Star Wars hit planet earth with more force than almost any movie before it. The cinematic series created a mythic tale of good and evil, aspirations, betrayal and redemption. Creator George Lucas brought to life entire galaxies and unforgettable heroes and villains. Star Wars changed society, influenced culture and created one of the world’s biggest franchises that includes everything from toys and video games to scholarly studies. Few works in any genre have had more influence on two generations than Star Wars. The following are 50 of the best books on all aspects of the enduring intergalactic saga.

#1 – The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film

J.W. Rinzler

 

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Star Wars scholar J.W. Rinzler had total access to the Lucasfilm Archives and its huge stash of never-before-published interviews, photos, production notes, facts and anecdotes.  This is a unique inside look at the nearly 10-year quest of George Lucas and his team that created one of the most phenomenal movies of all time. It includes the birth and evolution of the characters, budget battles, grueling shoots, and the young film visionaries — Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg and Brian DePalma – who shared their talents in the effort.  Most interesting are the interviews done before and during the production:  George Lucas, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Sir Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, composer John Williams, and the team of effects masters.

#2 – Star Wars: The Blueprints

J.W. Rinzler

 

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This volume brings together the original technical drawings from the Lucasfilm Archives. The collection provides in detail the conception and development of the movie that changed culture. The text gives voice to the engineers, designers and artists who created vivid, exotic and enduring locales and sets.  Included are more than 250 blueprints and 500 photos and illustrations.
      

#3 – Sculpting a Galaxy: Inside the Star Wars Model Shop

Lorne Peterson, George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Phil Tippett

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Lorne Peterson, one of the key members of Industrial Light & Magic, the visionary company who created the effects for the Stars Wars films, takes the reader through 30 years of intergalactic adventures. He tells inside stories and explains how classic scenes were created. He shares insider details about the models developed, along with computer graphics that created pioneering scenes and effects and opened new galaxies in film making.

#4 – The Illustrated Star Wars Universe

Kevin J. Anderson, Ralph Mcquarrie

 

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This is a stunning visual journey across the Star Wars Universe. McQuarrie, main concept artist for all three Star Wars films, and Kevin J. Anderson, the New York Times bestselling Star Wars author, present a vivid, close-up look at the fantastic worlds and inhabitants of the Star Wars universe. The stunning artwork and text guide you through eight different locales: Tatooine, the stark desert home planet of Luke Skywalker; Coruscant, the glorious center of the Empire; Dagobah, the swampy world of Yoda; Bespin, site of the floating metropolis of Cloud City; Endor, the forest moon sheltering the Ewoks; Hoth, the frozen wasteland and site of a secret Rebel base; Yavin 4, the jungle moon, nearly destroyed by the first Death Star; and Alderaan, Princess Leia’s home world, annihilated by the same Death Star.  With this book find yourself right at home in these exotic worlds.

#5 – Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary – The Ultimate Guide to Characters and Creatures from the Entire Star Wars Saga

David West Reynolds, James Luceno, Ryder Windham

 

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From characters like Darth Maul and Yoda, to places like Naboo and Dexter’s Diner, to creatures like Jabba the Hutt and Ewoks, this book chronicles every character, weapon, starship, droid, creature, and alien in the Star Wars universe. The comprehensive visual guide features more than 1,000 stills and digitally rendered pictures.

#6 – Star Wars: the Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded

Ryder Windham


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Windham reveals the story of the amazing Star Wars saga in full detail. 40 new pages help to explain every detail about Star Wars from the millennia-spanning history of George Lucas’s long ago, far away galaxy to the Star Wars movies and ever-expanding range of books, novels, comics, and media. Packed full of interesting facts about the world of Star Wars merchandise and fandom, astonishing pieces of art, and full-color photographs. The edition features a lot of new content including characters, storylines, vehicles, weapons, merchandise and news.

#7 – The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia

Stephen J. Sansweet, Pablo Hidalgo, Bob Vitas, Daniel Wallace

 

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This volume collects 30 years’ worth of information on the Star Wars universe, ranging from science and technology to history and geography, culture and biography to ecology and cosmology. It is abundantly illustrated with full-color artwork and photos. From character portraits to a timeline of major events and text by the leading Star Wars authorities, this volume has been called a “landmark work.”

