Author: Amy Ratcliffe
Foreword: Kathleen Kennedy
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Cover Artist: Jen Bartel
Artists: Sara Alfageeh, Jen Bartel; Eli Baumgartner, Geneva Bowers, Elsa Charretier, Cryssy Cheung, Amy Beth Christenson, Christina Chung, Little Corvus, Karen Hallion, Jennifer Aberin Johnson, Sara Kipin, Jenny Parks, Annie Stoll, Viv Tanner, Sarah Wilkinson, Annie Wu & Alice X. Zhang
Release date: 30th October 2018
They are heroes and villains, Sith and Jedi, senators and scoundrels, mothers, mercenaries, artists, pilots. . . .
The women of the Star Wars galaxy drive its stories and saga forward at every level. This beautifully illustrated, fully authorized book profiles 75 fascinating female characters from across films, fiction, comics, animation, and games.
Featuring Leia Organa, Rey, Ahsoka Tano, Iden Versio, Jyn Erso, Rose Tico, Maz Kanata, and many more, each character is explored through key story beats, fresh insights, and behind-the-scenes details by author Amy Ratcliffe.
Also showcasing more than 100 all-new illustrations by a dynamic range of female and non-binary artists, here is an inspiring celebration of the characters that help create a galaxy far, far away.
This book from Amy Ratcliffe has had tongues wagging for a while and after the initial book launch at NYCC earlier this month, I was very lucky to receive an advance copy of this book.
I inherited my love of books from my dad and it was quite fitting that he was with me when I received it. He always taught me how to respect a book; from a young age I was always told to never dog ear a page, always use a book mark and never, ever write in a book and still to this day, I can’t even bring myself to break any of his advice. While I unpacked it, my dad hovered over me to see what was inside. He has no interest in Star Wars, it was the interest to see what the book was like. I was taken back by the sheer quality of the book, not just the content, but the feel of it and opulence of the whole thing. My dad’s eyes lit up and he was begging to look at what I’d got. He then enthused about the book just on an aesthetic level and although he has no interest in the written content, he was taken back by its beauty.
The book is unique in many ways as it gives us a brief on 75 key female character from the Star Wars Galaxy. Now I hear you say, 75, how do you get that many? But, when you drill down into the comics, animated series, books and movies, this number is easily achieved.
It’s not just a refence book or an encyclopaedic reiteration about the chosen characters, it delves deeper into each character. Ratcliffe has researched the characters but gone to the source of some of the characters to gain insights from their authors, actors and creators. This information alone makes this book stand out as being unique on the bookshelf.
There may be a few surprise choices in there, but each one for me does have a place in the book. I was pleasantly surprised to see characters from the newly released Resistance animated series. The main one for me though was to include R2-KT. I am sure all Star Wars fans know who she is and the story that goes with, and I did find her inclusion truly heart-warming.
Now, I can’t go on any further without mentioning the artwork. Eighteen prominent female and non-binary artists were commissioned to create the artwork to accompany each character biography. As you can see from the pictures I’ve chosen for the review, the quality and varying in style of art is quite brilliant. I must admit that I have a favourite and that it is the picture of Oola by Christina Chung.
One thing I would have liked to have seen was the possibility of a nod to the female characters that are from the ‘Legends’ material that pre-dates the timeline reset. It would be nice to see these characters given their chance to inspire more people to go back to those books and materials as they are still worthy of investigating. I am definitely hoping for a volume 2 in the future, so maybe there is a chance to visit this then?
So, you’ve probably already guessed, that for me this book was a winner from the start.
I always look at a book and sit back and think about the value I have for my money. At £21.99 we have 75 well written and thought out character biographies, over 100 pieces of high-quality artwork all bound together in one volume. So, for me, this book is worth every penny.
A huge well done to Amy, all the artists and the creative team at Chronicle Books for bringing such a great book to us.
You can win one of 3 copies of ‘Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy’ by Amy Ratcliffe, including a limited-edition print of Princess Leia, in our exclusive competition courtesy of Chronicle Books. The competition ends Tuesday 6th November 2018 at 11:38pm GMT, so be quick and head over to the competition page to send us your entry! You can also read our interview with Amy here.
Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy by Amy Ratcliffe, foreword by Kathleen Kennedy (Chronicle Books, £21.99)
© 2018 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Used Under Authorization
‘Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy’ by Amy Ratcliffe, published by Chronicle Books was released on 30th October 2018. It is available in hardback format from all good bookstores on the high street and via Amazon and other online retailers with a RRP of UK £21.99/US $30.00.