Star Wars: Review: Ultimate Star Wars

Ultimate Star WarsBy Tricia Barr, Adam Bray, Ryder Windham, and Daniel Wallace

DK Publishing, out now

A chronological guide to the characters, locations, technology and vehicles of the canonical Star Wars saga…

And so it begins. You may have seen some of the greetings cards in the shops, and a few other items relating to George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away, but for the next three and a half months, until the release of The Force Awakens in mid-December, Star Wars is going to be coming at you relentlessly. Reworkings of the original movie trilogy storylines, new books interpolated into the mix, tales – such as Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath – that start to set the scene for Episode VII… they’re all going to be vying for attention.

DK gets a head start though with this glorious volume. It’s pricey, but if you’re a Star Wars fan – particularly if you’ve not invested the time watching the many hours of the animated TV series – then it’s worth every penny. The events of The Clone Wars and Rebels are deemed to be canonical (rather than being shunted off to be part of the Legends universe), so they are given weight in this book, with an extremely handy timeline starting off each section, filling in the gaps for those who have stuck to the cinema versions.

The entries are chronological by first appearance in the Star Wars universe, rather than in order of creation, so you get spoilers for Senator Palpatine from the word go! As you might expect, the attention to detail is paramount, with clear pictures and sometimes brief text neatly summarising the key points. There are a few pullouts on the “real” world, but the focus is very much on the in-universe material.

I’m sure that later reprints of this (which will inevitably follow to incorporate The Force Awakens) will have to reorder some pages as Rebels becomes increasingly engaged with the “main” storyline during its second season, but this certainly gives an extremely useful snapshot of things as they currently stand.

Verdict: A highly useful guide to all things officially Star Wars. 9/10

Paul Simpson

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