Monday, September 8, 2014

Read, You Must: Star Wars Rebels: Head-to-Head

The latest in Scholastic’s imaginary combat series Star Wars Rebels: Head-to-Head is a fun and fully-illustrated book for detail-loving young fans. Like in previous titles Star Wars: Head-to-Head and Star Wars: Head-to-Head Tag Teams, frequent Lucasfilm author Pablo Hidalgo has created 26 “what if” scenarios pitting key characters from the upcoming Star Wars Rebels TV show against each other.

Each match-up describes a tense scene arising and then a profile of the two opposing combatants, be they humans, droids, aliens or even vehicles. The reader is left to use his or her imagination, weigh the stats and decide who may come out victorious. The final page lets the reader know how those predictions fare against the “experts’ picks”. 

The lack of combat shown (the cover has the most aggressive image present) could be frustrating to some considering the whole book is focused on conflict, but if you enjoy using your imagination that won’t be a problem. The book often feels like the start-up screen of a combat video game, just before the countdown to the actual fight. The “heroic matchups you must see to believe!” line on the front AND back covers is a little misleading but the book is indeed a great introduction to the new show.

Earlier in the series...
Even if you aren’t all that interested in the actual matchups or outcomes, this 64-page book is filled with details about each character, weapon or vehicle and reveals several characters not seen in any other Rebels book to date. It works as a wonderful companion book to DK’s Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide.

Two things make this book especially interesting. First, it’s arrived before the series premiere so it is possible that the battles described may show up in future Star Wars Rebels episodes. Second, the author is directly involved in the production of the show, so his “experts’ picks” on the last page may reveal actual outcomes of those scenarios. Before you jump to conclusions though, author Pablo Hidalgo is known for enjoying being secretive so it’s more likely he’s invented scenes similar to, but not quite the same as, ones from future episodes.

Just to be safe and not spoil anything for myself, I chose not to read the last page! I’ll go back to read it after Season 1 of Star Wars Rebels is finished.

By the way, Star Wars Rebels starts in just a few weeks on Disney XD and affiliate networks (like Family Channel here in Canada) so check your local listings!
-Chris @SWKidscast

Other recommended Star Wars books by Pablo Hidalgo:

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