A Guide to the Star Wars Universe
- Third Edition
by Bill Slavicsek
Published by Del Ray
Scott's Rating: 3 out of 4
This is the third edition of A Guide to the Star Wars Universe. Like the previous editions, it has definitions and descriptions of various ships, planets, characters, droids, and events that took place in the Star Wars Universe. The book has black and white illustrations throughout. It covers the films, comics, TV shows, children's books, novels (up to Vector Prime), and films up to Episode I.
If you don't have any of the earlier guides on Star Wars (such as the Guide to Characters, Ships and Vessels, etc.), then this is perfect for you. It touches on a little of everything and should be a handy resource. And at $16.00, it is much more affordable than trying to go back and buy those other books. The Star Wars Encyclopedia is a little more detailed and is in color, but this is a much more affordable alternative for fans. It also happens to be the most up to date of any of the guides since it partially covers Episode I and the book Vector Prime.
The book also does an excellent job of telling you precisely where characters and events were first seen in the comics and novels. If you want to go back and read more about them, it is very easy to look up their first appearance. This is very handy.
Despite being the most up to date of the Star Wars guide books, it is already very out of date. It only covers up to Vector Prime and there have been numerous books since then. This does not cover many of the Jedi Apprentice novels, the New Jedi Order books, Episode I Adventures, or the latest comics. However, this is the pitfall to ANY guide.
The book also prominently advertises that it has material on Episode I. This is true, but it is limited at best. While including major characters like Darth Maul and Qui-Gon Jinn, it has no entry for Aurra Sing, Watto, Sebubla, or Captain Panaka (among other characters). Since the TPM entries are minimal, it would seem like it wouldn't be hard to cover the characters with speaking roles in the film, but they are ignored.
The book also simply reprints drawings of characters and ships from the previous Del Rey Star Wars guides. It would have been more impressive if there were original drawings in this book.
The second edition of this book said Uncle Owen was Ben Kenobi's brother. The third edition now says he wasn't. Just when fans think they have everything figured out, LFL changes it!