#8 – A Guide to the Star Wars Universe

Bill Slavicsek 

   

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If you need brushing up on how Exar Kun nearly destroyed the Jedi academy or when Han Solo first met Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian, open this book. You’ll learn where Mara Jade was when the Emperor died. You’ll learn the secrets of the super weapons–the Death Stars, the Sun Crusher, and the World Devastators. And you’ll get an idea how powerful the Black Sun criminal organization really is. If you’re looking for facts about the characters, starships, weaponry, droids, alien species, and historic battles, let this book be your guide.

#9 – Dressing a Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars

Trisha Biggar 

   

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When we think of Star Wars, we think of the huge sets and pioneering visual effects, but the series also contains some of the most original and lavish costumes in film. Collected in this exquisite volume are the intricate and beautiful fashions that have appeared in all six Star Wars films — from military gear to royal gowns and the now iconic costumes of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader. Every costume is displayed in intimate detail, from preproduction sketches to the final creations. Actors, including Natalie Portman and Samuel L. Jackson, provide commentary on their experiences during principal photography, while writer-director George Lucas and producer Rick McCallum contribute their thoughts on Star Wars costume design.

#10 – Star Wars Costumes

Brandon Alinger, John Mollo, Aggie Rodgers, Rodis-Jamero 

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Darth Vader’s cape and mask is one of the most recognizable costumes on the planet. The white hard-body suit of the Stormtroopers are also recognized by nearly everyone. The Lucasfilm Archives granted full access to the original costumes of episodes IV, V, and VI, allowing them to be displayed in full detail. In over 200 new costume photographs, sketches, and behind-the-scenes photos and notes, based on new interviews, we get a fresh perspective on the creation of the clothes and costume props that are an integral part of the characters themselves.                        

#11 – The Visual Dictionary of Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace

David Reynolds

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The Visual Dictionary is a detailed guide to Episode One of the continuing Star Wars saga. The characters, costumes, droids, and gadgetry of the Star Wars universe is brought to life in vivid detail. Highly defined, annotated photography shows and explains the culture, background, and technology of this continuing epic struggle between good and evil. This is a definitive Episode 1 reference for every Star Wars fan. Key objects from the movies have been re-photographed and some even re-created by expert consultants from Industrial Light and Magic. The result is a unique reference work that reveals the movie’s characters and creatures.

#12 – The Visual Dictionary of Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones

David West Reyolds

 

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This volume marks the return of author and fan-favorite Dr. David West Reynolds. His background as a professor of archaeology and vast knowledge of Star Wars makes possible the “pseudo-scientific” writing style that has become the hallmark of DK’s Star Wars titles. Highlights include a new array of characters, including: Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Padme Amidala, Mace Windu, Count Dooku, as well as the young Boba Fett, new bounty hunters, battle droids, clone troopers and some major new species.

#13 – The Making of Star Wars, Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

J. W. Rinzler

 

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This book is an inside, intimate account of the creation of one of the most popular Star Wars movies. Rinzler had total access to everyone involved in the film, from the lively creative process to the round-the-clock, three-year labor to create the film. We also learn how archvillain General Grievous came to be, how critical decisions were made in high-pressure situations, and watch George Lucas’ editing, often laden with pressure and drama up to the final cut. As always with Rinzler’s work, interviews with those involve round out the overall picture of bringing a vision into reality.

#14 – Star Wars Revenge of the Sith

Jim Luceno

 

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This fascinating book reveals the characters and creatures of Star Wars: Episode III. Catch up on all the secrets, from the volcano planet and buzz droid weaponry to the transformation of Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader. This book explains every important feature in the final Star Wars prequel.

#15 – The Visual Dictionary of Star Wars, Episodes IV, V, & VI: The Ultimate Guide to Star Wars Characters and Creatures

David Reynolds

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The Visual Dictionary is an essential guide to Star Wars. DK’s Eyewitness style brings the characters, costumes, droids, and gadgetry of the Star Wars universe to life in vivid visual detail. Highly defined, annotated photography shows and explains the culture, background, and technology of the Star Wars trilogy. Fans will enjoy detailed revelations of Star Wars secrets like how a Stormtrooper’s equipment works, what the insides of a light saber look like, and what Sand People keep in their bandoliers. A visual glossary explains all the technical terms used in the trilogy.

#16 – Ultimate Star Wars

Ryder Windham, Adam Bray, Daniel Wallace, Tricia Barr

 

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This is a detailed visual exploration of the characters and storylines from the Star Wars galaxy. The illustrated guide is structured chronologically and packed full of information about key characters, plots and action from the Star Wars movie saga, The Clone Wars, and Rebels. Ultimate Star Wars is the ultimate intro to this enduring cinema saga.
       

#17 – The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

J.W. Rinzler, Ridley Scott

 

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This is the 30th-anniversary tribute to Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. New York Times bestselling author J. W. Rinzler details the drama and wizardry behind what many fans feel is the best of the Star Wars Saga. Following his The Making of Star Wars, Rinzler again made use of his unlimited access to the Lucasfilm Archives. The result is a comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at the trials and triumphs, risks and close calls, inspiration, perspiration, and imagination that went into every detail of this cinematic masterpiece. The reader can follow the evolution of the script, the challenges of shooting the epic battle in icy Norway. Oh, and there’s the development of new key characters: Lando Calrissian, Boba Fett and, of course, Yoda, Jedi master. On-the-scene interviews with all the major players round out this lavish work.

#18 – The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

J.W. Rinzler, Brad Bird

 

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This nearly 300-page volume is a detailed account of the making of this film. It includes a diary listing of the day-to-day making of “Jedi.” It includes actual telex messages (before the email/Internet era) between the filmmakers, set schedules, call sheets, and more. Because of its insider details, it’s essential for both fans and film students.
           

#19 – Once Upon a Galaxy: A Journal of the Making of The Empire Strikes Back

Alan Arnold 

   

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This book covers many aspects of the filming. Arnold has covered decades of movie making and is obviously genuinely impressed with the scale of the production. Good interviews with important members of the cast and crew; including Sir Alec Guiness. It includes discussions with Lucas about the nine-part structure of Star Wars. It’s enlightening to compare Lucas’ initial ideas about the sequels and prequels with what was finally released. One of the book’s highlights is a transcription of a day spent following Irwin Kershner filming on the carbon freezing chamber set. This is a collector favorite.                                                                                                             

#20 – How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise

Chris Taylor

 

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The Star Wars franchise is a fairy tale in itself. In 1973, an unknown filmmaker named George Lucas scribbled some notes for a space-fantasy epic. Four decades and 37 billion dollars later, Star Wars–related products are found everywhere in the world. “Jediism” has evolved into a religion in its own right. Star Wars quickly moved out of the theatres to become one of the most lucrative, influential, and interactive franchises of all time. Veteran journalist Chris Taylor traces the series from the difficult birth of the original film through its sequels, the franchise’s death and rebirth, the prequels, and the preparations for a new trilogy. Taylor shows how Star Wars has infused culture as a well-told story with enough substance to influence politics in other countries and spread a universally accepted spirituality. From an idea on a scrap of paper to a multi-billion dollar international industry, the book is fascinating study of pop culture, business and our need for myth.

#21 – The Star Wars

J.W. Rinzler, Mike Mayhew, Rain Beredo, Michael Heisler

 

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Star Wars actually began as The Star Wars! This is the softcover collection of the official adaptation of George Lucas’s rough-draft screenplay for what would become Star Wars, the film that changed the movie industry and the world. We see familiar characters and places as they were conceived and the evolution into the groundbreaking film.

#22 – The Secret History of Star Wars

Michael Kaminski

 

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Kaminski presents the history of how Star Wars was written, from its beginnings as a science fiction fairy tale to its development over three decades into the epic that has become ubiquitous. He reports George Lucas’ methods, techniques, thought processes, and struggles. Kaminski, in this unauthorized account, studied more than 400 sources, from interviews to original scripts, to track how the most powerful cinematic epic in the world was created, expanded, and finalized into the tale that has captured two generations.

