- Series: Star Wars
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey (October 31, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 034547760X
- ISBN-13: 978-0345477606
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 10.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The New Essential Guide to Alien Species (Star Wars) Paperback – October 31, 2006
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Top customer reviews
First ... Several species, mainly from the expanded universe of books and games, are included which are VERY minor, perhaps only being briefly mentioned in one sole reference. This would not actually be a bad thing if the book didn't completely ignore other much more important species. A good example is the Selkath, which have a very important role in the Old Republic.
Second ... The illustrations sometimes greatly disagree with the descriptions. Just the fact that not ALL members of a species look the same doesn't help much in resolving this. If you are going to describe the average example, the picture should reflect that also. For example, one species is described as having a tall crest running lengthwise along its head, which is either green, orange, or grey. But then the illustration shows an almost unnoticeable crest, mostly covered with blue hair. The artists went more for dramatic crayon-like drawings, rather than consulting the authors descriptions and actually trying to make a life-like portrait.
Third ... I have never liked the past tense format which many Star Wars authors try to use. Yes, we all know this happened "A long time ago", so most likely Luke Skywalker "WAS" a Jedi. But why overdo it? Humans still exist. I see them every day. Sure, Alderaan WAS a planet, but that is a special case. If Hoth was actually out there, it most likely still is. Planets don't disappear enmass very often, so why do the "was" thing. But even worse, this book can't make up its mind on that. A certain species "was" living on a destroyed planet, but one sentence later another species "is" living there. It ruins the fantasy of portraying the Star Wars Universe as something which actually exists.
I am glad I bought the book. But it could have used a few more weeks of editing, proofreading, and tweaking to really be considered an "essential" guide.
The illustrations are beautiful. Each illustration features the alien species, but almost never simply as we see them through the movies. The illustrations strive to portray the aliens naturally. Yes, most of them have been reposted on Wookiepedia, but in this book they're printed quite large, much larger than the files online, so you can appreciate the beauty of the illustrations all the better.
The big question is whether you should still get this now over 6 years after it was initially published. Well, this book was published before the Clone Wars cartoon, so if you are looking for aliens unique to that show you won't find them here. Also, you won't see any mention of Abeloth or the Aing-Tii - other aliens that have become more prominent in the EU since 2006. But the book does cover the aliens from the original trilogy and prequels pretty thoroughly.
Of course Wookiepedia is more updated, but this book is nice because it contains descriptions of each species in a highly readable form. It's great to browse through. Also, I've noticed that the book contains a lot more information than what's on Wookiepedia.
It's not quite immersing enough to get a perfect score with its somewhat dense layout, but I would still highly recommend this book to anyone who thinks about Star Wars more than one time per day.
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