Star Wars creatures aren’t always known for being cute. But thanks to the creative lens of Katie Cook, they soon will be.
Star Wars: Creatures Big & Small, a new book written by Calliope Glass and Caitlin Kennedy with art by Cook, arrives Tuesday, October 1, and it gives the galaxy’s beasts a healthy dose of adorableness. Cook’s unique style manages to make creatures from across the saga look 100 percent cuddly — even mynocks! — and with narration by Yoda, Creatures Big & Small emerges as a great introduction to Star Wars animals for your younglings. You can get a first look at entries for three creatures below along with Cook’s own commentary, exclusively on StarWars.com. Just remember: no matter how cute they look here, keep your distance from rancors in real life.
“I love these guys! The varactyls are everything I want in a crazy sci-fi creature: bold colors, speed, and you CAN RIDE THEM. They’re so weird and cute! I remember seeing them for the first time and thinking, ‘Handsome Obi-Wan riding to my defense on a giant lizard bird? I’m all for it.’ Coloring the page was fun because so much of Star Wars tends to be, well, brown. The varactyls are a chance to play with color with no limits.”
“I LOVE LOVE Loth-wolves. (I am a VERY big fan of Star Wars Rebels.) Even though they are something that aren’t ‘alien,’ I think they were given a wonderful story with their connection to the Force. I really wanted to make sure their faces weren’t too ‘cute’ — a hardship for me! — because they HAVE to reflect intelligence and strength.”
“I have a special place in my heart for all the illustrations in this book that are of things that aren’t traditionally adorable but I got to make them cute. The rancor is one of them… I mean, look at him! I just want to pinch his cheeks. This is the probably the page I would use as an example of, ‘You can make anything weirdly cute if you try hard enough!’ I also have a soft spot for the rancor because, spoiler alert, when he dies and his handler is so heartbroken? It gutted me as a kid because I always assumed the rancor was his pet and I thought Luke had basically killed his dog. How DARE you, Luke.”
Star Wars: Creatures Big & Small arrives October 1 and is available for pre-order.
Dan Brooks is Lucasfilm’s senior content strategist of online, the editor of StarWars.com, and a writer. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks where he rants about all these things.
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