“Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy” by Matthew Reinhart (Orchard Books, 2007)

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In celebration of the 30th anniversary since the release of Star Wars, along with The Star Wars Vault, there is this true gem for all fans alike: Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy.  You may be turned away by the term “pop-up,” thinking it something that applies only to children’s books and to be ignored, and I would tend to agree with you, except in this case.  The Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy is the only pop-up book you will need to and ever want to own.

The thick but light book is divided into six double-spread pages.  It does not tell the chronological story of Star Wars from episodes I-VI, but is instead more like a report from someone who traveled to this galaxy, far, far away, and came back to tell of what he or she saw and learned there.  The copy on each page is detailed and complex.  This is not for anyone (if there is anyone) who has yet to see Star Wars, for prior understanding is required, since on each page facts, stats, and details are thrown at you along with incredible colorful pictures that pop-out before your very eyes and almost become real.

To say there is just something for everyone would be like saying the Millennium Falcon could “probably” make the Kessel Run in maybe 12 parsecs.  The most impressive tableau is the pop-up of a large Mos Eisley spaceport where our heroes Luke and Obi-Wan first met Han and Chewie.  Organized in wonderfully complex 3D fashion, we see the familiar scene with different groups of people and lots of familiar faces, who are all explained.  But whether you’re hoping some of the lesser known bounty hunters, like IG-88 and Bossk get mentioned; or whether Jabba the Hutt’s Desert Skiff can hover up to 50 meters and travel up to 250 kilometers per hour; or whether they remembered to mention the formidable but often forgotten Wedge Antilles; rest assured they are all recorded here.

And if that isn’t enough for you, why then you can turn to the last page where you will be greeted by Lord Darth Vader coming out at you with the scarred old man’s face beneath.  After recovering from that, you turn to the fold-out panels either side of the black helmet which discuss Anakin Skywalker who became Darth Vader on the left and Luke Skywalker on the right.  The key here is to open both at the same time, as each character pops out in miniature, each holding their familiar lightsabers which actually light up red and green.

If you liked this review and are interested in purchasing this book, click here.

Originally written on January 14th, 2008 ©Alex C. Telander.