The authors of the new visual guide discuss galactic geography, prequel tie-ins, and more.
Star Wars: Dawn of Rebellion: The Visual Guide, a new visual guide arriving December 5, charts the dark times after the fall of the Republic and the establishment of the Empire through authoritative text, and essential reference imagery covering the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story film, live-action series like Andor and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and animated tales like The Bad Batch and Star Wars Rebels. In a special guest article to celebrate the book's release, authors Pablo Hidalgo and Emily Shkoukani take readers inside their deep-dive into deep lore and in-universe history with 5 behind-the-pages secrets.
1. Where’s Ferrix? Now we know.
The book starts off with a galactic map, and while we couldn’t place all the new star systems on the map just yet, Ferrix did have a spot. Its placement stems from discussions during production, as the question came up from the show’s graphics team and I was lore advisor on Andor. For the book, I fished out an old email from February of 2021, where we confirmed it was in the Morlani system, neighboring Preox-Morlana. This explains Preox-Morlana’s jurisdiction there, at least until Inspector Syril Karn royally screws up a raid and the Empire annexes the system and the entire ‘Free Trade Sector’ it operates in. I figured the Free Trade Sector was a classification, not a proper cartographic name. Basically, the Empire reclaims an extension of the classic Corporate Sector introduced in Han Solo at Stars’ End (1979). – PH
2. The book takes us under the Fondor’s hood.
This book features a wonderful, iconic DK cross-section illustration by John R. Mullaney examining the ins and outs of Luthen Rael’s Fondor haulcraft. From the initial sketches, I added notes and shared visuals with ILM VFX supervisor Mohen Leo and Production Designer Luke Hull. I compared it to set photography and set blueprints, lining up the doors with the hull shape to see what should go where. The biggest cheat required an unseen 90-degree hook in the curved corridor that changed the entry ramp placement from an intended portside entrance to the finished starboard entrance. And I was able to confirm from Luke that Luthen’s “changing area” is indeed a secret room hidden behind a false wall. The ship’s intended role as a hauler is supported by artwork showing the wings lugging suspended cargo underneath, which the callouts on the cross-section describe. – PH
3. The House Organa pays special tribute to Naboo traditions.
The first thing I did upon being asked to write the chapter on Obi-Wan Kenobi was rewatch the show to extrapolate pieces I wanted to discuss in the book. One of the first spreads I received was on the Organa family, including the young and loyal friend of Leia’s, Agira. Knowing how Leia was raised to learn the heritage of her birth mother (whether she realized it or not), it made sense to include in Dawn of Rebellion that she was inspired by the royals of Naboo and had handmaidens herself such as Agira. – ES
4. There’s a reason Ryloth is very familiar.
We’ve been visiting Ryloth and getting snapshots of the Free Ryloth Movement for 14 years now. We first got our taste of it way back when we were introduced to Cham Syndulla in The Clone Wars back in 2009. Then we jumped forward in time to see a desperate Cham launch an attack against Vader and the Emperor in the novel Lords of the Sith in 2015, and later saw a more grizzled Cham interact with his daughter, Hera, on Star Wars Rebels in 2016. We saw the Imperial-occupied Syndulla home in Rebels in 2016, and jumped back to see it when the Syndullas lived there in The Bad Batch in 2021. Gathering all this history together in a few spreads made me appreciate how much time — real world and in-story — we’ve spent on Ryloth. And, adding Legends to the mix, I’ve been going there since it was a roleplaying game location in Platt’s Starport Guide from 1995! No wonder it feels like coming home. – PH
When we meet Obi-Wan in the eponymous show, he is living a monotonous life, working when he can to make money to get by, and otherwise staying out of sight. But in my rewatch there were things I noticed that added a bit of color to Obi-Wan’s otherwise dull life. For example, I confirmed with Pablo for Dawn of Rebellion that the sweet eopie Obi-Wan is keeping well-fed at the beginning of the series is the same one we see him ride in on at the end of Revenge of the Sith, Akkani. That means he’s been caring for the same eopie for a decade. This small detail brings a warmth to Obi-Wan’s otherwise lonely life. – ES
Star Wars: Dawn of Rebellion: The Visual Guide is available to order now.