If you’re like me, you’ve maybe gotten some of your holiday shopping done by now, but not all of it. There are always those few last gifts you’re not sure of, a couple more people on your list. But if any of the stragglers on your list are people who like Star Wars (and we would hope they are), we have you covered in the world of publishing! Here are a few of our favorite things this season.
Our children’s editor Frank Parisi recommends three books with very different styles of art that are all nonetheless beautiful and essential to the stories they tell:
Star Wars: The Adventures of Luke Skywalker by Tony DiTerlizzi and Ralph McQuarrie is a beautiful book unlike anything we’ve done before. The original trilogy shines anew with the vibrant concept art of Ralph McQuarrie, the legendary Star Wars conceptual designer. The art accompanies New York Times bestselling author Tony DiTerlizzi’s thrilling retelling of the story of Luke Skywalker, from A New Hope to Return of the Jedi. Both children and adults will find much to appreciate in this lavishly illustrated volume.
Star Wars Rebels: A New Hero by Pablo Hidalgo is another book featuring concept art, but this time from the talented team behind the Star Wars Rebels animated series. Ezra Bridger might not have much, but every day is an adventure when it comes to outwitting Imperial stormtroopers who have overrun his little corner of the galaxy’s Outer Rim. But the excitement of collecting trooper helmets and gadgets gets a little old when you’re all alone. And it’s nothing compared to what Ezra discovers when he meets the rebels and goes on board their ship, the Ghost, for his first-ever outer space adventure! But joining the rebels isn’t all fun and games. Ezra quickly realizes that his new friends need his help to take on the Empire just as much as he needs them to help him realize his true potential. Learn all about Ezra Bridger and the dedicated crew of the Ghost alongside beautiful Rebels artwork that you won’t find anywhere else.
Jedi Academy 2: Return of the Padawan by Jeffrey Brown follows up the New York Times bestselling Star Wars: Jedi Academy with another tale of Roan, the aspiring Jedi Knight who has to make it through middle school first! Year two sees Roan taking on pilot training, with less than stellar results. Feeling lost, Roan starts hanging out with the class bullies, who aren’t as bad as Roan thought they would be…or are they? This incredible, original story captures all of the humor, awkwardness, fun, and frustrations of middle school — all told through one boy’s comics, journal entries, letters, sketches, e-mails, and more.
Our nonfiction editor Jonathan Rinzler suggests two books that feature incredible works of art and one that appeals to the more…orderly side of things.
Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy by Brandon Alinger is an incredible book, and not just because my girl Princess Leia is on the cover. For the first time, we were given full access to the original costumes of Episodes IV, V, and VI, allowing them to be revealed in never-before-seen detail. In over 200 new costume photographs, sketches, and behind-the-scenes photos and notes, based on new interviews, fans will get a fresh perspective on the creation of the clothes and costume props that brought these much-loved characters to life. Just go take a look at it, okay? You’ll love it.
Star Wars Art: Posters Limited Edition is another lavish book filled with breathtaking pieces of art. From Tom Jung’s iconic one-sheet for Episode IV to Roger Kastel’s Gone with the Wind-inspired painting for Episode V and beyond, Star Wars has enjoyed nearly four decades of poster art from some of the most renowned artists working in movies. The fifth book in the George Lucas-curated Star Wars Art series, Posters collects the best artwork from all six Star Wars films, the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated television series, and limited-edition prints. What really sets this book apart is that the poster art is reproduced without text or logos, so you are free to appreciate the art purely for what it is.
Star Wars: Imperial Handbook: A Commander’s Guide by Dan Wallace takes you deep into the world of the Empire. It provides a comprehensive overview of the Imperial war machine from coordination between the various military branches to Imperial battle tactics, mission reports, and equipment supply chains and its role within the Emperor’s long-term plan for galactic domination. Research stormtrooper specializations such as Incinerator stormtroopers and Lavatroopers. Memorize the four principles of the Imperial soldier and the Imperial Naval Code. Learn from the best by studying mission reports written by decorated officials. Get access to inside knowledge on the galaxy’s greatest threats and cutting edge technology. And it’s all housed in a protective case that opens with lights and sounds, making it a perfect conversation piece! Sure to liven up any boring holiday party.
Finally, here are my suggestions from the world of novels and comic books…
The Star Wars deluxe edition by J.W. Rinzler and Mike Mayhew collects the eight issues comprising the comic book series The Star Wars, based on George Lucas’ rough-draft script of a galaxy far, far away. Annikin Starkiller is the hero, Luke Skywalker is a wizened Jedi general, Han Solo is a big green alien, and Vader is a guy with a questionable helmet. This deluxe edition contains Issues #0-8 of The Star Wars saga, a portfolio of the comic covers, and an introduction by writer Jonathan Rinzler, all collected in three deluxe, foil-stamped, hardcover volumes, and enclosed in a clothbound clamshell box. This is a truly exquisite package that will be savored by anyone who loves Star Wars or art. And isn’t that pretty much everybody?
Tarkin by James Luceno is an in-depth look at the one man who could get Darth Vader to stop choking a dude. Groomed by the ruthless politician and Sith Lord who would be Emperor, Governor Wilhuff Tarkin rises through the Imperial ranks, enforcing his authority ever more mercilessly…and zealously pursuing his destiny as the architect of absolute dominion. Under Tarkin’s guidance, a weapon of unparalleled destruction moves ever closer to becoming a terrifying reality. When the so-called Death Star is completed, Tarkin is confident that the galaxy’s lingering pockets of rebellion will be brought to heel — by intimidation…or annihilation. Rich with vivid descriptions of Tarkin’s homeworld and plenty of high-stakes action, Tarkin is the perfect gift for the voracious Star Wars reader on your list.
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: The Royal Imperial Boxed Set by Ian Doescher includes all three volumes in the original trilogy: Verily, A New Hope; The Empire Striketh Back; and The Jedi Doth Return. Also included is an 8-by-34-inch full-color poster illustrating the complete cast and company of this glorious production. It’s all packaged in a very attractive casing featuring all-new art from illustrator Nicolas Delort. A great gift for students, literary types, and people who like mash-ups. You know who you are.