The Star Wars Masterpiece Edition
Dawn of the Bounty Hunters
by Ryder Windham and Josh Ling
Published by Chronicle Books
Scott's Rating: 3.5 out of 4
This special edition book is a feature on bounty hunters, but it focuses extensively on Aurra Sing. The hunters include Greedo, Boba Fett, Dengar, 4-LOM, Zuckuss, Bossk, IG-88, Boushh, and others. The first third of the book discusses the creation of the characters, their costumes, their weapons, their scenes in the film, and the actors who portrayed them. The second third of the book gets heavily into the bounty hunter's roles in the Star Wars storyline. A recap of the books, comics, games, and films gives you a good idea of the roles they play. The last third is a history of the merchandising of the characters and a listing of all the toys, clothes, and other collectibles featuring them. The book has pictures and paintings throughout.
One of the main features of this set is that it includes a 12" Aurra Sing doll only available here for the first time. The book and the doll come in a nice box. The total price is $75.
I like this book better than the other masterpiece editions for a couple of reasons. The first is that there's a little more variety to it. Rather than just focusing on C-3PO or Anakin, you get to see a bit about more characters. The other thing I liked was the Aurra Sing doll. The first set had an old Anakin in Jedi robes (which we never saw except as a ghost) and the second set just had another rendition of C-3PO. At least Aurra Sing is new.
The book itself is very interesting. I thought I had seen every photo of the bounty hunters and knew every detail about them, but it still had something new to offer. Of particular interest to me was a shot of the first prototype Boba Fett costume - it's all white! Very cool. The book also gets heavily into details on the costumes and their weapons. Did you know Dengar's costume was compiled from a snowtrooper outfit and a stormtrooper outfit? That Bossk has a bit of Rebel Pilot attire in his outfit? These are fun bits of trivia. The other highlight was a ton of photos of the creation of Aurra Sing. Hard to imagine she was only on screen for a fraction of a second in Episode I.
I also like the fact that the book merged several world of Star Wars together. You get some movie stuff, some comic stuff, some novel stuff, some collecting stuff, and more. The book not only features the classic trilogy, but the prequels, too. It's a nice blending of all these areas of fandom.
I guess my biggest concern is the price of this book. At $75, only a select group of fans will be able to afford this. I figure the book is worth $30 and the doll is worth around $25. Does that mean you pay $20 more for the box?
I'm also concerned that this book is going to be outdated very quickly. We already know there's going to be more bounty hunters in Episode II. We also know we're going to learn more about Aurra Sing and Boba Fett. This is going to be important stuff that will have been left out, so the book will be outdated by 2002.
This book also hypes Aurra Sing a LOT. Is she worth it? She's had a couple of comics based on her and a half second in Episode I. Is the hype being jammed down our throats or is this early buzz for a cool character?
As for the book, I loved the photos, but my favorites were very, very small. We got full page pictures of some of the novel covers which we already have, but there's only a tiny 1" photo of George Lucas directing Aurra Sing. I think more of the room on the page should have been given to the new material.
I also really think more photos of the toys should have been included in the collecting portion. A big part of the last section is just a checklist of the toys. I'd have rather seen good photos of the stuff I'll never own.
Did you ever notice that Dengar really looks like he has a diaper on his head?