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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

THE DEFINITIVE WORD ON STAR WARS FICTION
 
The legendary motion picture Star Wars has spawned two big-screen sequels and three prequels—and decades of bestselling fiction. From the original movie tie-in novel through the monumental Fate of the Jedi series, legions of devoted readers have helped expand science fiction’s most celebrated film saga into a page-turning print sensation. Now, for the first time, a comprehensive overview of these sweeping Star Wars adventures is presented in one beautifully illustrated volume.
 
Star Wars: The Essential Reader’s Companion spans the entire galaxy of published Star Wars fiction—movie novelizations, original stand alone and series novels, short stories, eBook novellas, young adult titles, and comics—and features:
 
• a concise synopsis of each story, including key characters and planets
• exclusive behind-the-scenes facts and anecdotes about authors, plot and character development, continuity notes, and significance in the Star Wars Expanded Universe
• details on which novels are linked to Star Wars comic books from Dark Horse and Marvel
• a chronological listing of titles, spanning the 25,000-year history of the Star Wars universe and placing each story in its proper context
• more than one hundred full-color original paintings throughout by some of fans’ favorite  artists
 
Whether skimming through fateful eras from the Old Republic to the New Jedi Order; delving deep into the ancient history of the Lost Tribe of the Sith or the tumultuous Clone Wars; crossing paths—and lightsabers—with Dark Lords such as Plagueis or Bane, Sidious or Vader; helming the Millennium Falcon with Han Solo; or mastering the Force with Luke Skywalker, this one-of-a-kind, one-stop reference is a must for fans looking to maximize their knowledge of the sprawling Star Wars Expanded Universe.

Biographie de l'auteur

Pablo Hidalgo is the brand communications manager at Lucasfilm, a resident Star Wars authority who helps ensure consistency across a wide array of Star Wars projects. He lives with his wife in San Francisco, California.
 
Jeff Carlisle is a freelance illustrator and concept designer who has spent a good portion of the last decade in a Galaxy Far, Far Away. He has designed or illustrated for various Star Wars projects, such as books, magazines, web comics, role-playing and miniatures games, trading cards, posters, art prints, sketch cards, and even paper airplanes.
 
Joe Corroney has been professionally creating Star Wars artwork for books, games, trading cards, comic books, posters, and magazines since 1997. Currently, in addition to Star Wars, he’s illustrating for IDW’s True Blood and Star Trek ongoing comic book series. Joe runs a full-time illustration studio where he’s also developing his creator-owned comic book series.
 
Brian Rood is a freelance illustrator who spends most of his time creating new artwork for the Star Wars galaxy. His work can be found on numerous licensed Star Wars products, including toy packaging, Blu-ray packaging, trading cards, and a large assortment of Star Wars fine art reproductions with ACME Archives Direct. He lives in Southeast Michigan with his wife and two awesome children.
 
Chris Scalf grew up in Michigan, the middle child of a single mother. He didn’t have much so he thrived on his imagination. He began drawing his favorite moments from the science fiction and monster shows he loved watching on TV. Eventually a high school crush led to marriage and Chris’s desire to provide for his new family by making a living as an artist. In 2006 Chris was hired to paint his first Star Wars project, the R2-D2 mailboxes for the USPS. Today, Chris spreads his work between commercial art and advertising and the genre art he loved so much as a kid. He still lives in Michigan with his wife and daughter.
 
Darren Tan was born and raised in Malaysia where he grew up drawing spaceships, dinosaurs, and the stuff of his imagination, which was fueled by movies and computer games. Inspired by these, he went on to study animation and later graduated as a computer animator from Sheridan College, Canada. After a brief stint in 3-D animation, he decided to trade in polygons for a Wacom tablet. Now he works as a digital concept artist at Imaginary Friends Studios and is enjoying getting paid for his hobby. Apart from his passion for art and Star Wars, he is also a big fan of The Lord of the Rings and enjoys delving into medieval and church history. He now lives with his beautiful wife in sunny Singapore.
 
Chris Trevas is a freelance illustrator for Star Wars books, games, trading cards, packaging, and many other products. His book credits include four Star Wars: Essential Guides for Del Rey as well as several Star Wars technical guides and blueprints.


