LEGO Star Wars – The Visual Dictionary
by Simon Beecroft
Published by DK Publishing
Adrick's Rating: 4 out of 4
Spaceships, vehicles, creatures, equipment, and minifigures: This stunning Visual Dictionary celebrates the entire LEGO Star Wars history.
A complete illustrated timeline of every LEGO Star Wars set ever produced, including the latest Clone Wars sets.
All the minifigures, from Anakin to Yoda. How LEGO Star Wars sets are designed and created.
Every detail of the Millennium Falcon, Imperial Star Destroyer, and Death Star. Mini sets, LEGO Technic sets, and Ultimate Collector sets and much more!
Two of my favorite things growing up were LEGO and Star Wars. It’s impossible to describe how excited I was when I found out that my two beloved brands were joining forces (ha!) to create a line of toys. My first glimpses of Episode I came not from spoiler images, but leaked scans of LEGO catalogs. The Darth Vader minifigure, which graces the cover the Visual Dictionary, was one of my favorite toys.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been over ten years since those early days, and in that time there have been a staggering number of sets released, designed both for children and collectors. This book is sure to appeal to both groups, as well as older fans like myself who once knew every single set by heart…but now find them too numerous to count.
The book is laid out in much the same way as DK’s other Star Wars guides, with each faction and many characters getting a page or two of their own. This isn’t just a guide to the current sets; the Bounty Hunter page, for example, displays three of the Slave Is that have been released over the years, as well as the different Boba Fetts. The call-outs are both in-universe (“transparisteel viewport”) and LEGO specific (model “’Hovers’ on hidden wheels”).
The sets based on the film saga are in one section, while the sets from the new Clone Wars series receive their own. One of my favorite sections is an entire page devoted to the “mini sets”—sets built out of just a few pieces that nevertheless are instantly recognizable as Star Wars vehicles. Other non-minifigure sets, including Technic and Ultimate Collector sets, receive their own pages.
A particularly fascinating chapter deals with the development of Star Wars LEGO models, which has a handful of prototypes and intriguing glimpses of the LEGO designers at work. This should be interesting to anyone curious about how these sets come to be.
For me, this book’s appeal is definitely nostalgic. I can almost trace my late childhood through the timeline of sets in the first part of the book. I remember owning many of these sets, and wanting many more. It’s also frankly astonishing how many sets have been released since then. I really enjoyed reading this book—and the exclusive Luke Skywalker minifigure is pretty cool too!
I would have liked to have seen more focus on the development of these sets…the design section is interesting, but it’s only two pages long. There’s probably a whole other book to be had on the development process of and prototypes for LEGO Star Wars sets.
This book will probably serve as a history lesson for many young fans who were too young to remember the initial waves of LEGO Star Wars sets…I’m so old…