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The Essential Reader's Companion (Star Wars) (Star Wars: Essential Guides) Paperback – October 2, 2012
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About the Author
Pablo Hidalgo is the brand communications manager at Lucasfilm, a resident Star Wars authority who helps ensure consistency across a wide array of Star Wars projects. He lives with his wife in San Francisco, California.
Jeff Carlisle is a freelance illustrator and concept designer who has spent a good portion of the last decade in a Galaxy Far, Far Away. He has designed or illustrated for various Star Wars projects, such as books, magazines, web comics, role-playing and miniatures games, trading cards, posters, art prints, sketch cards, and even paper airplanes.
Joe Corroney has been professionally creating Star Wars artwork for books, games, trading cards, comic books, posters, and magazines since 1997. Currently, in addition to Star Wars, he’s illustrating for IDW’s True Blood and Star Trek ongoing comic book series. Joe runs a full-time illustration studio where he’s also developing his creator-owned comic book series.
Brian Rood is a freelance illustrator who spends most of his time creating new artwork for the Star Wars galaxy. His work can be found on numerous licensed Star Wars products, including toy packaging, Blu-ray packaging, trading cards, and a large assortment of Star Wars fine art reproductions with ACME Archives Direct. He lives in Southeast Michigan with his wife and two awesome children.
Chris Scalf grew up in Michigan, the middle child of a single mother. He didn’t have much so he thrived on his imagination. He began drawing his favorite moments from the science fiction and monster shows he loved watching on TV. Eventually a high school crush led to marriage and Chris’s desire to provide for his new family by making a living as an artist. In 2006 Chris was hired to paint his first Star Wars project, the R2-D2 mailboxes for the USPS. Today, Chris spreads his work between commercial art and advertising and the genre art he loved so much as a kid. He still lives in Michigan with his wife and daughter.
Darren Tan was born and raised in Malaysia where he grew up drawing spaceships, dinosaurs, and the stuff of his imagination, which was fueled by movies and computer games. Inspired by these, he went on to study animation and later graduated as a computer animator from Sheridan College, Canada. After a brief stint in 3-D animation, he decided to trade in polygons for a Wacom tablet. Now he works as a digital concept artist at Imaginary Friends Studios and is enjoying getting paid for his hobby. Apart from his passion for art and Star Wars, he is also a big fan of The Lord of the Rings and enjoys delving into medieval and church history. He now lives with his beautiful wife in sunny Singapore.
Chris Trevas is a freelance illustrator for Star Wars books, games, trading cards, packaging, and many other products. His book credits include four Star Wars: Essential Guides for Del Rey as well as several Star Wars technical guides and blueprints.
Top customer reviews
"The Essential Readers Companion" ("ERC") is a timeline summary of the (old) Star Wars universe as seen through the many novels and short stories that have been published throughout its long history. The book acts as an authority on what actually took place in the Star Wars universe and creates a cohesive history out of what seems to be a sprawling fictional universe. As mentioned, primarily only novels (adult and juvenile) and short stories are included as references in the text. Other mediums such as comic books or games are generally not included, unless they were made into a novel.
"ERC" contains 8 chronological chapters, each dealing with a period of Star Wars history. Within each chapter is a chronological list of the novels or short stories that fall within that particular time period. For each novel or short story entry, the following information is given: a picture of the cover(s), author, cover artist, publishing info (date and publisher), time line placement, worlds visited within the story, main characters, and a summary of the plot. Some of the entries also contain background or behind the scenes information on the novel or short story. The end of "ERC" also contains a couple of appendices which list all of the novels/short stories in order both by publication and by author, with page numbers to their corresponding entries in the text.
The prose of "ERC" is well-written, particularly the summaries, which are basically the Cliff's Notes version of each novel. These summaries are helpful if readers have the forgotten the plots of certain books or would like to skip over them but still get the plot. The illustrations really shine, and are very well done. It is interesting to see some visual representation of expanded universe characters and situations that until now only existed in the imaginations of readers.
"ERC" is a must for any fan of Star Wars fan looking to get a handle on their (old canon) Star Wars history. The informative prose and great illustrations will be certain to entertain and inform even the most serious Star Wars enthusiast.
Note: Unfortunately, the companion was published before all of the old canon novels came out, and is thus dated. Such novels as "Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void" (2013), "Crucible" (2013) and "Maul: Lockdown" (2014) are too new to have entries in the companion. Hopefully, an updated version of the companion that includes all the old canon will be released, though I wouldn't bet on it.
-finally, a cohesive and authoritative text on the Star Wars canon
-some readers may wish more mediums were included (such as comics)
I thought this book was a great collection of information. I've read around 100 of the Star Wars novels, and sometimes I want to revisit the stories without having to re-read the entire book. This collection does that perfectly. Some other reviewers mentioned that it doesn't encompass video games well enough, but I did not find that to be the case. The information across the board was pretty great, and I especially loved some of the "behind the scenes" style details provided. My only complaint there would be that they didn't have behind the scenes info on every book... which is understandable.
This is a marvelous chronicle and I highly recommend it to any EU fan.