Star Wars: Review: Star Wars Epic Yarns

Epic_Yarns_The_Empire_Strikes_Back_CoverBy Jack & Holman Wang

Chronicle Books, out now

A very different re-telling of the real Star Wars trilogy…

There’s a scene in the first Doctor Who Christmas special to feature Jenna Coleman – The Snowmen – where Madame Vastra interrogates her, but insists that she answer using only one word to communicate everything that she wants to say. The same principle applies to the text in these three books which recreates the original trilogy using twelve iconic scenes per movie, each of which is accompanied by one simple word (“force”, “monster” etc.) Although obviously aimed in part at the toddlers/pre-schoolers who enjoy such books, the words have clearly been chosen with care, and for those who know the movies, they often encapsulate the scenes precisely, and somehow manage to retell the whole story.

The illustrations themselves are incredibly detailed: at first glance, they look like simple fuzzy felt used cleverly, but when you examine them, you realise the detail that’s present, and the amount of work that’s gone into them. (There’s a YouTube video which shows it which you can watch below.) As with the choice of words, there’s more to the pictures than initially meets the eye.

Of all the recreations, the end of The Empire Strikes Back – with a cleverly sharp-edged C-3PO and beautifully detailed R2-D2 – works best for me, but there’s not one that fails to evoke the sentiments required.

Verdict: To borrow from another franchise, much more than meets the eye. 9/10

Paul Simpson

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