The lengths to which the underworld will go for a legendary prize is unparalleled. What started as a simple logbook with a piece of valuable information was soon stolen, traded, and smuggled around the outer rim and shady ports. With each pirate, thief, gambler, and criminal who took possession of the book, new insight and details were added, creating the Smuggler's Guide—a coveted collection of hidden treasure locations, advice, and hard-earned data.
Recovered from a strong box on the Millennium Flacon, The Smuggler’s Guide traces its own extraordinary journey through such notorious characters as Maz Kanata, Hondo Ohnaka, Lando Calrissian, and Han Solo. Explore previously unknown details about the underhanded dealings of the galaxy’s underworld. What secret will you discover in these stories pages?
The latest in the “Secrets of the Galaxy” series of reference books from Dan Wallace, that also includes “The Jedi Path” and “The Rebels Files”, this fully illustrated “Smuggler’s Guide” features all the deviants you could want from the world of Star Wars. Novels, comic books, big and small screen characters are all represented including Han Solo, Maz Kanata, Lando Calrissian, Tobias Beckett, Chelli Aphra, Cikatro Vizago and Hondo Ohnaka. The Pyke Syndicate, Crimson Dawn, Hutts, and the Crymorah can also be found throughout making this book a must read for fans of the criminal underworld.
This “in-universe” format of having a smuggling journal that has seen more star systems than most pilots and changed more hands than can be remembered is a clever one indeed. The structure allows for a different and unique point of view to take a hold of the narrative, and in this case that point of view changes as the journal is passed on from one “smuggler” to the next.
The timing of the release feels somewhat fated because when paired with the recently published “Scum and Villainy – Case Files on the Galaxy’s Most Notorious” by Pablo Hidalgo, it makes for a impressive in-depth look into the world of scoundrels and reprobates. And like “Scum and Villainy”, this book expands on many well-known events, locales and characters depicted on and off screen. Events even as recent as those depicted in Solo: A Star Wars Story, the conveyex train heist for example.
Of particular interest, are the side scribbles and handwritten notes Wallace includes which are sprinkled throughout the book. Written by different characters at different times, it’s reflective of how communal this journal becomes and how connected the smuggling world really is. For example, when famed gunslinger Gallandro is lining up a protection job on Savareen, Solo scribes, “Nothing good ever happens on Savareen” Comments like that are common to most sections and pages with Lando, Aphra and even the mysterious Master Codebreaker getting in on the fun! The Codebreaker by the way, yes that Codebreaker, plays an important role in getting the journal back to its original and perhaps rightful owner.
And speaking of Han Solo, it’s not surprising that a book with the word “smuggler” in the title has plenty of the galaxy’s most famous one in it. His name can be found throughout this book as he seems to have had possession of the journal more than most. In fact, he’s the second last person to possess it, and did so right before he died. Ironically, he didn’t get much use of it and saw it as more of an annoyance than anything else. But as you make your way through the journal you see a tangible change in Solo, going from cocky and brash, to open and self-reflective. Take this passage for example near the end…
“Regrets have gotta be the worst part of getting old. Can’t stop thinking of things I said ages ago that maybe I shouldn’t have said. I spent so many years trying to become the person I wanted to be that I eventually started pushing away those who were smart enough to see it was all an act. I should have been a better partner and a better father…”
It's concepts like this where Wallace gives us the most insight into to these sometimes mysterious and purposefully enigmatic vagabonds, hustlers and charlatans. These moments make this a storybook rather than a reference manual and I wished there had been more of them. But perhaps that would have defeated the purpose.
And how Han came into its possession near the end will make you smile if you’re a fan of a certain character from The Last Jedi, but that’s all I’ll say. And as far as who is the most recent person to make an entry? Well, I won’t say that either, but it’s very bittersweet to say the least.
I mentioned earlier this book is fully illustrated, and it is truly full illustrated. Every page is adorned with fabulous images from character art, to licenses, trade routes, maps, event posters and advertisements. It’s a great collection and all from only three artists, Adrian Rodriguez, Studio Hive and Javier Charro.
So, if you ever wanted to know the secrets of the pros, every trade route, shortcut, scam, racket, grift or shakedown, this is the book for you. Heck, it even has the secret drink menu from Chalmun’s Cantina in Mos Eisley that if you order right, will get you any manner of black market items.
And this deluxe edition is loaded to bear and is in keeping with the theme of the book and previous releases by Wallace. Arriving in a wonderful package full of secrets and added materials, it’s definitely a fun adventure just getting to the book itself.
This is a really fun book and a great addition to Wallace’s line up of other Star War reference books. Like I said, it pairs up nicely with other books such as “Scum and Villainy” and will look great on your bookshelf.
Definitely check it out when you can so order you copy today by clicking HERE!
For more great Star Wars releases from Epic Ink/Quarto Publishing, click HERE.
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