I don’t know about you, but I have been waiting for this book to come out since I heard about its release. Since the establishment of the canon, all of our old galactic atlases and planet information had to be taken with a grain of salt, as we were not quite sure what was still held as Star Wars fact. Well, the wait is over, and it did not disappoint, as Star Wars: Complete Locations has arrived.
I am very appreciative of the approach that was taken with this book. When you crack open a DK book, you aren’t quite sure if its going to be more fact driven or more story driven, but with Star Wars: Complete Locations, the editors have struck a balance between the two in a remarkable, enjoyable, and inform-able fashion.
Before I get to far, I do want to point out how many individuals worked on this book. The cutaway images were primarily illustrated by Richard Chasemore, Hans Jenssen, and Kemp Remillard. The text was provided by Kristin Lund (Episode I), Simon Beecroft (Episode II), Kerrie Dougherty (Episode III), James Luceno (Episodes IV-VI), and Jason Fry (Episode VII). There are another 11 artists are also credited with additional illustrations. This is a labor of love.
First off, this book is organized by story, and they go through each of the episodic films from I to VII, pulling out all the locations from each film. You first get an overview of the planet, followed by a spread of landmarks, accompanied by pictures from the film and a paragraph description that is part “why this is famous” and part geographical/history lesson. And then you get the crème de la crème. Beautiful cutaway sections of some of the most famous locations, from Otoah Gunga to Starkiller Base.
These diagrams are highlighted with text pointing out in-universe design considerations, story elements, interesting oddities, and the occasional bit of humor. For example, in Anakin’s Hovel, a line is pointing to Jar Jar Binks that says “Jar Jar Binks thinks about food.” Not a line that is needed, but placed there to put a smile on our face in the middle of all the more serious text.
Another really interesting component to this book is the demonstration of the geography of a story. For example, in the Tatooine III section of the book, we get an overview map of the Desert. On this map they have placed lines indicating the path for C-3P0’s and R2-D2’s route from the escape pod, the Jawa sandcrawler circuit, Luke and Obi-Wan’s path to Anchorhead and Mos Eisley, and much more. There are similar maps with paths for other significant moments too, such as the Coruscant and Hoth Battles, and the various character paths on Jakku.
If I had to be critical, my only complaint is that some of the larger, full-page images from the films seem a bit grainy. I don’t know if it was the source material or something on the part of the printer. However, this is perhaps the only negative I have about this book, and does not diminish my excitement.
I am very much looking forward to combing through all the pages for every bit of canon knowledge I can find. To take a quote from the Forward:
“This book stands as the definitive blueprint for Star Wars locations. I delight in them today. Even though I’m familiar with many of these locations, I still enjoy immersing myself, getting lost within these pages for hours. I am that eight-year-old kid again, exploring the woods behind my house.” – Doug Chaing
Well said, sir… Well said…
You can purchase your copy of Star Wars: Complete Locations here.
Have you had a chance to go through this book yet? Anything stand out? Let us know in the comments below!
Jason Brame is the producer of the YouTube channel Star Wars: The Canon Explained. He can be reached via twitter @starwarstce or email.
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