The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons
by Dan Wallace
Published by Del Ray
Scott's Rating: 4 out of 4
This is the fourth book in the "Essential Guide to" series. It details everything about 100 of the Star Wars planets from the films and novels. Details include the system, terrain, native species, language, points of interest, and events that happened there. There are also line drawings of the characters from the planets, the landscape, and the animals. They are original drawings by Brandon McKinney and Scott Kolins. The book devotes two pages to every planet and tells where in the galaxy it is located as well as what stories they appeared in.
Before I looked in this book, I was hoping to see several things. I wanted to see original drawings, what the aliens from the planets look like, what the animals looked like, and what story it all appeared in. I was not disappointed. It is ALL there. From the most obscure planet to your usual favorites, all you need to know is here. The drawings were also nicely done and original, not rehashes of the same old sketches. The details on the terrain and even the interior of the planet are nice additions you normally would think of. They managed to do all this and keep the price at a reasonable $20. Great work from the folks at Del Rey, the artist, and the writer.
The cover is awful beyond words. It looks like it was done as an afterthought with a Paintbrush program and a couple of hours work. Ugh. I know people who would have done a better job on it for free. Credit this to Michaelis/Carpelis Design Associates, Inc. Hopefully Del Rey will rip their number out of their Rolodex and not use them again. I hope it doesn't scare people away from an otherwise great book. Next, some color photos would have been nice, but it would have easily jacked up the price into a higher range, so there's really nothing to complain about here. My only other comment is that the listing of where the planets occurred should have appeared with the entries of the planets rather than all compiled at the end. Otherwise, great stuff.
How about that cover? Hmmmm. Maybe I'm being redundant.