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The Star Wars Sourcebook (1994)

The revised second edition of The Star Wars Sourcebook (1994) is essentially the same as the first. The printing is better, there might be some tweaks to the text and layout, but the biggest change is the cover.

That change is kind of perplexing, actually, because the cover image — one of the poster paintings for the first Star Wars film — was actually the cover of the original Star Wars RPG rulebook (where the original Sourcebook had a cute painting of and Astromech droid using a computer terminal to print out pictures of characters, itself a charmingly odd choice of cover art). Passingly strange.

I do appreciate that the second edition resisted temptation to be bigger and better and all that. The idea behind the original was to flesh out the Star Wars galaxy as it stood at the end of the first film. This was to capture all the promise and excitement people felt at the end of seeing the first film, without muddying it up with any of the other stuff, even the other movies. It is smart, and ultimately, I think, an effective way of selling the core concept of the game. Releasing it as is, amidst a larger line of galaxy guides and technical manuals, feels like a real restatement of those original intentions that underscores that all the rest is optional. We’re always looking for more, so it always strikes me as interesting when something consciously decides to be less. In this case, to its credit.

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