Star Wars: Year by Year – A Visual History (Updated and Expanded Edition, 2016) – Ryder Windham

Oh DK books, you really do fire my imagination and allow me to wander the recollections of my youth. If there was book better suited to do that for me than the Star Wars: Year by Year coffee table book that I found myself enjoying this week (the updated version, as my Mom had previously given me the original edition a few Xmases back), then I don’t know what book that would be.

Starting before that oh, so important year of 1977, the book takes us through the years leading up to the cinematic release of Star Wars, reminding us of pop culture events, politics, news worthy pieces, and things that influenced the making of the film.

From 1977 on, each year has a break down by month, and sometimes even by day, allowing the reader to chart the flow, the very expansion of the pop culture phenomena that leapt around the series. Whether it’s the release of the first Kenner action figure or Harrison Ford’s injury while shooting The Force Awakens, no minutiae is overlooked.

The book features a scroll across the bottom of the pages which reminds us of big events that were happening, allowing the reader to put events into a larger world perspective. For me, however, it’s the strolling through all the pop culture that sprang up after 1977, and the dates, and items are all I here; I remember the cardboard Death Star that I got one year for Xmas, and honestly, still wish I had, the Burger King glasses, the first of the Phantom Menace figures, Timothy Zahn’s first Thrawn novel, the anticipation for the Episode I trailer (and the ridiculous notion of downloading it over dial-up) and no Star Wars childhood would be complete without the Topps trading cards and stickers or the Marvel comics.


It’s all here and so much more. The book, beautifully illustrated with fantastic photos, is a stroll down memory lane, coming to its conclusion with the announcement of Rogue One in 2016.

It doesn’t only follow Star Wars, The Clone Wars, Rebels, and all the ancillary things that have sprung up around them, but also the efforts of Lucasfilm, ILM (special effects house Industrial Light and Magic), actors, creators, and the like.

As much as I love all the new stuff we’re seeing for Star Wars, it’s the early years that I keep getting drawn back to. The first teaser poster, the first licensed items, and I am right back in my childhood. I can still remember wandering a Sears store in Barrie (we lived on CFB Borden), and being able to choose, one and only one action figure. There was much hemming and hawing, before I finally selected Yoda.

Or the time I pestered my Mom to take me into Barrie so I could buy the die cast Millennium Falcon, only to find they were sold out, but I wasn’t going home empty handed!! I bought the Cloud City Pod Car!!! And a Christmas later, I finally got my Falcon!

I love that this book elicits all these memories for me, whether it’s where I saw Revenge of the Sith (Kingston), whether it was a date (The Force Awakens), or what that First Ten Years poster looked like, I can dive into this book, and immediately find the event, the toy, the poster, the album, the picture, and I’m right back in it again.

This is a great book for fans and memories! Check it out now from DK Canada!


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