SW3 3

Galaxy Guide 3: Empire Strikes Back (1989)

Galaxy Guide 3 (1989) applies the approach from Galaxy Guide 1 to Empire Strikes Back. If it is less successful, it is only because the movie just has less interesting background characters (read: aliens).

The bulk of the book is given over to both rebel and imperial personnel. Much of it reads like an excerpt of a book on military history focusing on the Battle of Hoth and there is plenty of info on how many of the characters (most of them now dead) got to where they were. All of that is interesting, but it isn’t as immediately inspiring as the alien denizens of Mos Eisley were in the first book. So as a tool for running a Star Wars game, maybe not so useful. But, as another brick in the foundation of the larger expanded universe, pretty essential.

Oh, and of course, the bounty hunters. Gotta love the bounty hunters, even that incompetent guy Boba Fett.

Now is probably a good moment to point out how much I love Michael Manley’s character illustrations. They’re so super clean, almost comic bookish, but precisely detailed, like a technical drawing. A lot of the appeal of background characters like the bounty hunters is down to pure aesthetics, because that’s really all we get of them, often only for a brief flash on the screen. I love stylized art, but in cases like this, it is great to have all that costume detail presented in a relatively neutral style. Lets you really soak it in. Also, best Lando illustration ever?

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