Review: The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia

The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia 2.0After going through practically every holiday since 1999 with some sort of “coffee table book” from the Star Wars franchise, you would think that I’d be mentally prepared for the weight associated with it.  Well, I was fooled again with the latest edition of The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia.  I nearly dropped the blasted thing (all 12 pounds of it — I weighed it) when I tried to pick it up.

Still, this baby’s beautiful! Three hardcover volumes in a shell.  (Which is making it resemble, more and more The Encyclopedia Brittanica.)  That beautiful Empire red and black coloring.  Images subtly glowing out.  Each hardcover has its own different cover design. Each book has its own quote for the dedication page.  A lot of fun!

I should caveat this review with the fact that the primary authors Steve Sansweet and Pablo Hidalgo, along with contributing authors Mary Franklin and Chris Cassidy are friends and/or members of Club Jade.  But I have to be honest and say that I’m thrilled with this one.

Inside, it’s liberally sprinkled with color photos and graphics.  And each letter gets a full-size plate to kick it off.  (My particular favorite is for S, which features the Han, Leia and Luke.)

My only complaint about the book is that the type is rather small.  (Either that, or I must finally admit that I’m getting too old for small type.)  But given the sheer volume of text, anything bigger would have taken up many, many more volumes.  And 12 pounds is enough, thanks.

I, of course, went to the key entry for this website:  Mara Jade Skywalker.  It truly covers her entire life and even its repercussions after her untimely death.  Sure, it’s missing acknowledgement of her trademark snark, but this was written from the point of view of historians.  And, no offense to my historian friends, they don’t generally tend to capture those kinds of things in encylopedias.

Out there, I’m sure there is at least one industrious fan who will attempt to read this thing all the way through.  And to them I wish good luck.  But this will make a great reference for me down the road, instead of having to flip through numerous other references to find information.

It retails for $125.  But a quick perusal of competing stores online will probably nab you a dramatically better price than that.  And if you don’t have a wonderful relative who gifts this to you for Life Day, I suspect there will be more than one economically-stressed store who will have it for even cheaper, come January.

7 thoughts on “Review: The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia

  1. Dave

    I am so jealous! We here in South Africa will never get it (unless I can twist Random House’s arm), and until a lot of things sort themselves out, I won’t be ordering it from Amazon. But still, great review! :-)

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  2. Dan

    Thanks for the review, Paula! As I recall, the original manuscript had an entry that read “SNARK (see Skywalker, Mara Jade” but was apparently cut for lack of space. :)

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  4. eeebee

    I’ll keep this short and to the point. I didn’t know where else to post my remark but I’m willing to see how far this goes. First off, I’m impressed with the book set. But after scanning through the sea of information I can’t believe a significant event was left out of the timeline of galactic events. Shouldn’t the destruction of Alderaan by the Death Star be listed? I think its way more important in the “Star Wars” galaxy than the “fragmentation of the Bounty Hunter’s Guild”…or “The Crash of the Chu’unthor”. Maybe I’m missing something?… but c’mon people.

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