#23 – Star Wars and Philosophy: More Powerful than You Can Possibly Imagine

Kevin S. Decker, Jason T. Eberl, William Erwin

  

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The Star Wars films continue to revolutionize science fiction, creating new standards for cinematographic excellence, and permeating pop culture internationally. The films feature many complex themes ranging from good versus evil and moral development and corruption to religious faith and pragmatism, forgiveness and redemption, and many others. The essays here tackle the philosophical questions from these blockbuster films including: Was Anakin predestined to fall to the Dark Side? Are the Jedi truly role models of moral virtue? Why would the citizens and protectors of a democratic Republic allow it to descend into a tyrannical empire? Is Yoda a peaceful Zen master or a great warrior, or both? Why is there both a light and a dark side of the Force? In the end, the book asks what it truly means to be mindful of the “living force.”

#24 – The Ultimate Star Wars and Philosophy: You Must Unlearn What You Have Learned

Jason T. Eberl, Kevin S. Decker, William Irwin 

 

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The authors team up again to explore the deeper side of Star Wars and its Expanded Universe. There are new takes on familiar topics, such as wondering if The Force has to have a dark side. There’s a feminist critique of the portrayal of women, questioning, for example, the deeper meaning of being chained to a slug. The authors examine the philosophical significance of Star Wars on the real world and pop culture. Importantly, it looks at the influence of mythology scholar Joseph Campbell on the saga’s foundation. Just published, this is a serious work that is fun and fascinating, exploring such questions as: Is the Rebel Alliance a terrorist organization? Was it immoral to destroy the second Death Star? Does it take faith to be a Jedi?
How could you not want answers to these?

#25 – Star Wars Jesus – A spiritual commentary on the reality of the Force

Caleb Grimes

 

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Star Wars Jesus is a “spiritual commentary” on the reality of the Force. Written in 101 entries that follow through the six movies, the author lays out unique observations and discussions of the movies from a Christian spiritual and theological point of view. Laid out in bite-sized sections, Grimes pulls individual scenes and describes Biblical parallels.

#26 – The Gospel According to Star Wars: Faith, Hope, and the Force

John C. McDowell

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The author explores the many spiritual themes that weave throughout the six films. From the Force to the dark side, the issues discussed in the films have a moral and spiritual complexity that, if paid attention to, can help us better understand our place in the world and our relation to others and to God. McDowell argues that Star Wars creator George Lucas intended the films to be entertainment and a vehicle for moral education.

#27 – The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force

Daniel Wallace & various illustrators

 

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This is a playful, well-thought-out work based on the concept that the book consists of a series of documents discovered “near the ruins of Byss.” Introductory sections include the Jedi Code and history of the Jedi Order. Later sections discuss such subjects as the three pillars, becoming an apprentice, and advanced lightsaber techniques. The text is accompanied by illustrations. Also included is a galactic bestiary featuring such creatures as a Jodakan needler crab, Mygeetan whiteworm, and the furry o’cerry. These are the secrets that have been given to generations of Jedi—from the history and hierarchy of the Jedi Order to the mastery of the Force and the fine points of lightsaber combat.

#28 – The Tao of Yoda: Based Upon the Tao Te Ching by Lau Tzu

D. W. Kreger

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Philosopher Lao Tzu, a Chinese philosopher 2500 years ago and was the probable author of the Tao te Ching. He also founded Taoism. There is a mystical connection between the Tao Te Ching and the modern day mythology of Star Wars. “The Tao of Yoda” offers a unique translation inspired by the wisdom of Master Yoda, who, as everyone knows, is a Taoist.

#29 – The Way of the Jedi – A Treatise on the Mystical Philosophy of the Jedi

Adam Godwin

 

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The Jedi Ken Roku or ‘Way of the Jedi’ is presented here as the oldest Jedi mystical and philosophical treatise available to modern readers. It has informed Jedi training, beliefs and practices for millennia, having been preserved in the earliest holocroms of Cobar Jacash for over 100,000 years.

#30 – The Dharma of Star Wars

Matthew Bortolin

   

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This book uses George Lucas’ series and the universal discoveries of the Buddha to illuminate each other in playful and unexpectedly rewarding ways. The Dharma of Star Wars offers a new take, from A New Hope all the way up to Revenge of the Sith. It Includes instruction in The “Jedi Art of Mindfulness and Concentration” and “The Padawan Handbook: Zen Contemplations for the Would-Be Jedi.” Bortolin is an ordained member of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Buddhist community. Here, he explores such themes as suffering, mindfulness, karma and transcending the dark side. Yet another well-written exploration of Star Wars as a spiritual epic.                           

