Jaw-dropping and stunning.
These were the only two words that came to mind as I dug into DK Canada’s Star Wars: Complete Locations book (updated for The Force Awakens). Incredibly detailed, this book takes us through the planets visited in the seven films to date, and the places we have visited there in the company of Luke Skywalker, Ben Kenobi, Darth Vader, Rey, and Yoda.
As we travel from Naboo, to Tatooine, to Hoth, to the Death Star, to Jakku, to the forest moon of Endor, we see maps, cross-sections and detail upon detail, adding to the reality of that galaxy far, far away.
It reminds me of being a kid, when I would draw my own diagrams of Rebel bases as I designed my own version of Echo Base on Hoth. There are places I’ve roamed in my imagination, whether playing with my action figures, or playing as Han Solo outside in the snow, all brought to vivid life with amazing art, designs, and notes and a playful sense of humour.
The entire book is prefaced by a foreword by Doug Chiang, the heir apparent to Ralph McQuarrie in terms of the designs that fill the Star Wars universe, and also has what was for me, a handy map, showing the layout of the galaxy, letting you put into perspective where planets are, and how sweeping the adventures really are.
Each planet gets an introduction, a bit of a photospread filled with, now canon, information about the world and its inhabitants, and then a few of the locations visited on that planet get the beautiful cross-section treatment. Each one is stunning, amazingly detailed, and I thought it would be easy to pick a favorite, just because of scenes that occurred there, or great moments, but all of them are a work of art.
Some planets, which featured major battles, say Hoth, or the forest moon of Endor, even have maps so you can see where the action played out, and how it related to other events in the area. The level of detail in this book left me gob-smacked.
Need to know how to get around the processing vane of Cloud City and rescue a friend hanging from the city’s underside? Star Wars: Complete Locations will tell you where to go, and the quickest ways to get there!
Want to explore Maz Kanata’s castle but avoid trouble? The layout of the Resistance base on D’Qar, or the temple on Yavin 4? See Luke’s training route on Dagobah? Or the Mos Espa Boonta Eve Classic race circuit? It’s all here, and more!!
This is a hard book to put down, one you just want to get lost in as you explore the far corners of a galaxy far, far away,. and I have to commend the illustrators that brought it to life.
This isn’t only a Star Wars book, it’s Star Wars Art.