Star Wars is constantly adding new recruits to its fanbase. But for those just beginning to explore this galaxy of Jedi, Sith, Wookiees, scoundrels, princesses, carbon-freezing chambers, porgs, rancors, and rathtars, there’s a lot to take in.
Star Wars Made Easy takes on the enormous task of introducing and explaining the Star Wars universe to newer fans in a fun and inviting format. While the target audience for Star Wars Made Easy is beginners, there are plenty of reasons this book is also an enjoyable read for everyone.
1. It’s a perfect gift for people new to Star Wars (or confused parents of Star Wars obsessed younglings).
Star Wars is a huge franchise and it can be intimidating for new audiences to navigate all the characters, creatures, vehicles, and plot twists that come with multiple feature films and TV shows made over decades. Every journey has a beginning, and there’s no use talking up new Star Wars viewers about the inner workings of the Rebel Alliance, or sharing with them a dissection of Rey’s Force vision from The Force Awakens, if they don’t know the difference between the dark side and the light side of the force.
Star Wars Made Easy begins with a “Basics” section that will answer starter Star Wars questions or fill in gaps in a reader’s Star Wars knowledge. Think of the rest of the book as a cheat sheet for each of the individual Star Wars films.
If you’re the parent of a Star Wars fanatic, just started dating a Star Wars superfan, or always feel on the outside looking in with a group of Star Wars savvy friends, Star Wars Made Easy is the perfect gift to give yourself to make it easier to jump into any Star Wars conversation. (The pronunciation section in the back of Star Wars Made Easy alone is worth its weight in gold. Say it with me: (kaa-SHEEK) Kashyyyk!)
2. It’s encourages jumping around.
Star Wars Made Easy isn’t a dauntingly dense 300-page book about the history of Star Wars. That wouldn’t be very easy (or fun) for beginners. You can read Star Wars Made Easy from start to finish or jump directly to sections about a specific movie, TV show, battle, or character spotlight of your liking.
Star Wars Made Easy is a mix of bite-size text, photos, charts, and sidebars. Many parts of the book are devoted to common questions people have after watching a Star Wars film such as, “What does Luke’s vision mean?”, “Could Leia be a Jedi?”, and “Where did the First Order come from?”
Readers in need of a true Star Wars crash course can go straight to individual story maps to get a synopsis of the main events from each film.
3. The visuals cut to the chase.
There’s plenty to read in Star Wars Made Easy, but the graphics add a fun way to learn about all aspects of the Star Wars universe from character relationships to the journey of a Jedi.
The handy Skywalker Family Tree explains how Owen Lars, Padmé Amidala, Shmi Skywalker, and Luke Skywalker are all related to each other.
If you’re not sure who came first — the Galactic Republic, the Galactic Empire, or the First Order — the “Who Rules the Galaxy Timeline” has a visual representation of who is fighting who throughout different eras of Star Wars history.
4. It doesn’t go over EVERYTHING Star Wars.
Star Wars Made Easy focuses on eight movies and two TV series, which is already quite a lot to wrap your head around. While there are hundreds of Star Wars books, comic books, and video games also available in the Star Wars universe, Star Wars Made Easy does a great job of giving you the basics, without completely overwhelming you in the process.
Different sections of the book highlight the most common and important things you need to know about a variety of subjects, from lists of vehicles or planets to a survival guide for the ice planet Hoth.
Plus, a good dose of humor is your constant companion in Star Wars Made Easy. The goal is to give beginners their first steps into a much larger world. There are no tests at the end of this book!
5. The film-only contingent can get a taste of the TV shows.
Star Wars lovers are just as diverse as the species you might encounter at a podrace or local cantina on Tatooine. Some Star Wars aficionados devour everything they can find, while others like to stick to just the movies. For the film-only crew, Star Wars Made Easy reveals just enough information about Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels (including how they connect to the films) to whet your appetite for more without spoiling the entire journey.
6. Even life-long fans will probably learn something.
While a lot of Star Wars diehards pride themselves on being overall experts, it’s common for fans to focus on some aspects of Star Wars more than others. Star Wars Made Easy is filled with trivia from what the TIE in TIE fighter stands for (twin-ion engine) to Grand Moff Tarkin’s first name (Wilhuff), to naming all the vehicles in the Battle of Scarif from Rogue One. (Bravo, if you could have identified the CR90 corvettes).
Star Wars Made Easy even has some interesting tidbits about Star Wars: The Last Jedi, including a “What Should I Look Out For?” section. It’s never too early to learn the names of new Star Wars creations!
Welcome to the galaxy far, far away.
Amy Richau is a writer, lifelong Star Wars geek, and diehard Denver Broncos fan. You can find her on twitter @amyrichau and more of her writing on FANgirl Blog.