Book Review: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – The Visual Dictionary

Author: Landry Walker
Foreword: Chris Terrio
Publisher: DK Children
Formats available: Hardback, eBook
Pages: 200
Illustrations: 500+ illustrations
RRP: £25.00 (UK), $24.99 (US)
Release date: December 20, 2019

The synopsis;

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary is a 200-page definitive guide to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, revealing the characters, creatures, droids, locations, and technology from the new film. Packed with information and 500+ images, plus cross-sections of new vehicles, as penned by Star Wars scribe Pablo Hidalgo, it’s a must-have for all fans who want to go beyond the movie experience.

The review;

Delving into the pages of the Visual Dictionary and Cross Sections range of books from DK is always a great way to get to grips with any new Star Wars movie, especially if you want to know some of the finer points of what you have witnessed.

The format is tried and tested, and the cover always stand out on the shelf. The simple white cover adorned with samples of what you will see inside. One of the Knights of Ren, who I now know goes by the name of Vicrul, is looking out menacingly from the cover.

It is a complete cornucopia of all things The Rise of Skywalker and serves up some tasty morsels of insider information. And this issue does not disappoint, but there is one thing that grabbed my attention and for all the wrong reasons.

Now, we’ve all been quite used to the Star Wars Timeline being centred around the events of the Battle of Yavin where we see the Death Star I destroyed by the Rebel Alliance. For those that are unaware, any events are measured by date either before or after. So, any event prior to this is known as ‘Before the Battle of Yavin’ (BBY) and anything subsequent is ‘After Battle of Yavin’ (ABY). In the opening pages the timeline of events is beautifully crafted and for some unexplained reason we now have a reset from the Battle of Yavin as the focal point to Starkiller Base Incident.

The timeline has now been reset to ‘Before Starkiller Base Incident’ (BSI) and ‘After Starkiller Incident’ (ASI). To say I was confused is an understatement and it leaves me asking “Why?”. For me, this is a needless adjustment and what does this mean for any other publications, which all carry the ‘traditional’ timeline? Hopefully this is just there for the purpose of this book to bring the sequel trilogy events into context.

Ok, so rant over.

Apart from this, I loved the book.

The illustrations are of the highest quality and the information is crammed into the pages. Pablo Hidalgo has a knack with these books as to give information aplenty but always manages to hold enough information back that even if you acquire the book prior to viewing the movie, the information held within will only enhance your viewing experience, not destroy it by containing spoiler information. That is a fine line to tread that many a book relating to a major movie release (non-Star Wars movies) have failed before.

The areas covered are wide and varied. In depth looks at the new planets and locations we see in The Rise of Skywalker along side the tech and personnel aspect to the book. It is kind of cool to see the full arsenal that the Knights of Ren have at their disposal and then introducing the lesser known members of the Resistance.

Since reading the Galaxy’s Edge series of Marvel Comics, I have a special affinity with the First Order Treadspeeder and I am pleased to say that this is one cross section that does make it in to the book.

It has been a wise move to merge the Visual Dictionary and Cross Sections books together. They do go hand in hand, and it saves on shelf space in my overflowing book shelves, although the inclusion of a few more cross sections would have been appreciated.

I now have everything crossed that we will very soon be getting a book in the same format for The Mandalorian!

Availability;

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – The Visual Dictionary by Pablo Hidalgo is published by DK Children. It retails at £25.00 in the UK and $24.99 in the US and was released on December 20, 2019. It is available from Amazon and all bookstores online and on your high street.

Book credit;

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – The Visual Dictionary by Pablo Hidalgo and Lucasfilm Ltd (Dorling Kindersley Publishing)
© & TM 2019 Lucasfilm Ltd.

Steve Galloway
Steve was 5 years old when he saw Star Wars for the first time during its first UK cinema release. He considers himself a first generation Star Wars fan and in his own words is a ‘Child of 77’.