Book Review: The Illustrated Star Wars Universe

The Illustrated Star Wars Universe


The Illustrated Star Wars Universe is written like a travel journal, with beautiful concept paintings from Ralph McQuarrie.

Eight planets are featured, namely Tatooine, Coruscant, Dagobah, Hoth, Endor, Bespin, Yavin and Alderaan.

Each journal entry is written from the perspective of a Star Wars character. It's a nice touch providing that on-the-ground feeling. They talk about the inhabitant's culture, way of life, traditions, planet's climate and creatures. There are interesting stories sometimes, for example in the paragraph below, which is supposedly written by Senior Anthropologist Hoole:

Tuskens make no distinction between males and females, and only the clan elders keep records of the sexes, so that they can arrange marriages. (As one can imagine, some rather embarrassing mistakes have been made, unfortunately.)

Much of the art work has appeared on other Star Wars books, notably the "art of" series. So there's really nothing much new here except for the writeup.

This book is for the must-know-it-all Star Wars fan, or as the book says, the true collector.

Thanks to Kelvin Chan for providing the book for this short review

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3 Comments

The great Ralph McQuarrie

The great Ralph McQuarrie created most of the paintings used in this book, and while the majority of them were pre-production concept paintings used to visualize scenes for the original trilogy films, there's quite a few original pieces that he painted specifically for this book. So this review is quite inaccurate when it states "there's really nothing much new here except for the writeup." There are, in fact, dozens of original sketches, color studies and full paintings that are not included in any of the "art of..." Star Wars books, and therefore this is especially of interest to anyone who appreciates McQuarrie's Star Wars art.

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