A long time ago… or rather the late eighties in a backwater part of the galaxy (a small village in the midlands famous for its hosiery), a primary school student could expect to be trundled up to the assembly hall as part of a yearly event known as ‘Book Week’. Here, rather than the staid and insipid volumes charting the adventures of Roger Red Hat and Jenny Yellow Hat, were paper based treasures about dinosaurs and Rainbow Bright. For a meagre sum, your seven-year-old self could secure a book of your choosing and then wait an excruciating four weeks until it was delivered, to be dished up by Mr McTeacher at the end of school on a rainy Wednesday. With a little searching, you could lay your grubby mitts on the holy grail of Book Week- that year’s Star Wars picture book.
And so, Dorling Kindersley (or DK, as the cool kids call them these days) continues that tradition of sorts with their latest visual dictionary. Coffee table-sized, though barely a centimetre thick, The Last Jedi Visual Dictionary is exactly as it purports to be. All but guaranteed to transport you back to those wonder years before the forums embittered us and there were no in-depth discussions about the correct order to view the films (4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 6 - in case you were after the definitive answer).
Though the page count at 78 may seem slight, there is so much packed in to each page that it calls for multiple readings. The best way of imbibing would seem to be the casual dip here and there, for that daily Star Wars fix over breakfast or maybe while your other half talks about their day. Each double spread takes a subject such as Resistance fighters or Rey, and explores the topic to a fair amount of depth, replete with hundreds of images across the book.
It’s all about the pictures. DK have not scrimped on the quality of the images, with even the smallest pic popping with detail due to some very high-res scans. Want to eye up Rose Tico’s ‘Resistance Ring’? You got it. Fascinated by Ben Solo’s calligraphy set? Present and correct. Feel like staring down on Jaycris Tubbs’ helmet? There it is in all its shiny glory.
Sumptuous images aside, there is a wealth of information in the accompanying captions, box-outs and annotations. A good chunk of which, considering the book’s release date a few weeks ago, is fairly spoilerific. Not that it matters – you’ve seen the film 500 times by now, right? Right?!
Marvel at General Hux’s remorseless gaze, Luke’s rainwear and Leia’s Oro-weave bracelet. That little button/disc on Threepio’s neck? It’s his nose!
Well designed and beautifully presented, The Visual Dictionary is perfect for your Padawan and just as much fun for your thirty-something seven-year-old-self. Perfect, in fact, for transporting you to those rainy Wednesdays, running home from school to gawp at the wonders within its covers.
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI VISUAL DICTIONARY / AUTHOR: PABLO HIDALGO / PUBLISHER: DK CHILDREN / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW