Star Wars -
The Visual Dictionary
by David West Reynolds
Published by DK Publishing
Scott's Rating: 4 out of 4
This hardback book contains detailed descriptions of the Star Wars weapons, costumes, hardware, droids, etc. It takes close-up shots of the props, then points out what does what on each one. For example, there's a good shot of a lightsaber, and each part is described and it's function is listed. Spiffy! In some cases, they also crack open the props (by a little Photoshop magic, maybe) and let you peek inside. For example, C-3PO's leg is opened up and you get to see the wiring underneath. May be important in the prequels, so take note. :)
This is a pretty cool book. It takes the same old prop shots you've seen before and makes them a little bit more interesting. And to assign a function to every little doodad in these kit-bashed props is pretty imaginative. But as many shots from the Lucasfilm archives as we've seen published so far, there are still a lot of new ones in here too. There's even a little humor thrown in when they point out "Lando's winning smile" in one shot. This is actually what I hoped the book about the Smithsonian exhibit of the props would be like, but it wasn't. Overall, worth your $20.
The book is a real odd size. It's around 16 inches by 12 inches. It will not fit well on your shelf.
Good luck finding a mint condition copy. I'm sure the little monkeys in the store will have bent the pages and ripped the dust jacket if you wait too long to pick it up.