#31 – The Journey of Luke Skywalker: An Analysis of Modern Myth and Symbol

 

Steven A. Galipeau

 

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Galipeau applies depth psychology to the Star Wars epic, exploring the wealth of symbolic meaning embedded in this intergalactic adventure story. Skywalker’s journey, from his early life on a desert farm to his act of redemption that helps transform an entire galactic civilization, captures many of the struggles of the modern psyche, and exercises a powerful sway that has the elements of religious myth. Galipeau offers a Jungian analysis of four Star Wars movies, highlighting Skywalker, who is transformed from an inexperienced adolescent to a spiritually and mentally mature adult.

#32 – Star Wars: The Magic of Myth

   

Mary Henderson

 

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This is the official companion volume to the landmark exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. It explores the mythological roots of the Star Wars saga which has captured the hearts and minds of two generations of fans.
It is written by the exhibit’s curator and illustrated with hundreds of photographs, drawings and images, illuminating this modern tale of the ageless and mythic battle of good versus evil. 
          

#33 – Star Wars FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Trilogy That Changed the Movies

Mark Clark

 

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From the books and movies that inspired George Lucas to imagine the Star Wars universe, to early screenplay drafts that were never filmed, to short biographies of many people who made key contributions to the movies’ success, Star Wars FAQ explores every aspect of the original Star Wars trilogy. Along the way, it uncovers stories and details often missed by other histories of this series. Highlights include information about the Star Wars Holiday Special debacle, the Ewok TV movies, the rise of Star Wars fiction and its importance in the revival of the franchise. The book shows how those involved in making the movies overcame huge obstacles that culminated in the trilogy that became a dominant force in pop culture.

#34 – The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons

                

Brandon McKinney, Scott Kolins, Daniel Wallace

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From the sun-baked deserts of Tatooine to the frost-bitten landscape of Hoth to the misty swamps of Dagobah, this is the guide to the 100 most fascinating worlds of the huge Star Wars universe. Just a few of these include:
Kashyyyk, the treacherous planet where the Wookiee race dwells among the branches in elevated cities and lethal predators rule the surface;  Bespin, the gas planet devoid of solid ground, in whose atmosphere hovers the formidable Cloud City; Endor, The Forest Moon, dwelling place of the peaceful but powerful Ewoks and site of a decisive battle in the galactic civil war; Coruscant, center of power, law, history, and culture in the galaxy, and once the location of Imperial City, the seat of the dreaded Empire. See the worlds like you’ve never seen them before.

#35 – Star Wars: Complete Vehicles

D.K. Publishing

 

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Foreword: John Knoll, Visual Effects Supervisor at Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic
This book enables readers to explore the inner workings of the spaceships and vehicles of all six Star Wars movies, including a new cross-section artworks and lots of new photos. Visually explore more than 50 essential Star Wars spacecraft and landcraft, including the TIE bomber, Imperial shuttle, A-wing, B-wing, and more. Full-color cross-section artwork presents in-depth examinations of each craft’s weapon systems, engines, hyperdrives, cockpits, and construction secrets.

#36 – Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology

Bill Smith, David Nakabayashi, Troy Vigil

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In a battle, which weapon wins? The Stokhli Spray Stick or the Heavy Blaster Pistol? The Star Wars films contain a huge arsenal of new weaponry, from the Palm Shooter to the huge Laser Cannon. In this book you’ll learn the difference between Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber and Darth Vader’s energy blade and get the fine points of Chewbacca’s Wookiee Bowcaster. You’ll see what happens when you put a TIE Fighter Ion Cannon up against X-Wing Proton Torpedoes. You’ll get detailed data on every key weapon in the Star Wars universe, including the development and history of each weapon.
           

#37 – Star Wars: The New Essential Guide to Characters

      

Daniel Wallace, Michael Sutfin

                       

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This all-new Essential Guide features detailed profiles of more than 130 characters from across the Star Wars galaxy, including favorites such as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, Mara Jade, Jango Fett, Count Dooku, Anakin Skywalker, Zam Wesell and more.
This is complete coverage of the novels from the New Jedi Order and all of the classic movies, books, comics, TV specials, games, and the rest of the Star Wars universe. The New Essential Guide describes the history and personal data for each character, with vital statistics, homeworlds, and political affiliations.

