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Star Wars – The Essential Chronology

By | September 13, 2000

Del Rey 2000

Written in the style of a history book, this gives a quick review of the 'Story So Far', including information taken from the movies, novels, and comics, starting 5000 years before the events of ANH. Published the same month as Greg Bear's 'Rogue Planet', it does include references to this book. It also mentions the events of 'Vector Prime' and 'Dark Tide - Onslaught' in the 'Afterword'. It skips over the events of Episodes II and III, claiming lack of information (now being uncovered by archaeologists and librarians...)

The book also includes a handy map and timeline - the map is the same one as in the NJO books, and I have to say, the timeline is not the clearest I've ever seen. There are some really nice pencil illustrations of some of the characters and events (illustrator is Bill Hughes), but I would have liked some colour illustrations other than on the cover (I know - I'm just a big kid!)

Mistakes - yes, I spotted a few, mainly during the events of the Zahn novels. And maybe I'm biased (wait a minute; of course I'm biased!) but Mara Jade isn't mentioned at all, apart from the bits set during the Zahn books, and a very brief mention during the 'Corellian trilogy'. I am sure this is to do with balancing brevity and detail, and has absolutely nothing to do with the alleged personal views of the authors. Really I am.

I also felt the book occasionally slipped into relating events of a personal nature that I don't think historians would deem important (eg. Luke and Callista's relationship, that 'thing' between Han and Fiolla...) Kinda detracted from the 'style' of the book.

Recommended reading for:

1 - people who have started reading the recent novels and don't want to go back and read ALL the early books. This gives a useful background.

2 - EU fans who have gaps in their reading, particularly comic readers who haven't read many novels, and vice versa. I haven't read many of the comics, but found the early Sith stuff so interesting, I may go out and buy one or two graphic novels. :-)

3 - adults who haven't read the kids books, and vice versa, although the text might be a bit advanced for some younger readers.

Buy it? - useful for the suggested readers mentioned above, but no new information and I for one would have liked more illustrations. I wonder how long it will be until the second edition? (My money's on 2002...)

Rating -- 6 out of 10

Topics: Books and Comics, Expanded Universe, Nonfiction, Reviews | Comments Off

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