In 1999 the LEGO company and Lucasfilm came together to make what so many of us had dreamed of for years, LEGO Star Wars. All the kids of my generation had attempted at least a few times to make something from Star Wars in bricks, but now we could get official sets. The results were, and continue to be, phenomenal and prolific. So prolific in fact that it's become somewhat difficult to keep it all straight, but not anymore. Thanks to DK and The Brothers Brick's Chris Malloy and Andrew Becraft we now have the definitive guide to all things LEGO Star Wars, and it's glorious.
I was lucky enough to spend some time at BrickCon 2017 with Andrew and Chris, and get a first hand account of the making of this book, and I'm so glad I did. It was an intense labor of love, but it was well worth it. The book is classic DK style, with sturdy, durable covers with an embossed, glossy finish. The pages are thick and made to last, which is good since it's going to get thumbed through a lot. The photography and digital imagery is 95% LEGO produced and top quality. And there's so much to read about you'll find it hard to believe these two accomplished it in less than a year.
The book is arranged thematically, which is something new. It's broken down into three major categories: characters and creatures, locations and vehicles and equipment. But unlike other books that just list sets or figures by year, this assembles like items together. You want to see every X-Wing ever made? Check the index and flip to page 258 and there they all are. This makes it not only handy for reference, but a great way to see how the models have changed and progressed over the years.
And it's not just the big sets that are covered, the mini sets and even iterations that were in Advent calendars make the list, so to say it's exhaustive is pretty much an understatement. And it's not just dry information about what year the set came out or if it has stickers or something, there is background, what film or book it's from, relationships, and other facts. Flip to any page and you're going to be treated to a wealth of information, and there's over 300 pages in this book, let that sink in.
I'm not going to say it's 100% complete, while sitting with Andrew and getting my first look at the book it was not long before we spotted some omissions. But I don't really see that as a bad thing, it's just a great excuse for volume two, which can also cover the latest sets. But there's things in here you've probably never heard of, for instance the LEGOLAND Master Model Builder session kit designed by Gary McIntire from 2014 is in here, that's pretty obscure.
Now I might be a bit biased, this book was written by friends of mine, about Star Wars and LEGO, two things I'm passionate about, so I can't see how I'm not. But I genuinely believe this is an fantastuc book. It's assembled with care and love, with incredible attention to detail. I can say without hesitation that it's absolutely the new de facto guide to LEGO Star Wars, nothing else comes close.
The "Ultimate" in the book's title is well earned. And if you're into Star Wars, LEGO, and the intersection of the two, do yourself a favor and get this book. I can tell you quite confidently I'll be pulling my autographed copy off the shelf for reference and inspiration for years to come. I give it Five out of five Nerdlys.
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