Monday, April 29, 2019

Read, You Must: Alien Archive

New from Disney - Lucasfilm Press is Star Wars: Alien Archive (A Guide to the Species of the Galaxy), an in-universe guide to nearly every alien species, from gigantic creatures like Rancors and Krayt Dragons to Jawas, Porgs, Tookas and well, whatever Yoda is!

Page after page of colourful illustrations, facts, and notable examples of each alien species fill this oversized 157 page hardcover. Basically anything that isn't a human and isn't a droid is probably covered in here somewhere.

The book is written in-universe, meaning the "author" is Xoddam Lothipp, Deputy Director of something called the "Graf Archive". The contents are presented as though this journal archive was discovered within the Star Wars galaxy.

Alien Archive has a very similar feel to 2016's Star Wars: Galactic Maps and works well as a companion to that book. Like in Galactic Maps, the all-new illustrations have an old-fashioned "wood cut" feel, once again by Tim McDonagh. It also covers some of the same ground as 2016's Aliens of the Galaxy, but it goes into far more depth and is about four times as long!
Galactic Maps (2016)

If you don't know an Ewok from an Ugnaught, is the book for you. Alien Archive is impressively comprehensive, including creatures and aliens from of course the Star Wars movies (as recent as Solo) as well as those only seen in The Clone Wars and Rebels

A treat for the die-hard fans is also discovering creatures only seen in novels, comics, games or even from the Ewok adventure TV specials. 

For most of the species presented there are notable examples given, hints as to where the reader may have seen this creature before. It would be nice to have some sort of footnotes to help readers find some of the more obscure species on screen or wherever they're from. However, since this book is in-universe, it doesn't really acknowledge that Star Wars IS a bunch of movies, TV shows and more. As far as the author is concerned, this is all real!

Longtime fans and brand-new fans of any age will find plenty to discover and enjoy in this archive. Highly recommended!

(Publisher's recommendation Ages 8-12)

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