Science Fiction

Star Wars: Episode I: The Visual Dictionary

Writer: David West Reynolds

Published By: DK Publishing

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Those of you who know me and/or have visited this site often enough know that I own a vast number of Star Wars books.  I try to keep up with things, but as Star Wars novel collectors know, this is next to impossible.  Every so often, I delve into the stack and read another book, knowing that I am impossibly behind.  The other day, I pulled out a book that I found in the Bargain Section at a local bookstore – Star Wars: Episode I: The Visual Dictionary by David West Reynolds – and started reading.  I finished it in a couple of days.

            Of course, my finishing it quickly was simply because of the style of the book.  This is no novel, but actually a book which defines different characters, locations, spacecraft, weaponry…anything and everything you can think of that you saw in Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace.  Being a visual dictionary, there are a great many pictures from the movie complete with verbal explanations as to what is going on, what people are wearing, the weaponry they possess, their clothing and more.  All descriptions contain facts that most Star Wars fans know, plus a few little known information as an added bonus.  For example, the section dedicated to Queen Amidala explains the various robes, makeup and hairstyles she wears throughout the movie.  The section about Anakin Skywalker contains information about him, points out different things about his clothing style, shows various projects he was working on at home, and contains information about Podracing.

            Star Wars: Episode I: The Visual Dictionary is a great book for kids who like to look with a critical eye at things around them.  Someone with a thirst for knowledge and a love for all things Star Wars will learn a lot from this visual dictionary.  Even I, a Star Wars aficionado learned a thing or two from the 60-plus pages filled with facts and photos.  For one thing, I never knew the names of the various handmaidens and Naboo Government Aides.  I had no idea that Darth Maul’s two-sided lightsaber was a style mainly used for practice and that the fact that he prefers this type of lightsaber means that his skills are impeccable. I even learned a little bit about the history of the Gungans.  Star Wars: Episode I: The Visual Dictionary makes a nice addition to any Star Wars fan’s book collection, regardless of their age.


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