Book Review: The Ultimate Pop-Up Galaxy by Matthew Reinhart

Published: October 22, 2019
Publisher: Insight Editions
Author: Matthew Reinhart
Illustrator: Kevin M Wilson
Format: Hardback (5 spread, 24 pop-ups)
Fold Out Size: 122cm x 94cm
RRP: $85 (US), £50 (UK)

Synopsis;

Blast into hyperspace for a thrilling pop-up journey through the entire Star Wars saga with pop-up legend Matthew Reinhart’s new masterpiece.

From the war-torn battlefields of the Clone Wars to the rebels’ last stand over the Death Star and the Resistance’s climactic clash with the First Order on Crait, this one-of-a-kind pop-up book takes fans on a unique interactive adventure that brings the Star Wars saga to life in a whole new way. Featuring the most iconic moments from the entire saga rendered as ingenious pop-up creations, Star Wars: The Ultimate Pop-Up Galaxy allows fans to interact with the action, launching rebel snowspeeders against AT-AT walkers, helping the Millennium Falcon escape First Order pursuers on Jakku, and more. Presented in a dynamic 360-degree format that enables the action to be viewed from all sides, the book also opens up to form a displayable 3D diorama of the entire saga.

Packed with amazing Star Wars moments and hidden surprises to discover, Star Wars: The Ultimate Pop-Up Galaxy represents a whole new level of sophistication and interactivity in pop-up books and is guaranteed to thrill fans of all ages.

The review;

I am going to start by saying that this was not a book I was overly enthusiastic about when it was announced. I was never a fan of pop-up books as a child and with it’s substantial price tag, I wanted to see if this book could change my mind.

So, I must start by saying thank you to Kat Rees-Jauke, one of our Literature Reviewers for us here at Jedi News for the alert on its availability. Thanks to Kat, I didn’t pay full UK retail price thanks to my local Argos store carrying it in stock at an amazing £25, a whopping 50% reduction!

On sitting down with the book when I first got home, I opened the 5 main spreads individually while sat on the sofa. This made the book uncomfortable and some what cumbersome to handle. While I was impressed at first viewing, it was obvious I needed more space and a solid surface to experience the book properly. So, the dining room table was cleared and my adventure into the pop up galaxy was about to begin.

The written content is excellent. Concise at times, but each scene has enough information despite that. This is then backed up by the visuals of each display. The 5 main displays are great. There are 24 smaller pop ups within the 5 leaves of the book. Each main spread depicts an era in the Star Wars story rather than a movie and there are 3 or 4 mini pop ups under the written content. There are so many little hidden gems in there. The little windows on the Death Star, Han meeting with Kylo Ren on Starkiller Base and I especially loved the nod to the Rebels animated series with the Ghost being docked on Yavin 4.

The mechanics and engineering in creating this book is absolutely amazing. In fact, I cannot comprehend how you would actually go about creating something so complex. When fully spread out and all 24 pop ups are in position, it is quite something to behold. The process is complex, but there is a handy guide to make sure you stay on target. I would recommend this being done on a table rather than the floor as it will allow you to see it much better and appreciate it more.

When you’re finished there it is, a 3D representation of the 11 movies there in front of you. Click on the image below to start the video of the books being displayed in full.

However, I did find some parts didn’t work correctly and needed some playing with to get some movement. I also found that some items didn’t pop up and also had to be helped in to position one of the tags mounting a pop up had not been glued correctly. Please do not see those negative comments as my judgement of the book. I really do like it, but I now ask myself, “am I an adult fan of pop up books?”

While this book has done a lot to change my original stance on pop up books, there are still a couple of doubts in my mind. Engineering wise and for the content, the answer is a resounding “yes”. But on practicality, I’m a little more hesitant with my reply. At times I found the process of opening dioramas and clipping them open a bit fiddly and delicate. With that in mind, I would definitely say that this is a book for a collector or a teenager. I very much doubt this would last too long with my overzealous 7 year old nephew and to be honest, he’s not going to get the chance to either!

Overall, it is an amazing piece of work and I know there is a small piece of The Rise of Skywalker content in the book, but I would hope that we will see a revised copy in time for next Christmas.

Availability;

Star Wars: The Ultimate Pop-Up Galaxy by Matthew Reinhart was released on October 22, 2019 by Insight Editions. It is available from Amazon and all good bookstores online and on the high street and has an RRP of $85/£50.

Buy from Amazon.co.uk