Just a quick recommendation. If you've got through your life so far without having seen any of the Star Wars films, but you're interested to know what all the fuss is about, set aside a couple of hours and watch A New Hope. If you like it, watch some more.
Star Wars Made Easy is a book for all of those people who have never seen Star Wars. 'You are not alone' the blurb on the back promises. And it's right. There are plenty who have wasted their life doing other things apart from watching the Skywalker's adventures a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. But why those people would choose to buy this book rather than just watch the films is a tough question to answer.
It spends the majority of its pages recapping the events of every Star Wars film so far, both in short, diagrammatic form and then again in the following pages in more detail. All the major battles are broken down by who is fighting who, and why. And just in case you aren’t sure who Darth Vader is, he’s referred to as 'the big guy with the shiny helmet'. Oo-er.
While the film-by-film recaps seem rather pointless, there are some snippets of information that casual fans might find interesting and some nifty infographics summing up the whole saga in terms of, for example, the various eras of conflict through the years.
Die-hard Star Wars fans looking for Episode VIII spoilers will be sorely disappointed with only a few pages dedicated to giving a very brief overview of what to expect from the new film. Worst of all, with Lucasfilm's newfound fondness for giving its directors the boot, some of the information contained within is already out of date (sorry Colin Trevorrow).
Despite all this, it’s a very quick and modestly enjoyable read, even if you have seen the films. If anyone out there really wants to know about Star Wars but would rather read a book than actually watch the films, then Star Wars Made Easy is a tidy little primer. For any long-term Star Wars fans, be warned that author Christian Blauvelt has succumbed to the dark side and is both an Ewok and Jar Jar Binks apologist. You may not be alone if you’ve never seen Star Wars, but if you start banging on about how great Binks is, you may end up very lonely indeed.
STAR WARS MADE EASY / AUTHOR: CHRISTIAN BLAUVELT / PUBLISHER: DK CHILDREN / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW