Posted on February 19, 2012 | Back to Literature
REVIEWED: Star Wars Year By Year, A Visual Chronicle by Ryder Windham, Daniel Wallace and Pablo Hidalgo
Here be spoilers.
If you're one of those people who relate Star Wars movies to the other notable events in your life, and apparently there are lots of you, I have the book for you.
Maybe the very existence of a glossy full-color tome called Star Wars Year By Year indicates just how culturally entrenched these movies are in western culture... As if the endless fan-produced videos, the empire-level merchandising and the ubiquitous cultural references weren't proof enough, right?
Still, there's something brilliant about Year by Year, as it combines politics, culture, art, science and everything Star Wars into a fascinating illustrated timeline.
Published by Doring Kindersley ("DK"), a company which has made an artform out of distilling complicated subject matter into low-text, high-concept books, Year by Year is engaging and easy to absorb. It starts with the early science fiction and pop culture influences that led to the first crude notes scribbled down by George Lucas in the early 1970s. It continues through the classic films, the era between the the trilogies, and up to the amazing animated Clone Wars. Written with the detached clarity of an encyclopedia, Year by Year doesn't sanitize the Star Wars phenomenon. Everything is included, even the crazy merchandising gimmicks and television disasters like 1978's Star Wars Holiday Special.
In DK fashion, the book is jammed with fascinating images, many of which I've never seen before. The oversized design of the book, which is nearly a foot tall and requires a sturdy outer case to contain it, enhances the visual impact of the material. The size and design also contribute to the book's enlarged price tag – originally close to $100 a pop. It's come down in price substantially since it's release over a year ago, however, and you can now find it for more around $30.00. If you're a Star Wars fan, this will probably make a great addition to your library.