The Essential Guide to Droids
by Dan Wallace, art by Bill Hughes and Troy Vigil
Published by Del Ray
Scott's Rating: 3.5 out of 4
This is the fifth book in the "Essential Guide to" series. It details everything about 100 of the Star Wars droids from the films, comics, games, and novels. Each droid has a lengthy description of their purpose, what they have done in the stories, where they were made, their manufacturing history, size, etc etc etc. Very detailed and a lot of fun. Each droid is shown in size comparison with C-3PO so you know exactly how big they are (since many weren't seen in the films). No matter how well you think you know your Star Wars droids, there's probably something new in here for you.
Being an Aggie, I generally like books with lots of pictures. :) And this book delivers. Bill Hughes, who you may remember from the Dark Horse Droids comics, does the art here. Troy Vigil then completes the art with schematics of each of the entries. These were wonderful references, especially since most of them which were featured in the novels had never been drawn before. You'll see things like War Droids, Binary Load Lifters, Vuffi Raa, and many, many more. Dan Wallace has done a great job filling in the histories of each of these droids and gives a great summary of their uses and the stories they were involved in. I highly recommend this book.
There are only two reasons I did not give this book a perfect score. The first is that nowhere in this book does it say where the droids were featured or their first appearances. And since a majority of the droids were in the comics, video games, novels, etc, that makes finding more about them VERY difficult. I would have recommended putting a "First Appearance" mention in each entry.
My other problem was that almost ALL of Bill Hughes art was "pixelated". You know, it looked like it was printed off of a screen. I'd almost guess that Hughes scanned his artwork, then e-mailed it to Del Rel. On some of the droids that have thin lines, it comes out extremely blocky. Since I'm a big art fan, this really took away from the book for me.
The Robo-Dog on the cover. So with those things do you use a pooper scooper or a big magnet?