SW4 1

Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Characters (1995)

The Character Guide is an excellent example of the spectrum of good and bad ideas present in the Star Wars franchise.

Running two hundred pages, with every character getting at least a single page bio (and for some key figures, several more), it gives a surprisingly broad overview of the expanded universe. Important (and background) characters from the films form the backbone, but folks from Tales of the Jedi (Nomi Sundrider) and Dark Empire (Mako) are there along with characters from the books both known (Thrawn) and unknown (Triclops?). They even have an entry for the kid from the television Ewoks movie.

I like this book for all its weird inclusions because it shows the folly of trying to reconcile all Star Wars media into one cohesive whole. It isn’t just a matter of good versus bad (there has always been a lot of both to go around in Star Wars), but rather, a matter of audience. How on earth do you try to make the a tonally consistent universe when you have grim and gritty stuff like Dark Empire alongside stuff geared towards children, like the Ewoks cartoon (the ewok Princess Kneesaa from the latter has her entry printed opposite the one for Khabarakh, one of Thrawn’s Noghri assassins).

You can’t, that’s how! Which is fairly obvious, I guess, but it is nice to actually see it once in a while.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *