[TF.N Main] [Contact Us]
[Books - Main]
[Books -  More]
[Star Wars Book Reviews]

[Star Wars Book Release Schedule]

[Foreign Covers]

[EU Roundtable]

Latest Releases...
[Lost Tribe of the Sith: Secrets]

Lost Tribe of the Sith: Secrets [EB]

[Episode I: The Phantom Menace]

Episode I: The Phantom Menace [PB]

[Millennium Falcon Owner's Workshop Manual]

Millennium Falcon Owner's Workshop Manual [HC]

[Darth Plagueis]

Darth Plagueis [HC]

[The Wrath of Darth Maul]

The Wrath of Darth Maul [YR]

[Shadow Hunter]

Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter [PB]

[Shadow Games]

Shadow Games [PB]

[The Old Republic: Revan]

The Old Republic: Revan [HC]


Riptide [PB]

[The Complete Vader]

The Complete Vader [HC]

[Star Wars Art: Comics]

Star Wars Art: Comics [HC]

[Heir to the Empire]

Heir to the Empire: The 20th Anniversary Edition [HC]

[Fate of the Jedi: Ascension]

Fate of the Jedi: Ascension [HC]

[Popular Stories]
CEII: Jabba's Palace Reunion - Massive Guest Announcements

Star Wars Night With The Tampa Bay Storm Reminder

Stephen Hayford Star Wars Weekends Exclusive Art

ForceCast #251: To Spoil or Not to Spoil

New Timothy Zahn Audio Books Coming

Star Wars Celebration VII In Orlando?

May The FETT Be With You

Mimoco: New Mimobot Coming May 4th

[Jedi Council Forums]
Troy Denning's Dark Nest trilogy (spoilers allowed)

The Official Alpha, the ARC Troopers and the Commandos Thread

The EU and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith- Spoilers Allowed

Secrets of the Jedi

Most powerful person in the galaxy

The Ages of EU Characters
There are no polls
currently operating
in this sector.
Please check
back soon.

View Poll Archives

The Star Wars Masterpiece Edition
Anakin Skywalker:
The Story of Darth Vader
by Stephen J. Sansweet, with Daniel Wallace and Josh Ling

Published by Chronicle Books

Scott's Rating:   2 out of 4

This hardback book comes in a large box with a limited edition 13" Anakin Skywalker doll from Kenner. The box has a Velcro secured flap that opens to allow access to the doll and book. The book is broken up into three chapters. The first is a history of how Darth Vader originated in the scripts and how he was designed. It discusses how Lucas came up with the name, how Ralph McQuarrie designed him, etc. There is also some discussion with the actors who have portrayed him. The second chapter covers what happened in the movies. This recap is a majority of the book. The third chapter covers the toys. It starts with 5 pages of commentary, then a text listing of almost every toy relating to Darth Vader. Every two pages has three pictures. The cover price is $75.


    The box has a bit of nice, eye-catching artwork on it. It's also nice that you can open the box and examine the contents before buying it. It's also good for storage. The doll's face is fairly well sculpted and the clothes are good quality. The book has some nice photos and sketches of Vader. The early designs especially caught my eye. There's some great discussion with Ralph McQuarrie and Ben Burtt.


    The box is enormous. It is 16" long at the base and very tall. Plus, it is cut like Vader's helmet, so it is an odd shape. I can't put it on my bookshelf, unfortunately, or anywhere else easily. This book has something for the toy collector, the film geek, and the fans that love the continuity. For a $75 cover price, it had better deliver. Unfortunately, I felt the payoff was mediocre across the board. The doll is rather plain. No lightsaber, weapons, or anything. Plus, Anakin was a GHOST when we saw him this old in the film. But here he's flesh and blood and plastic. If he was in spirit form, maybe glow in the dark, I would have been impressed. Then the book is cut in this odd shape to conform with the box. While I understand they were trying to make it like Vader's helmet, it was just plain awkward reading it. As for the contents of the book, it was not the greatest. The description of the creation of Vader was filled with quotes from The Annotated Screeplays, the Star Wars Insider, Magic and the Myth, etc. These are all books I already have. It needed some original content. Then the recap of the films took up waaay too much of the space. We already saw the movies, there's no need to repeat them in text. Finally, the toy section was awful. It was simply a text listing of what was made. I'd much rather see pictures of a few of them than have a text rundown of them. And there were very few pictures as it was. However, the pictures looked like they had been cut and pasted from the latest Insider catalog. Over half the stuff were things you can buy off the shelf now, none of it rare or interesting.

In short, this is not the definitive Darth Vader book. It understandably doesn't get into the prequels, so I guess they plan a second edition. Here's a few things I think they can add to make it better. Talk about Darth Vader in the books and comics. Talk more with the actors. Talk about Vader's appearances at concerts, in commercials, etc. What's it say on Vader's chest? Show more artwork. Forget the text listing of toys and show pictures. If I want a listing, I'll go to a price guide. And forget the oddly cut shape. It doesn't work.


    This book was $75 (and not to mention my early Christmas present). I'm assuming the figure was about $30, the book about $35, and the box around $10? Ugh. Would I have bought any of these if they were by themselves?

[All Posters]
Star Wars Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
Search For Posters, Cardboard Stand-Ups & T-Shirts!
Upcoming Birthdays
(next 10 days)
4/5 - Phil Brown
4/10 - Daisy Ridley
4/10 - Max von Sydow
[Rebelscum.com - Star Wars Collecting]
[TheForce.Net - FanFilms]
[TheForce.Net - FanForce] [TheForce.Net - Fan Art]
TheForce.Net - Your Daily Dose of Star Wars
The Galaxy is Listening
[TF.N Main] [TF.N FAQ] [Contact Us]