Book Review: The Wildlife of Star Wars

The Wildlife of Star Wars

This hardcover is actually texture-pressed with scale patterns from a creature I can't identify. It has a nice touch.

This is a field guide to the wildlife from the Star Wars planets. It's organised by planets and the included ones are Tatooine, Hoth, Dagobah, Naboo, Bespin, Endor, Yavin 4 and Coruscant. There's a short introduction describing each ecosystem — fiery, freezing, vaporous, etc.

The illustrations are sketches drawn with pencils and colour markers, supposedly by a zoologist in the field, but is actually none other than Terryl Whitlatch. They are all wonderfully detailed showing the creatures in their natural habitat, be it hunting, caring for their young, chilling out, or even on sale at some market on Coruscant. The attention to skin textures is very nice. You can almost get a feel just by looking. Beautiful colours also.

Besides the paintings are field notes filling in on information like feeding patterns, mating habits, herding instincts and defensive mechanisms of these fascinating beings.

I didn't know that the giant space slug is really that huge at 900 metres until I looked up the size of a blue whale for comparison, which is 33 metres. The space slugs gets nutrients from asteroids and you can see how the intestines work. Some of the designs you'll see are inspired by Earth animals. The Opee Sea Killer has characteristics from lobster (shell), frog (long sticky tongue), anglerfish (that glowing forehead tip) and the arowana (breeding little babies in the mouth).

Some of the designs might look a bit far fetch but hey, this is Star Wars, this is science fiction. I guess anything goes but many are believable for the most part, in art and concept.

This is a very good book for all fans of Star Wars and animal art.

The Wildlife of Star Wars: A Field Guide is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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12 Comments

hey parka, Terryl actually

hey parka,
Terryl actually uses color markers (i.e. prismacolor and tria brands), not watercolor. She is also my teacher for creature design this semester, hence why I know this for a fact. You can view her working process on her Gnomon Workshop tutorial dvds =)

Hi, im looking for some

Hi, im looking for some inspiration for a new art project, basically i would like to create my own world: i need a good book that shows eastern style techniques, preferably that looks like the traditional chinese and japanese styles. I also need a good book that has already achieved creating a world, like landscapes, animals and characters ect...
Hope someone has some suggestions, thanks!
Nice blog btw :D

JK: Maybe the artbook of

JK: Maybe the artbook of Okami - the videogame? If you don't know it you should go check it out. It has a very distinctive style!
Do a search for OKAMI in the searchfield on this page.

- Mikkel

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