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22 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Essential Guide For Your Star Wars Library 2 octobre 2012
Par Skuldren - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Quite simply, Star Wars: The Essential Reader's Companion is the essential guide to Star Wars books. Readers get a full look at the expanse of Star Wars literature across 496 pages of book summaries, beautiful artwork, and additional info. The book covers all of the adult Star Wars novels, most of the young adult novels and short stories, as well as side notes on some of the important comics and video games.

The book is broken down into eight eras. Each era includes a introduction and is followed by summaries for all of the books and short stories. Each entry includes info for timeline placement, worlds visited, major characters, author, cover artist, publication history, and a summary of the story. Many of the entries also include an endnote which varies from entry to entry. Some share information about how the project came to be, fun notes about the authors, hurdles that the story encountered, alternate story ideas proposed in the outline stages, and any continuity conflicts.

One of the cool things I liked about The Essential Reader's Companion was that each entry included not only a list of all the worlds visited, but coordinates that will work with The Essential Atlas. On one hand it creates a continuity between the guides, and on the other, it makes finding the planets a heck of alot easier.

Another cool thing was the endnotes for each summary. My favorites were the ones that included alternate storylines that weren't used. For instance in Fate of the Jedi: Invincible, Troy Denning proposed having Jacen flow-walk back in time to meet Anakin in order to distract Jaina during their duel. The event would've backfired though, enabling Anakin to swap bodies with Jacen. Jacen would have then been trapped in Anakin's body right before the Yuuzhan Vong killed him. Anakin would have ended up in Jacen's body, thus getting a second chance on life. As a huge Anakin Solo fan, I can't help but think how awesome that would have been.

Little insights like that made The Essential Reader's Companion fun to scour through.

There is also a ton of new art. Before each era, there is a gallery of character portraits by Brian Rood done in a watercolor style. The faces on the characters are very realistic. Most of the portraits portray characters readers have never seen before. However that can be good and bad in itself. Some people might not like the look of some characters because it might not mesh with the image they formed in their minds while reading about them. Personally, I really loved the character portraits. I thought they looked great and I always enjoy seeing a canon image of the characters.

The Essential Reader's Companion certainly nailed what it sought out to do and more. I'll admit that I'm no expert on the exhaustive archive of Star Wars literature, but this book covers a lot of material. While sites like Wookieepedia are nice, sometimes they fail to accurately or effectively summarize the events of a book. The Essential Reader's Companion does that and then some. Furthermore, the new artwork is gorgeous and is the icing on the cake. You might not want to read it cover-to-cover, but as a reference book, The Essential Reader's Companion serves a role I did not realize was missing. If you have a library of Star Wars books, you'd be remiss to not have this as the cornerstone of your collection.
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An Essential Addition to a SWEU Reader's Bookshelf 7 octobre 2012
Par Peter Morrison - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I like to think Pablo Hidalgo wrote this book just for me. My favorite area of Star Wars fandom is the novels, I love reading the books set in the galaxy far, far away. The benefit of this is that my mental special effects budget is unlimited. The downside is that at this point there are so many novels and short stories that it can be easy to forget what happened where and keep the hordes of supporting characters straight.

I have been forward to this book for a number of reasons. The handy ability to quickly check out a books summary to remember what it was about when I am contemplating a re-read. The ability to catch up on the more obscure short stories or tales that I may have missed along the way. The hopefully entertaining and insightful editorial comments inserted by Mr. Hidalgo. Then once we started seeing rough artwork from the book I also became very excited to get my hands on this reference book for the artistic eye candy.

What did we end up getting?

The Essential Reader's Companion is a bookshelf busting 496 page, 2.8 pound tome. It is structured chronologically with an Introduction, two appendices and eight chapters. While it is a massive book in page count it is smartly designed in terms of height as to be very readable and not become difficult to handle while reading. The book comes with a MSRP of $29.95 but you can find it on sale for much lower than that.

The Introduction:

In the introduction Pablo lays out the scope and mission of the book. He discusses what is and what is not in the book and the reason behind those decisions. He also touches upon a suggested reading order and the issue of canon and continuity.

