Becker & Mayer, producers of the awesome books-with-cool-electronic-cases such as The Jedi Path and Book of Sith, have a few new offerings for later in 2014, showcased in their catalog. The Imperial Handbook: A Commander’s Guide will have a deluxe edition, written by Dan Wallace, with illustrations by Chris Trevas & Chris Reiff.
Like the previous guidebooks, it will include a mechanized case with lights and sound, and the book will have annonations from various characters, including a introduction note by Luke Skywalker, and several items, including a die-cast Imperial military medal. Here’s the official blurb:
As the Imperial Empire expands, high-ranking officials from each branch of the Imperial Military have set down tactical guidelines and procedures for all newly ascending commanders. Set in-universe, this compendium of ordinance, mission reports, and Imperial philosophy was intercepted by members of the Rebel Alliance, some of whom also left commentary scribbled in the margins. Housed in a deluxe case that opens with lights and sounds, this never-before-seen Imperial Handbook is perfect for Star Wars fans—no matter which side of the Civil War they’re on.
Also coming up:
Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy, by Brandon Alinger. Here’s the details on this 266-page hardcover gem:
Who can forget the first time they saw Darth Vader with his black cape and mask? The white hard-body suit of the stormtroopers? Or Leia’s outfit as Jabba’s slave? These costumes—like so many that adorned the characters of that galaxy far, far away—have become iconic. For the first time, the Lucasfilm Archives has unpacked the original costumes to be revealed in breathtaking detail.
Featuring all-new photography, Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy affords both new and longtime Star Wars fans the opportunity to examine the stormtrooper armor and discover how it changed from movie to movie; explore Boba Fett’s suit and inspect the rarely seen details of his blaster and jetpack; compare the helmets and jumpsuits of the rebel fighters; and study the details of the Hoth fighter uniforms.
This lavish large-format book not only showcases high-quality photography of each costume, it also pairs these stunning images with original sketches, behind-the-scenes photographs, production notes, and stories.
It seems like a perfect reference for the costumer on your gift list!
Oh dear. Tor’s Emily Asher-Perrin has a guide on where to start in the Expanded Universe. They’re about 50% fairly sound choices… but I wouldn’t recommend Courtship as a starting place for anyone, let alone someone looking for ‘romance.’ Nor would I inflict the Jedi Academy Trilogy, The Crystal Star or Shadows of the Empire on innocent newbies. (Naturally, there’s plenty of debate in the comments.)
When it comes to increasing our knowledge of topics in the Star Wars universe in entertaining ways, Daniel Wallace is a master. His works include several of the most well-regarded reference books, including The Essential Atlas, The New Essential Guide to Characters, and The New Essential Chronology. His articles and stories have appeared in the full gamut of magazines, from the Adventure Journal to Star Wars Gamer and the Star Wars Insider.
Namesake corner. The Mara fan site Jade Crusades folded a few years back, but creator Mazzic has resurrected the site’s interviews with several authors and artists who shaped Mara, including Tim Zahn, Mike Stackpole and Drew Struzan.
Every year, the publishers try to come out with fun books that the long-suffering relative of a Star Wars fan can grab as a nifty gift. Since the holiday shopping season starts earlier and earlier each year, it’s no surprise that you can start getting a few of them right now.
How to Speak Wookiee is a really cute board book with sound board. You get a Wookiee-shaped sound board with ten phrases that you can use to get on everyone’s nerves by playing them over and over. The illustrations by JAke are adorably cute with lots of funny details. And the write-ups by Wu Kee Smith made me laugh out loud. Knowing bookstores, they’re probably lurking in the childrens’ section, but it’s worth the hunt.
Darth Paper Strikes Back is the follow-up to the surprise hit The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. The adventures of our intrepid middle school students (from Ralph McQuarrie Middle School) continue with a case study of Dwight’s suspension from school, as told by various witnesses. Adults should not blow off this book because it’s set in middle school. It’s very cleverly written. Always funny. And it will have you hurtling back to your own middle school days in no time. (Okay. Maybe that’s not really selling this.)
The Jedi Path has been released in book form without the nifty bells and whistles of the “vault” presentation box and its various trinkets. But you really don’t need the extras. This book is really well done, with a nice combination of serious background information and hilarious written notes from its various owners over the years. If you missed the high-end one, don’t miss this one!
It’s just the beginning of the onslaught. And while you’re there, don’t forget your Star Wars calendars!
New stuff! We’ve got an announcement for a Star Wars Character Encyclopedia from DK. I hope this means we’re not getting a mean we’re not getting a new Essential Guide to Characters from Del Rey, since the DK version promises only “Star Wars live action movie saga” characters in the same style as The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia. (Though I do expect this will be geared towards the younger fans than an Essential Guide, given the company it’s keeping.) It’s coming in June.
In less perplexing news the link also contains the news that a trade edition of Daniel Wallace’s The Jedi Path is coming in September.
Video. Early Darths Bane and Revan almost appeared in The Clone Wars, Dave Filoni reveals in his ‘Ghosts of Mortis’ commentary.
10. Star Wars Year by Year: A Visual Chronicle by Daniel Wallace, Pablo Hidalgo, Gus Lopez, and Ryder Windham
Rounding out the list is the one book that has it all. Expanded Universe history? Check. Oddball merchandise? Check. Museum exhibits? Early versions of Yoda? Mark Hamill on Broadway? Check, check, and you better believe it. Star Wars Year by Year compiles over four decades (yes, four) of highlights, lowlights, and trivia – think of it, perhaps, as The Essential Franchise Chronology. But its scope goes beyond Lucasfilm productions. The authors also spotlight various milestones in science, pop-culture, and politics, giving readers a sense of the events that helped shape Star Wars, as well as how Star Wars changed the world. – Stooge
9. The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance by Sean Williams
Setting the stage for the eventual release of The Old Republic MMO, Fatal Alliance builds up the worlds and character types, and then throws them all into the fray against a new threat. Sean Williams captures the look of this era, and brings together some new enjoyable characters. It’s a heist caper that unfolds into a tale of espionage and war. It takes a little while to set up the players, but the endgame is well worth it. – James
8. Millennium Falcon: A 3D Owner’s Guide by Ryder Windham
The saga’s most iconic ship is revealed! Ryder Williams’ text is sparse but clever, the illustration work by Chris Trevas and Chris Reiff shines, and the layer-by-layer design is icing on the cake. Kids will love it and adults will delight in the technical specs and (in-character!) modification notes. It’s a just plain fun book – certain to entrance even the most jaded fan for at least a little while. – Dunc
7. Fate of the Jedi: Vortex by Troy Denning
With Luke and Ben and their new Sith allies having defeated a more sinister evil, you’d think that Troy Denning would take it easy on the Jedi Order, but Abeloth’s demise in Allies is just the beginning of a series of explosive events. Faster that you can say “Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal”, the Sith bring it. Chief of State Daala brings it. The Mandalorians bring it. Tahiri’s prosecutor brings it. So it’s up to a couple of Jedi, and Han and Leia to strike back – and when they bring Lando and droids to help, you know it’s going to get heavy as the Jedi shake things up against their adversaries. – James
6. The Sounds of Star Wars by J. W. Rinzler and Ben Burtt
A book that needs a volume button? Not to worry, this is more than just a gimmick. To fully explore the audio awesomeness of Ben Burtt, The Sounds of Star Wars has a built-in soundboard which plays over 200 (unmixed!) effects from that galaxy far, far away. So you can read about the crazy ways he made these sounds, then listen to the fantastic end results! Plus, Mr. Burtt has enough behind-the-scenes stories to fill ten volumes – and for a quadruple Oscar-winner, he’s remarkably humble. – StoogeContinue reading “Our top 10 Star Wars books of 2010″