The New Essential Guide to Weapons & Technology
by Haden Blackman and Ian Fullwood
Published by Del Rey
Scott's Rating: 2.5 out of 4
The following is the text from the cover of the book:
“There’s more to the arms, artillery, and exotic equipment of the Star Wars galaxy than Jedi lightsabers and blasters. Species such as the tree-dwelling Wookiees, the amphibious Gungans, and the deadly Yuuzhan Vong have yielded a staggering array of unique weapons and devices. And as the Star Wars mythos continues to grow–in prequels and video games, on screen, in print, and beyond–these remarkable technical creations also multiply and evolve.
The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology is the fully updated and greatly expanded reference resource that organizes and explains every key class, make, and model of Star Wars munitions–from the smallest personal sidearms to the most devastating interplanetary superweapons–along with a host of other high-tech paraphernalia. This exhaustive compendium includes:
• New in this edition: a fascinating look at the historical significance of Star Wars weaponry and the major technological turning points– including the Clone Wars, the creation of the first Death Star, and the Yuuzhan Vong invasion
• A roster of the major manufacturers who created the most powerful armaments for the Old and New Republics, the Empire, the Sith, the Rebel Alliance, and all of the exotic governments that populate the Star Wars galaxy
• In-depth descriptions of more than 100 weapons and more than 100 additional devices used for defense, communication, survival, security, and more–including detailed schematics of key technology featured in all five films
From the Geonosian sonic blaster to the Wookiee bowcaster; from the imperial energy grenade to the Yuuzhan Vong fire spitter; from dart shooters and laser cannons to Sun Crushers and World Devastators, find the facts about Star Wars firepower–and much more–in The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology.”
If you already own the previous editions of the Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology, you’re probably wondering if this book is worth buying. In my opinion, the details about technology from The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and the New Jedi Order make this a valuable reference. This edition offers a lot of information on and pictures of items like the Kamino Saber Dart, the Yuuzhan Vong Amphistaff, and other stuff. I particularly liked the representations of the Yuuzhan Vong technology because I couldn’t always visualize them in my head when reading the books. What I imagined ended up fairly different from what was in this guide.
This book includes a detailed listing of all the weapons and technology manufacturers in the Star Wars Universe. The list is incredibly detailed and it includes logos for each of the companies. If you’re into that sort of detail about the Star Wars Universe, then you’ll enjoy this.
Another addition to this edition is computer generated representations of the weapons. The CG renders were done by Ian Fullwood, the illustrator for the Guide to Vehicles and Vessels. They end up being a bit of a mixed bag. The guns, lightsabers, and other inorganic weapons look pretty good. The organic items and some of the characters don’t look that great. The illustration of the Yuuzhan Vong amphistaff looks particularly bad with venom dripping from it.
A gripe I’ve had with all of the Essential Guides is the fact that they don’t include references to where the first appearances of the items were. If I see something cool, I might want to go read more about it. Because there’s isn’t a reference list of any kind, I can’t do that. There were more than a couple of items that I had never seen before and I was curious about the first appearance of. Was it a book? A comic? A movie? It will take a lot of research to find out.
Do you want to spend $25 on a book that will be out of date in May 2005? That will take some soul searching to answer!