#38 – Star Wars Light Sabers: A Guide to Weapons of the Force

Pablo Hidalgo

    

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This is the guide to the galaxy’s most fascinating weapons. Each lightsaber is as unique as the Jedi or Sith who wields it. Design techniques, hilt length, power source: all of these choices can add up to very different results, suited to particular applications. From Obi-Wan’s modification of his Padawan lightsaber to Darth Maul’s double-welded model, this book examines each lightsaber in detail, revealing the secrets of its construction.

#39 – Star Wars: The New Essential Guide to Alien Species

      

Ann Margaret Lewis, Helen Keier, Chris Trevas

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This comprehensive and lavishly illustrated overview includes beings from all six of the classic movies–plus the novels, cartoon series, comics, and video games. Each entry features a complete physical description and official designation; descriptions of the homeworlds; phonetic pronunciations (yes, pronounce H’nemthe and Xexto/Quermian); and notable appearances of each species. It also includes a glossary of crucial, descriptive terms and full color illustrations for each of the more than 100 individual species.

#40 – Star Wars: The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels

Haden Blackman

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From the beat-up landspeeders that whisk travelers between desert towns on Tatooine to Jabba the Hutt’s luxurious sail barge and the elegant Naboo Royal Starship, the vehicles and vessels in the Star Wars universe are an essential part of the saga. The Guide features updated entries that cover more than 150 ships, along with new, full-color illustrations. This new volume encompasses detailed profiles and statistics of crafts from five movies, the bestselling novels of the New Jedi Order, comics, TV specials, and games. You’ll even find the modifications Han Solo and Chewbacca made on the Millennium Falcon to make it one of the fastest vessels in the galaxy and the secrets of the Imperial All Terrain Armored Transport Walker, possibly the most formidable military vehicle ever built. Illustrations by Ian Fullwood.

#41 – Star Wars: The Essential Atlas

Daniel Wallace, Jason Fry

 

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This is it! Travel the Star Wars universe with this with this fully illustrated, full-color guide that maps the entire galaxy. Tour the planets, from Alderaan and Corellia to Tatooine and Zonama Sekot. Gaze the star systems from the Deep Core to the Outer Rim. For the first time, you can pinpoint their locations and chart the travels of your favorite characters through the vast reaches of space. This Atlas is a treasure of vital statistics that encompasses the entire Star Wars canon, including all the films, the Clone Wars TV series, novels, comic books, and video games. Learn about the Empire, its length and breadth, political regions, populations, trade routes, major attractions, and trouble spots; the Clone Wars and data on key battles and major Loyalist and Separatist worlds; the Sith Wars and the progression of the universal clash between the ancient Jedi Order and their dark side counterparts.

#42 – Star Wars: The New Essential Guide to Droids

Daniel Wallace

 

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Droids are the mechanical marvels that keep the Star Wars galaxy running. In this updated and expanded volume, every droid gets attention, from the simplest drones to the most sophisticated automatons. Included are all the newest droids from The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith to the Knights of the Old Republic video games and the Clone Wars animated TV series, plus the bestselling multi-novel series Star Wars: The New Jedi Order–all catalogued for the first time. You’ll get detailed histories and capabilities of nearly 100 droids along with full-color computer-generated illustrations and schematics of their construction highlights. Each entry is arranged by Droid Type, including medics and scientists, repair units, battle units, and cyborgs–plus special expanded entries for R-series astromechs, the 3PO protocol series, and battle droids.

#43 – Star Wars: Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force

Ryder Windham

 

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The Force, Obi-Wan Kenobi says, “surrounds us, it penetrates us, it binds the galaxy together.” And this is at the core of the Star Wars series. Some tap into the power and use it for good and others succumb to evil. The Jedi seek to bring for peace and enlightenment, while the Sith aim for conquest and control. This comprehensive overview chronicles the history of the Force and those who use it. In first-hand accounts by the characters themselves, we learn the first recorded discovery of the Force, significant battles involving the Ford and the purpose, construction and importance of Holocrons. We also follow the evolution of the Jedi and Sith orders. We also learn about Force-sensitive abilities such as battle meditation, telekinesis and “mind tricks.” A highlight is the vivid portrait of the Chosen One, Anakin Skywalker. Fully illustrated, of course.

