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The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Volume 1: A-G
Stephen J. Sansweet, Pablo Hidalgo, Bob Vitas, Daniel Wallace, with Josh Kushins, Chris Cassidy & Mary Franklin
Del Rey, 379 pages

The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
Stephen J. Sansweet
Stephen J. Sansweet was born 1945. He is the Director of Content Management and Head of Fan Relations at Lucasfilm and the author of fourteen books, twelve of them about Star Wars. He is also the owner of the world's largest private collection of Star Wars memorabilia. After he relocated to Northern California to be closer to his new office at Skywalker Ranch, he bought a former chicken ranch and refurbished its barn to house his collection. The property was renamed Rancho Obi-Wan.

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A review by David Maddox

The Star Wars Universe has spawned not only characters, but races, planets, ships, customs, religious beliefs and, well let's face it, an entire working universe. What better way to catalog it all than with The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, a three-book hardcover boxed set designed to encompass all of George Lucas' incredible vision.

Having just been given the Volume I, A-G, to review, I can safely say that it is, indeed, as complete as one can get. Helmed by Star Wars archivist and collection guru Steve Sansweet, and added to by a multitude of Star Wars enthusiasts, researchers and know-it-alls, each entry contains a well crafted description of the character, event, object, planet or miscellaneous minutia that will amaze the most casual to the hardcore Star Wars fan.

The books cover the natives and customs of planets, rituals and secrets of Jedi and Sith as well as including a timeline of just about all the major events in the Star Wars Universe and the Expanded Universe to boot. Readers can look up information on the Fetts (Boba and Jango) or even lesser know Twi'Lek Jedi Knight Tott Doneeta. The book takes the reader from the early events of the Sith Era right through the brutal Yuuzhan Vong war.

However, as with much exciting collector edition "complete" books like this it does suffer from being immediately outdated. After all the Legacy of the Force series introducing us to Darth Cadeus has already come and gone and now the Fate of the Jedi novels are beginning. Not to mention how everything will be thrown into upheaval when the new TV series hits the screens with all the characters introduced therein. But I suppose this just leaves collectors open for the updated edition.

Still the book has lots of great illustration, photos, publicity shots and interpretations of so much of the Star Wars Universe that it's hard not to get sucked into this amazing in-depth world. As advertised, it does make a phenomenal gift for the Star Wars fan as well as more than enough research material for anyone interested in getting involved in Star Wars beyond the films.

Copyright © 2009 David Maddox

David Maddox
Science fiction enthusiast David Maddox has been many things, including Star Trek characters and the Riddler in a Batman stunt show. He holds a degree in Cinema from San Francisco State University, and has written several articles for various SF sites as well as the Star Wars Insider and the Star Trek Communicator. He spends his time working on screenplays and stories while acting on stage, screen and television. He can sometimes be seen giving tours at Universal Studios Hollywood and occasionally playing Norman Bates. Really.

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