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Star Wars: Galactic Maps Book Review

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“Star Wars: Galactic Maps” is a surprising gem.

At first glance the oversized hardcover book “Star Wars: Galactic Maps” appears to be another in universe book, but that’s not quite the case. While author Emil Fortune’s book is designed to be a collection of drawings collected by an archive in the Star Wars universe, the in universe element comes off as a side note. The book mostly comes off as material that represents canon as a whole from the films, TV series, books, and comics.

While “Star Wars: Galactic Maps” does indeed contain maps of planet environments (which I will get to shortly), there is more than just that. The book contains a timeline of events from the prequels through “The Force Awakens,” profiles of historical figures/characters through all films and shows, information on all planets listed in these pages and a map of the galaxy which shows where the planets are in relation to one another. The bulk of the book contains full 2 page illustrated spreads of certain planets such as Tatooine, Coruscant, Jedha, Jakku, Endor, Lothal, etc. To give you an example of what these spreads like, let me use Yavin 4 as an example. Artist Tim McDonagh does not give a full rundown of the entire planet layout but instead takes a sort of “Where’s Waldo?” esque approach by showcasing landmarks, creatures, places where film, show, and comic book events took place (in this case the locations of the award ceremony in Episode 4 and the spot where Poe’s parents plant a force sensitive tree). If you turn the page, you get an event related to Yavin 4 with the Battle of Yavin which pictures the Rebels and Imperial pilots that fought there including Ciena Ree from the great “Star Wars: Lost Stars” novel.

Of all of the tie-in books released with “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Star Wars: Galactic Maps” was not one that was on my radar, but I am certainly glad I received this title for review. While some fans may take issue with the fact that it is not comprehensive and that certain details are missing (the lack of Scarif and Vader’s castle on Mustafar immediately come to mind), that should not sway fans from not checking this book out as it is a fun read. This is the type of book SW fans can pour over for hours on end. Not only is it pleasing to look at thanks to the detailed and colorful art by Tim McDonagh, but it’s also loved with material from all facets of canon. Personally, I was thrilled to see that this book was not just limited to film canon and that content from other canon such as “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” “Star Wars Rebels,” SW books and comics, and, yes, even the Ewok films were included. Non film canon is such a major part of the universe and it was very rewarding to see that it was not glossed over here. If anything, it made the book even more enjoyable to see things such as a Loth Cat, Mortis, and Clone Wars events on Rodia.

The only real downside here is that not every planet gets a full spread. It would have been nice to see Alderaan or Hosnian Prime get that treatment, but that could certainly happen down the line in a future updated release.

Overall Thoughts: “Star Wars: Galactic Maps” is a delightful book that will especially appeal to hardcore fans.

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January 8, 2017 - Posted by | Book review | , , , , , , ,

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