This is important to set the reader's expectation. What you get here is an exploration of the Star Wars prose fiction universe. While Pablo touches upon comic books, the Clone Wars series or video games where it is relevant those topics are only brought up in relation and how they interact in a specific way with the prose fiction. Without this limitation the project of writing this book would not doubt have been impossible.

The Chapters:

The body of the Companion is broken down into eight chapters.

Chapter 1: Tales of Ancient Jedi and Sith
Chapter 2: Height of the Republic
Chapter 3: The Clone Wars
Chapter 4: The Dark Times
Chapter 5: The Galactic Civil War
Chapter 6: The New Republic
Chapter 7: The New Jedi Order
Chapter 8: Legacy

It should be noted that as of it's publishing the Companion includes five yet to be published works of fiction.

"The Last Battle of Colonel Jace Malcom" from Insider 137(Pub. Date 10/24/12), The Old Republic: Annihilation (Pub. Date 11/13/12), "Heist" from Insider 138(Pub. Date 12/12/12), Scoundrels (Pub. Date 12/26/12), and The Clone Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy (Pub. Date 1/1/13).

If you want to avoid spoilers from those stories you should skip the sections that talk about those pieces.

Each entry in the Companion features the following information when applicable:

Author
Cover Artist
Publication History (Format and Date)
Time Line Placement (In universe BBY/ABY calendar)
World Visited (Atlas coordinates included)
Main Characters (In dramatis personae style of name, role, species and gender)
Summary

Hidalgo's editorial comments generally appear after the summary when they relate to that book or in a separate box if it relates to a larger issue or series of stories. These comments range from trying to untangle continuity messes to cool behind the scene tidbits about what almost happened with certain stories. In terms of the text of the book, I just wish we had more room for these pearls of wisdom from behind the scenes, but there are only so many pages and some secrets have to remain secret.

One addition that I would have liked to see more explicitly spelled out in the bullet points for each work is a list of books or stories that heavily referenced that work. This way make it easier for the reader to follow story or character through-lines which may not be contained in a specific series. I believe Hidalgo does this to an extent in the book, but I would have liked a more definitive and spelled out list of connecting works.

On top of the entries we also get a variety of artwork in the book. We get the story source's cover art, we get full and half page illustrations and we get character portrait galleries.

Jeff Carlisle, Joe Corroney, Chris Scalf, Darren Tan and Chris Trevas provide the illustrations throughout the book, while Brian Rood handles the character portrait galleries.

The art takes the Companion to another level. It is very well done and there is a pretty good variation in styles. I think the variation in styles is smart, as I tend to prefer the works of Tan and Trevas over those of Carlisle, but I think some fans may feel the opposite. It doesn't put all of your eggs in one artistic basket.

In any book particularly one this large there are no doubt editorial decisions that are made with great difficulty. My one major criticism of the book is that the character portraits by Brian Rood are done so well that it is a shame that the portraits are only about 1.75" x 2.25" and arranged six to a page.

The book is printed on very nice slightly glossy paper that really makes the artwork pop. There is a nice mixture of major character and minor characters and some truly strange and unique choices of subject matter scattered through the book.

The Appendices:

The Companion contains to appendix, Appendix A: Works in Publication Order and Appendix B: Works by Author.

These two resources also include the page number in the Companion where that work appears. Say did you like an Aaron Allston novel you read and want to find out what other Star Wars books he has written, you can go the Appendix B and then shoot to the page offering the description of the books.

Say you are relatively new to the EU and come across something that strikes you as odd or out of place in the EU. Check Appendix A and when the work was published may help explain why something doesn't seem to fit. Or say like me you took a few years away from the EU, then if you go to the appendix you can look and see what was published in the years you missed and seek out those items.

Conclusions:

This long awaited book by author Pablo Hidalgo and his rogue squadron of talented artists satiated this bibliophile's Star Wars book addiction. If you are a veteran of the EU pick up this book and let it remind you of some books or stories you may have forgotten and reconnect with those old friends. If you are new to the EU pick up this book and perhaps it will help you navigated the twisted hyperspace lanes that make up Star Wars publishing.

