice examination of the new First Order Troopers. From basic Stormtrooper up to the flame troopers and new T.I.E pilots, this is a real joy for all Stormtrooper fans. Starkiller Base is examined, the first order fleet is presented, the Senate is covered, the Guavian Death Gang and Kanjiklub make a welcome appearance, the Rathtar leaps towards us from the page, Maz Kanata and the patrons of her castle pop by to say hello, the guests of Canto Bight look at us nonchalant, the Fathiers, their jockeys and their stable hands race by to greet us, the Villainous D.J tries to entice us with his lies and the mineral planet Crait finally unveils itself as the book comes to its end.

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Final Thoughts:

It’s an enthralling read and one no Star Wars fan can afford to pass by. It is a pretty heavy coffee table book but one that is ultimately rewarding. I recommend to read it slowly as if the reader flicks through it casually, they will miss all the rich details and knowledge contained within. The authors have outdone themselves with their descriptions and have come together to make sure all the facts contained are correct in the Star Wars universe and from their respected books combined. My only quibble with the book is the seemingly rush job done on the Solo: A Star Wars Story and Rogue One parts. They are worthy of inclusion in this volume but deserve to be treated with more respect than they are afforded. They are bare bones facts presented to us and I can only assume that they will be covered in greater detail in the next volume possibly released after Star Wars: Episode IX. That will be in 2020.

Until then, grab yourself a copy of this fantastic book, add it to your collection and marvel at what it contains. Believe me, you won’t be disappointed.

Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary (New Edition) by Pablo Hidalgo, David Reynolds, James Luceno, Ryder Windham, Jason Fry is published by DK Books in the UK and is available now at DK Books and all good retailers. © 2018 Lucasfilm Ltd.

 

The Future of the Force. The future of pop culture writing.

Carl Roberts

Future of the Force staff writer,older brother of Phil the Cool,Liverpool F.C fan,Star Wars Rules!

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