ULTIMATE STAR WARS NEW EDITION / AUTHORS: ADAM BRAY, COLE HORTON, TRICIA BARR, RYDER WINDHAM / PUBLISHER: DK BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Since it was first launched back in 2015, the Ultimate Star Wars series has become a one-stop shop for bite-sized pockets of Star Wars in-universe information, becoming the hefty go-to guide to all things GFFA when knowledge seekers are quickly looking for a fact (or they’re away from whichever form of the Internet they usually access). Bringing together info from the first of the sequel trilogy, the book was an early peek behind the curtain and as such rightly found its way onto bookshelves around the planet.
Now, four years later, we’re at the tail end of the sequel trilogy - now known as the Age of Resistance era - and of the entire nine movie Skywalker Saga itself and once again, DK has assembled the team to come back together to both expand upon what was in the book before, adjusting information within with knowledge added since the 2015 edition as well as loading the book with canon-packed nuggets from Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars Resistance (the Customised Changeling on page 335 is my personal favourite addition from that show) the Star Wars Story’s Rogue One and Solo as well as fuller information from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. It’s too early in the day to go in depth to any extent on The Rise of Skywalker, this book being a part of the ‘Journey To’ program that leads up to film releases, but perhaps in five years’ time a super edition will remedy that.
The book opens with an introduction by long-standing author and a foreword by the longest serving actor in the saga, Anthony Daniels, before the book proper begins. Ultimate Star Wars is broken down into sub-sections, with Characters and Creatures, Locations, Technology, and Vehicles, but this edition begins with a timeline of the saga, starting with the Battle of Naboo and running right through to the Battle of Takodana (not using the current Age of Republic, Rebellion, and Resistance delineations) to give the book a framework. From there, we head into the Characters and Creatures section, running chronologically through the films starting with The Phantom Menace and adding in characters as we go, all with a sidebar timeline to give the piece some context.
Locations is laid out in the same way, opening with a beautiful spread looking at Naboo and then running through the locations of the saga from Tatooine in Phantom to Crait in The Last Jedi. Technology has that same chronological run, as do Vehicles with blasts through the fleet of sir and ground-based vessels.
A beautifully designed book that’s perfect to flick through, well worth a look with Christmas coming up.