of Star Wars’ sense of wonder has
always been the minor details behind the galaxy. As often as the series is
described as a fantasy saga in space – requiring audiences to merely accept
certain fantastical ideas and supernatural powers – the technology and
complexity of the locations always hinted at something bigger just underneath
the surface. Once again, it fell to DK
Publishing to help bring that world to life.
Wars: Complete Locations is a compilation covering
the entire saga in a galaxy far, far away and fully exploring each major
location of the series. From the glistening spires of Coruscant to the inner
workings of a Star Destroyer, the book goes into great lengths to highlight the
fine details of each setting. While these intricate cut-always often slide
towards the technical side of things, what helps give them an edge is that
writers never truly forgot to occasionally delve more deeply into the locations
themselves. As such, scenes like the Mos Eisley Cantina concentrates less upon
how the droid detector works, and more upon who is taking a drink and shady
behind the scenes dealing. Ranging from humourous notes such as a night-shift
worker demanding more hours to interesting concepts such as how Yoda’s hovel
incorporated the remains of his escape pod; each and every page pushes to make
the world ever more detailed and life-like.
While many of the pages focus upon specific
buildings, others cover entire regions at a time. Whenever a major battle scene
comes into play, the creators obviously jumped at the chance to give greater
insight into how things played out. As such, the Battle of Geonosis and the
escape from Hoth provide a much wider scope and examination of events.
While many of these scenes are admittedly
re-prints of past works, they have been updated for better and worse. While we
now have more shouts to series such as the Clone
Wars cartoon, many ties to the Expanded Universe have been unceremoniously
ditched. However, what largely makes up for that is the pages focusing upon The Force Awakened, which are
beautifully illustrated, giving a greater sense of scale to the likes of
Jakku’s graveyard than anything the film permitted. While some might be irked
that it takes up only the last few pages, it’s refreshing to see that the new
release is not overriding the importance of the saga’s prior instalments.
This is an essential purchase for any Star Wars fan, especially those who missed the DK Publishing books of the prequel era. Between stunning art, excellent writing and an incredible attention to detail, you will find few books better than this one exploring the Star Wars setting.
STAR WARS: COMPLETE LOCATIONS / AUTHOR: KRISTIN
LUND, SIMON BEECROFT, KERRIE DOUGHERTY, JAMES LUCENO, JASON FRY / ARTIST: HANS
JESSEN, RICHARD CHASEMORE, KEMP REMILLARD / PUBLISHER: DK PUBLISHING / RELEASE
DATE: OCTOBER 3RD