"Star Wars: The Complete Cross Sections" (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Previously, DK Books has release four volumes in their Star Wars cross-sections series, covering the various Star Wars films. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Star Wars, they’ve now combines all four of those volumes, along with new illustrations into the massive Star Wars: The Complete Cross Sections. This coffee table-sized hardcover book packs information on every ship and vehicle used in the six films into 152 full-color pages. John Knoll, the Visual Effects Supervisor for episodes I – III, provides the foreword to the book.
The book is basically an encyclopedia for Star Wars ships and vehicles. The items are shown in a cutaway art, allowing the reader to not only see the outside, but also see the interiors as well. This gives fans a unique viewpoint as you generally didn’t get a chance to see inside many of these ships and vehicles in the films themselves. Most of these are given a full two-page spread which include data files about each one. The data files provide information such as design and manufacture, wingspan, speed, crew capacity, armament, dimensions, ship or vehicle type, and other special features.
The book begins with Episode I, The Phantom Menace with each of the first three episodes getting their own chapter while the original three films are combined into the last chapter. In addition to the data files, a host of other information is provided on each vehicle as well. Text keys with map lines are drawn to each, pointing out important features of each vehicle. These are about the next best thing to the actual ships blueprints. The detail is simply amazing! On the Naboo Cruiser for example we see where the fuel tanks and fuel lines are located, along with coolant ducts, deflector shield projectors, sensor arrays and even mundane things such as the crew lounge and locker areas. These allow the reader to get inside these massive vehicles and ships and almost take a virtual tour through them.
Get up close and personal with Jango Boba Fett’s heavily armed Slave I ship with its blaster cannons, laser cannons, missile launchers, and mine layers. Other ships included from the episodes I to III include Padme’s Starship, ARC –170 Fighter, General Grievous’s Wheel Bike, Pod Racers, and Palpatine’s Shuttle.
The final chapter dealing with the three original films has certainly the most popular ships for fans including the Millennium Falcon, AT-AT Walker, Jabba’s Barge, and Darth Vader’s Tie Fighter. Several of the major ships and vehicles get fold out sections that provide four full pages worth of data. Chief among these is the first Death Star. The Slave I makes a second appearance here that includes the modifications made by Jango Fett’s son, Boba.
Hats off to DK Books for also profiling the two artists whose brilliant work is on display here, Hans Jenssen and Richard Chasemore. The detail and effort that went into these drawings is truly phenomenal. This is one of those items that is tailor-made for the hardcore Star Wars fan, a reference tool that can be consulted over and over again.
Mania Grade: A
Art By: Hans Jenssen & Richard Chasemore
Publisher: DK Publishing