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The Star Wars Encyclopedia Hardcover – June 30, 1998

4.4 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Since 1977, the Star Wars universe, conceived by George Lucas, has been explored by authors and artists eager to build on the foundation laid by the blockbuster movies. The Star Wars Encyclopedia is the essential guide to every detail of the history, planets, vehicles, politics, aliens, and weapons described in countless books, comics, stories, and (of course) movies. You'll find extraordinary details about old favorites here--for instance, did you know that Luke Skywalker helped rescue Han and Leia's children from the dark side of the Force? Or that the primary food of Jawas is the hubba gourd? Endless hours of browsing pleasure await you, from A-1 Deluxe Floater (a luxury air speeder) to ZZ-4Z (Han Solo's housekeeping droid). Each item is cross-referenced to the book, movie, or comic in which it appears, but fans looking for "real-life" information about the Star Wars phenomenon won't find it here--this is strictly a resource for those who want to keep track of how all the stories and characters fit together, the clothes they wear, the foods they eat, and the planets they call home. --Therese Littleton

From School Library Journal

YA-Pulling together data from all of the official sources of Star Wars information, Sansweet presents this alphabetically arranged volume on characters, planets, weapons, technology, events, and just about anything else that appears in any of the various comics, movies, books, toys, and collectibles currently available. Made for easy browsing, the entries lead to cross references and interconnections as needed. Fans may spend hours serendipitously flipping pages back and forth reading entries as well as perusing the countless full-color photographs, black-and-white sketches, and cartoons. A "Source Code and Bibliography" listing provides the key to the sources and complete bibliographic information used. The time line aides the chronological understanding of the epic story. Serious fans will find this a major source of helpful facts presented in a useful format.
Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine (June 30, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345402278
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345402271
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.3 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #968,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you're a big geekin' fanboy who needs to occasionally bone up on your general knowledge of that "Galaxy Far, Far Away", then the Star Wars Encyclopedia is the best A-to-Z quick reference guide to get. Not only does this giant tome cover subjects from the original trilogy, it also includes tidbits of info from the various Dark Horse comic books, the novels (including the Timothy Zahn trilogy), the Droids and Ewoks cartoon shows, and even the Ewoks TV movies and the infamous `Star Wars Holiday Special'! There's all sorts of characters, weaponry, ships, equipment, planets, and much more between the covers! It's also a wonderful resource that'll help put an end to many of those knockdown-dragout Star Wars fanboy arguments you're always having with your buds! Well, maybe not that Greedo-firing-first debacle in `Star Wars: The Special Edition', but you can't have everything! Also included: a quick-reference timeline so you can see which when each particular story- be it a movie, comic-book story arc, novel, or otherwise- happened in relation to the `first' Star Wars flick, which is designated point zero in the timeline.
Although it's fairly pricey, the book is printed on semi-slick paper, and includes full-color photos & illustrations. Because of these two things, and other stuff that makes this trade-size tome a higher-quality Star Wars book than usual, I think it's more than worth the asking price!
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Format: Hardcover
Ever since the first Guide to the Star Wars Universe was published in 1984, there have been many reference books written about the characters, weapons, spacecraft, fauna, flora, and worlds of that "galaxy far, far away...." Raymond Velasco's first Guide had precious little to go on back in '84. Bill Slavicsek was luckier a decade later; the Expanded Universe had grown a bit larger with the new wave of Star Wars-related novels, role-playing game guides, graphic novels, and even young readers' books.
But even though Slavicsek's 1994 and 2000 Guides are very well-done, Steven J. Sansweet's huge Star Wars Encyclopedia is a treasure trove of information about the Star Wars saga's details. Following the same format as the Slavicsek "Guides," Sansweet's large and lavishly illustrated one-volume Encyclopedia covers every imaginable topic from the Rebel A-Wing to the Imperial officer known as Zuggs.
Because it was published in 1998, precious little information from the current "Prequel Trilogy" appears in this edition of The Star Wars Encyclopedia. Also, the Expanded Universe has gotten larger, so readers who want to find out about topics covered in the New Jedi Order series will be disappointed. Fans will have to wait until 2006 to see the second, updated edition.
Still, Sansweet's book is considered to be the best reference work, not only for its thoroughness, but because the author is a vice president at Lucasfilm and is the owner of one of the world's largest private Star Wars collections. He also appears frequently on the "Ask the Jedi Council" forum at [...]
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Format: Hardcover
Since the dawn of George Lucas' Star Wars Universe back in 1977, there have been numerous attempts to document some, if not all, aspects of that universe. Despite some fine efforts, all of the attempts to chronicle its vast and intricate details have felt somewhat incomplete. Perhaps editor Steven Sansweet felt the same way, for he has managed to develop what is simply the most comphrensive record of all things Star Wars. From the major characters and technology like Darth Vader and the Death Star to most minor detail in a comic rendering like the Knobby White Spider, Sansweet covers all the bases. Every piece of literature about the Star Wars Universe (including sanctioned and unsanctioned novels, comics, Adventure Journals, Customizable Card Game) are documented in this reference piece. The true beauty of the encyclopedia is not just its completeness, but also its ability to help the reader cross-reference all the listings. In parentheses as a footnote to every entry in the book, there is an acronym that indicates the source of the character, technology, or story. A key in the index of the book explains what each acronym stands for. Given the date of the encyclopedia's release, it obviously does not include material written after early 1998 (I strongly suspect that once Episode III has been released and the New Jedi Order Novel series has completed that a new edition will be released). I have owned the "Star Wars Encyclopedia" for almost 4 years now, and I still find myself referring to it for minute details about books I have read. Other times, I just sit down and browse through to see if I can find anything new. That is the mark of a truly fine reference document.
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Format: Hardcover
This volume describes and depicts the various aspects of the Star Wars EU (Extended Universe - movies, books, comics, card games, computer games, etc.). Any fan of Star Wars, whether a movie buff or EU fanatic will enjoy the comprehensive coverage of topics from alien species to specific character biographies, from objects to planets, history to spacecraft. Each entry is referenced to the various sources that include it, whether it be from a specific movie, book, comic, etc.
On the positive side, the Star Wars Encyclopedia is filled with interesting information, stills from the original Star Wars trilogy films, illustrations from various artists, and a nice timeline of events at the beginning. On the negative, this book was published in 1998. It is therefore missing references to most of the interesting aspects of Episodes I, II, and III (ep. III not released at the time of this review) as well as any Extended Universe material since published. I hope that a second edition will be forthcoming following the release of Episode III.
** Additional information for the serious Star Wars geek:
I purchased this book in order to prepare myself for the upcoming release of Star Wars Galaxies, the massively multiplayer online game that is going to be released later. As that game "occurs" during the period of the original trilogy, much of the information needed to familiarize oneself with the environment is present within this work. However, since the game creators are using material from the entire EU, and since so much material has been released since 1998; I was a bit disappointed by the information that is not included (no fault of the author).
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