The Essential Reader's Companion will turn out to be both essential to my collection and a true companion that I turn to often.

The Essential Reader's Companion goes on sale October 2, 2012 in trade paperback (MSRP $29.95) and e-book (MSRP $12.99) formats.

Note: Review copy of The Essential Reader's Companion provided by Random House.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Great coffee table book 3 mai 2013
Par FantasyFan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Over the past decade, I have become more of an EU fan than a "canon" fan, as Lucas continually re-writes what has been established for the universe. My last straw was the "peaceful" Mandalorians from the Clone Wars series... but I guess that doesn't really have anything to do with this review, except to say, I love the writers (most of them, anyway) of the Expanded Universe.

I thought this book was a great collection of information. I've read around 100 of the Star Wars novels, and sometimes I want to revisit the stories without having to re-read the entire book. This collection does that perfectly. Some other reviewers mentioned that it doesn't encompass video games well enough, but I did not find that to be the case. The information across the board was pretty great, and I especially loved some of the "behind the scenes" style details provided. My only complaint there would be that they didn't have behind the scenes info on every book... which is understandable.

This is a marvelous chronicle and I highly recommend it to any EU fan.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Star Wars EU in Bite-Size Chunks 24 juillet 2013
Par Christopher G Daly - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Looking to delve into the Star Wars universe beyond the movies, TV specials, comic books and cartoons? Yeah, that would leave the world of books, for those who might have lost track. Penned by the keeper of all knowledge Star Wars, Pablo Hidalgo, those looking for a handy summation guide to the literally hundreds of Star Wars books out there, this is for you. Also handy for those Celebration scavenger hunts, as a matter of fact. As an added bonus, it's filled with incredible illustrations, too. If you only pick up one essential reader's companion this year, you probably should consider something about defibrillators, because let's be honest, that's probably a more useful skill set than knowing more about Han and Leia's kids, but other than that, Star Wars: The Essential Reader's Companion, is a pretty good second.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
a must have for the READERS out there 3 janvier 2014
Par ReaderZ - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This isn't a guide to Star Wars chronology in the traditional sense. If you want to pretend you live in the Star Wars universe and are reading the Galactic Encyclopedia in the library at the Jedi Temple; if you want to know the history of the entire squib race, if you want to read about droids and hyperdrive engines and weapons as if they were real, then by all means go to Wookieepedia and spend several hours. Or buy one of the many in-universe guidebooks that are out there.

But if you want to step back and remind yourself that it's fictional, and understand how it came to be what it is, then this is the book for you.

It's exactly what it says it is - a reader's companion - with the stress on the word "reader" - to the admittedly overwhelming volume of fiction that the Star Wars film franchise has spawned. That chart in the front of every EU novel you purchase? Sure, it tells you the "official" order of the books and movies. But the books weren't written in that order. And that sometimes creates problems and inconsistencies. Why do some books ignore Vader's backstory, or the Clone Wars saga, even though they occur later in the time line than these events? Why do some books and films appear to contradict each other on small, or not so small points? An in-universe book tries to make sense of these inconsistencies and makes up stories about why one character might have lied or said something when the real reason is very simple - because the prequel films or the Clone Wars TV show hadn't even been made yet when that book was published. Why, if this character has been around, in universe, for ten years, does no one in the story know anything about them? Well, because this is the first time, in the real world, that this character appeared. and their "earlier" appearances were written by authors later on, writing backstory retroactively.

The Reader's Companion tells you, in time line order, what happens in every book or story (print media) and it does so succinctly, without embellishment technical jargon. When there are inconsistencies among various sources of a particular story, it tells you - but it doesn't pick and choose, or say which is right and which is wrong. This approach clearly isn't for everyone, and not everyone will want this book.

Lots of people read Star Wars fiction. Not all of them are readers. But if you are a reader, this is the book for you. You'll want it for the many gorgeous illustrations that bring to life scenes from familiar and less familiar stories. You'll want it to fill in gaps in the stories, to find out what you didn't know you missed. You'll want it if you read the books as they were published and not "in order". But you will definitely want it.
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