Today, July 21st, marks the release of DK Publishing’s highly anticipated Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide. We here at Yoda’s News just couldn’t stand to wait and were able to obtain an early copy, due to the gracious folks over at DK. Here is a quick summary by the publisher on what to expect in the visual guide for the upcoming TV show:
“Travel the galaxy far, far away and experience Star Wars® Rebels firsthand with the companion to the new Star Wars animated series, Star Wars® Rebels. Featuring key scenes and iconic moments, you’ll learn the ins and outs of the rebel legion. With tons of interesting facts and information about your favorite characters, weapons, vehicles, and locations from the new TV show, Star Wars® Rebels: The Visual Guide is the ultimate guide for the ultimate fan!”
The book promised to be full of information on Rebels and what our heroes will encounter in just a few short months. It went above and beyond, giving us an inside look at what is arguable the biggest project to come from Star Wars since Disney took over. A review for this type of book is somewhat tricky, as opposed to regular adult fiction.
The book opens with a forward by Dave FIloni. As many fans of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars know, Filoni has been apart of the community since 2007. He was the supervising director and the lead collaborator with George Lucas on The Clone Wars. When news of Rebels was first disseminated, it came with the announcement that Filoni would be back as the executive producer for the series (alongside Greg Weisman and Simon Kinberg). The forward is a short, inspiration letter from Filoni that gives some emphasis as to what he loves about Star Wars. It is filled with passion and really lets you get Filoni’s perspective on the Star Wars universe. While not every fan might agree with how Filoni has portrayed certain aspects of The Clone Wars, you cant deny that he truly does love that galaxy far, far away.
Now lets move on to the actual book. Let me start off by saying that this was a great collaborative effort by the employees of DK Publishing. The book is written by a relatively unknown author in the Star Wars community, Adam Bray. This is Bray’s second entry into the Star Wars universe, the first being a much smaller project: A “DK Reader” book titled, What Makes A Monster?. The artwork for this book is truly stupendous and gives readers the “feel” for the show. Legendary Star Wars artist, Ralph McQuarrie , is the obvious inspiration for the series. The artwork for Rebels definitely draws from McQuarrie’s concepts and emulates the feel of the “Original Trilogy.”
Bray’s text is the perfect match for the artwork and succeeds in expounding upon the visuals with relevant content. Bray’s book follows a logical progressions as we explore the Empire and Rebellion, The planet of Lothal, the lineup of heroes, various ships and weapons, action sequences from the series, and finally a look at the Imperial antagonists. I couldn’t help but pour over the pages, soaking up every bit of new information. For me, the book sent me back to my childhood years when I would scour The Essential Guides, yearning to memorize it all.
The book contains bio pages for each of our main characters in Rebels. It give some facts about their background, where they are in life, what gear they will be using, and how they contribute and interact with other characters on the show. We get a first time look at some truly epic weapons such as Ezra’s lightsaber which contains a built in blaster, or Zeb’s Bo-Rifle that contains a deadly “Pulse field” on each end. We take an inside look at ships such as “The Ghost,” “The Phantom,” an Imperial Troop Transport, and a Star Destroyer. Bray does a fantastic job of not only providing your standard “baseball card stats,” but adds small snippets of information that add a depth and background that emulates the “lived in” environment of A New Hope. We also get an interesting look at the events taking place in the galaxy such as Imperial propaganda, the environment of Lothal, and even Ezra’s training as a Jedi. This book has everything you could hope for, and more. Even if you aren’t sold on Rebels yet, I suggest you pick up this book. It will change your mind.
With almost 130 pages, this book is filled to brim with new information about the upcoming series. Here are a few facts we pulled:
- Bail Organa, adopted father of Princess Leia, will be present in the series along with his two droids, C3PO and R2D2.
- Our fringe-character lovers will be happy to meet Cikatro Vizago, a Devaronian crime lord who runs the Lothal underground.
- We will see Wookiee slaves being sent to the Spice Mines of Kessel
- The Inquisitor is not a Sith, but does use the Dark Side of the Force to hunt down and capture Jedi. On a site note, he likes to eat raw meat.
- Stygeon Prison will appear, which currently showed up in the Dark Horse Comics’ series, Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir. A surviving Jedi Master is being held here by the Empire.
- Capital City on the planet Lothal is modeled after Cloud City on Bespin.
- Kanan was only 14 years old when Order 66 took place. As such, in his first encounter with the Inquisitor, he is severely over matched.
- Besides the Inquisitor, our Imperial antagonists include Agent Kallus (an ISB agent), Commander Aresko, and Taskmaster Grint.
The list goes on and on, but I’m not going to give them all away. This is definitely a book filled to the brim and you will discover something new every time you read it. This is a book that you will only appreciate fully by purchasing a physical copy of it. By now, several sites have posted a slew of pictures or spoilers for this book. Its great this book is getting so much attention, but no review (this one included) will do the book justice.
Overall, Adam Bray’s book is the perfect introduction to not only Star Wars: Rebels, but the new Star Wars universe after the conclusion of the Expanded Universe (EU) just a few months ago. This is really our first, in-depth look at the Star Wars galaxy since the EU became “Legends” and it doesn’t disappoint. In addition to the wonderful content for Rebels, Bray gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the work being done on the series. It includes a look at the inspiration for Rebels, character designs, and actual production. He conducts brilliant interviews with Dave Filoni, Joel Aron, and Simon Kinberg as they discuss the the ins and outs of Rebels. As I try to critique this book, I can’t find any flaws. Adam Bray, DK Publishing, and the artistic team for Rebels have really put out a beautiful, high quality book.
Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide hits shelves in hardcover today so make sure to pick it up or order it on Amazon for only $12.50, I give this book a perfect 5 out of 5 star rating, something I have yet to do for a book review on Yoda’s News. I highly suggest you pick it up, and would like to congratulate Mr. Bray on his exemplary work in the book.
Yoda’s News would like to thank Julia O’Halloran of DK Publishing for this review copy. Have you picked up the Rebels Visual Guide yet? What are your expectations for Star Wars: Rebels? Share your thought with us online and on Twitter. We can be found at @arybak89 (Alex Rybak) and at @yodasnews (official Yoda’s News account). You can also follow Adam Bray at @fisheggtree.