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Star Wars Origami: 36 Amazing Paper-folding Projects from a Galaxy Far, Far Away.... Paperback – August 7, 2012
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My two young Jedis are already pros at folding an Origami Yoda and Origami Vader, thanks to Tom Angleberger's books, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and Darth Paper Strikes Back. In fact there is a foreward by Tom Angelberger in which refers to himself as a Padawan, and Chris Alexander as the Jedi Master of Star Wars Origami.
As the Master will probably tell you, in order to make one of the 36 - yes, 36 - Star Wars origami figures in the book, you need to go over some of the basics. My young Jedis thought they could skip over this training chapter and jump right into folding the Millenium Falcon. Ten minutes later two very frustrated boys came up to me begging for my help. It takes more than the force to make a good paper light saber!
A fun book for the whole family, there are different levels of difficulty in the book. In the Index, there is a list of project separated by level of difficulty - starting with Han Solo, moving to Chewbacca, and eventually working toward a Naboo Starfighter.
One thing that makes STAR WARS ORIGAMI so special - aside from the obvious Star Wars connection - is the paper. In the back of the book, there are specially designed paper to use along with each folding project. There are two sheets of paper to go with each project. See the Boba Fetts up there? If they were folded with just white paper they would still be neat, no doubt, but how cool are they with their special paper?? Awesome, right?
Needless to say, we love this book.
Each project comes with a synopsis of the character, droid, or ship we are making, in case we are unfamiliar with its role in the saga. Many are well-known, like Princess Leia and the X-Wing, but some are lesser characters, like Taun We, or the Armored Assault Tank. Inserted between the pages every now and again are trivia pages to test your Jedi prowess. Do you know how many starships survived the battle of Yavin?
The projects are indexed by difficulty level. Many of them come with two pieces of printed origami paper, in case we want to repeat it. I would like it if the origami paper was labeled with the project name. I don't like searching and it's not always obvious.
Also, the origami paper has an arrow on the back of each page. I'm not sure how that is supposed to be oriented when we start working. I just fold and hope it's right. Luckily, it was good when I did Jabba the Hutt.
My son is eleven and he thought this book was too difficult. The children were frustrated at the panel we attended and so were many of the adult attendants. My husband wouldn't even try. He thought it was hard, and the lightsaber (the one we were being taught) is one of the easiest projects. I would say the book is definitely geared more for adults. I can get most of the folds, but the sink fold is extremely difficult for me to do properly, even though I understand what needs to be done (hard to explain here, but the fold is inverted).
For the adult Star Wars fan, this is a wonderful book.
UPDATE 2/3/13: Just to clarify my rating of this book as it was brought to my attention that it appears I'm complaining a lot about this book. It was my intention to alert the buyer that this is not easy for children to do. It is better for an adult or teen, one who is good at following visual instructions. I am able to do most of the projects that I attempt; and I did try to do the most difficult ones first, just to see how challenging that can be. It is a great book, if you know what you are getting into.
Anyway, in my superior Mom moment, I insisted that the poor kid read the instructions thoroughly and then try one of the easiest origami projects, the Sandcrawler. God Bless Him, he tried to tell me that it was too hard, but did I listen? Of course not! After watching him struggle unsuccessfully, my superiority started to crumble and a wave of compassion came over me. I decided to help the poor kid.
After about 10 minutes of helping and failing, I told him to work on his homework and tried to muddle through on my own. I thought that if I could figure it out, then I could go back and help him learn how to succeed. After a half and hour, I gave up.
I recommend this book only to those who already have a solid understanding of basic and intermediate origami folds. The two-dimensional instructions just don't work for beginners. Perhaps if I had spent some time watching the techniques on youtube.com, I might've figured it out, but when I bought the book, I wanted him to be able to do it himself without having to take a course at MIT first.
Editorially speaking, the book needs organizational help. If the projects vary in difficulty, please arrange them in the book from easiest to hardest. In addition, it was even hard to figure out which paper to use. There are no identifying marks on the origami paper linking it to the project itself.
When I started writing this review, I gave the book three stars. While typing, the flood of frustrating feelings came back. I am going to drop it to a one star review especially considering that we really have no use for the book whatsoever.
After writing this review, my son and I tried the Klutz Origami Star Wars book. Wow! What a difference. The step by step, color-coded directions are fantastic. We easily completed the Naboo Starfighter in 10 minutes. I highly recommend the Klutz version!
Star Wars Folded Flyers: Make 30 Paper Starfighters (Klutz)