#44 –  Star Wars: the Ultimate Visual Guide

Ryder Windham

 

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This is the revised and expanded edition, featuring 40 new pages to help explain every detail about the Star Wars films and continually expanding collections of books, novels, comics and media. It also includes LEGO Star Wars sets and minifigures, latest seasons of The Clone Wars, The Force Unleashed video games and the blue-ray release of Episode 1: The Phantom menace.

#45 – Star Wars Psychology: Dark Side of the Mind

Travis Langley (Editor), Carrie Goldman (Foreword)

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The Star Wars series creates a compelling universe, with complex characters and engaging storytelling. This essay collection offers a fascinating and unauthorized psychological analysis of every aspect of George Lucas’s richly rendered galaxy. Expert contributors led by Travis Langley (Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight; The Walking Dead Psychology: Psych of the Living Dead) examine such topics as family ties, gender, values, villainy, and heroism itself. The essays bring forth the recesses of the psyche and reveal the ultimate lesson of Star Wars. 

#46 – Star Wars Art: Illustration (Star Wars Art Series)

Steven Heller, Howard Goffman

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The instant and huge success of Star Wars took its creators by surprise, but they rose to the occasion and created a large and still-growing franchise with books, trading cards, magazines, video games, and merchandise. The art created for these projects continues to expand the limits and celebrate the iconography of the Star Wars galaxy. This book collects the best of these artworks as curated by George Lucas from among the top illustrators.

#47 – Star Wars Art: Concepts (Star Wars Art Series)

Ryan Church, Doug Chiang, Erik Tiemens, Joe Johnston

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This book collects for the first time, the best of Star Wars conceptual artwork. It features pre-production drawings and paintings from the Original Trilogy, the Prequel Trilogy, the TV shows, and the video games, Spanning the decades years from 1975 to the book is a fascinating look at the process of conceptual design. From pen and paint and paper to the digital realm, the result is the creation of breathtaking iconic worlds, vehicles, and characters that generations of fans have embraced.

#48 – The Hero with a Thousand Faces

 

Joseph Campbell 

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This is the book that provided George Lucas the focus and path he needed to create the Star Wars saga.  Campbell uses the concept of archetypes to map out the common underlying structure behind religion and myth. He shows that all stories are expressions of the same story-pattern, which he named the “Hero’s Journey.” Campbell says that “All religions are true, but none are literal.” That is, he concluded that all religions are really containers for the same essential truth. Apparently there is some truth to this since there are books relating Star Wars to several schools of religion.

#49 – The Power of Myth

Joseph Campbell

  

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The Power of Myth launched a huge resurgence of interest in Joseph Campbell and his work. The scholar, writer, and teacher, had a profound influence on millions of people—most notably George Lucas. To Campbell, mythology was the “song of the universe, the music of the spheres.” With Bill Moyers, one of America’s most prominent journalists, as his interviewer, The Power of Myth touches on subjects from modern marriage to virgin births, from Jesus to John Lennon, offering a brilliant combination of intelligence and wit.

#50 – Star Wars Encyclopedia

Stephen J. Sansweet

 

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This landmark volume is devoted solely to the Star Wars milieu. It draws together data from films, radio dramas, novels, short stories, computer games, and more, running the full gamut of this vast galaxy. It includes the science, technology, history, geography; culture and biography of the Star Wars universe. The fully illustrated, alphabetical reference covers every character from Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader to such obscure ones as Tnun Bdu. It covers the history of the wars and introduces us to the various planets and even the secrets and beliefs of the Jedi Knights. This massive reference also outlines the complete timeline of major events in Star Wars history.

Other Books of Interest

Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Characters

Andy Mangels

 

Star Wars: The Essential Chronology

Kevin J. Anderson, Daniel Wallace

 

Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know: Journey to Star Wars

Adam Bray

 

Star Wars Complete Cross-Sections: The Spacecraft and Vehicles of the Entire Star Wars Saga

Curtis Saxton, Karrie Dougherty

 

Star Wars: The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology

Haden Blackman

                                                                                                            

Myths to Live By

Joseph Campbell