Ossus Library Index Star Wars Timeline

ALL TIMELINES


ALL TIMELINES

3 stars
 

ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO CHARACTERS
By Andy Mangels (1995, Del Rey)
Read in 1998

I enjoyed this guide at the beginning, but I know why it is not meant to be read cover to cover.  It was a really good refresher on what happens in the novels, comics and films, indexed by character.  Because of when it was published, it only covers characters from books that were published before the Young Jedi Knights: Shadow Academy.

 

 

2 stars
 

ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO VEHICLES AND VESSELS
By Bill Smith (1996, Del Rey)
Read in 1999

This guide was quite technical.  For a fictional universe, that's quite a sad statement.  I did read this one cover to cover as well, but browsed through a lot of the text, and almost completely ignored the sketches.  There were small fragments of the stories from the Star Wars universe, but not enough that I would even browse through it again.

 

 

2 stars
 

ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO WEAPONS AND TECHNOLOGY
By Bill Smith (1997, Del Rey)
Read in 1999

Like the guide to Vehicles, this one was quite dry.  The author tried to make it more realistic by including specifics about the range, model number and manufacturers.  But I think that bogged down any explanations about any of them.  I liked a few of the descriptions, but not enough to keep it even as a reference book.

 

 

4 stars
 

ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO PLANETS AND MOONS
By Daniel Wallace (1998, Del Rey)
Read in 1999

Because of its publishing date, this guide makes the best synopsis guide so far.  It covers all books published before The Hand of Thrawn and the Rise of the Diversity Alliance, indexed by planet.  It even includes a list of where the information for each entry came from.  Often this was from many books.  Since I've almost completely forgotten the events from the original Thrawn trilogy, it was a nice refresher.

 

 

3 stars
 

ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO DROIDS
By Daniel Wallace (1999, Del Rey)
Read in 1999

More interesting than the books about inanimate objects, since droids have personalities, too, but still not very interesting.  Still, there was more reference to manufacturing and corporate procedures than what the droid actually did, in most cases.

 

 

4 stars
 

ESSENTIAL CHRONOLOGY
By Kevin J. Anderson and Daniel Wallace (2000, Del Rey)
Read February 1st to March 9th, 2002

A terrific refresher to the entire series before the New Jedi Order, including The Phantom Menace (the only Prequel story included). The authors were very fair about what they described, not favoring any particular books over others, placing the same emphasis on the good and the bad. I wonder at some of the stories they didn't mention, like the early X-Wing comics, rather gathering them into the the general phrase "several exploits". I liked the way the authors brought everything together, linking all the events, and extrapolating between them; even the academic fiction surrounding the whole book was amusing rather than irritating. Two things could improve this volume immeasurably, though. First, the drawings and sketches were terrible!  We needed some photos, or better sketches, like in the other guides. The second thing would be a better bibliography. I want to know where the small snippets came from. From references in later novels, events that came years or decades earlier are known. But the bibliography doesn't tell us which stories they came from, and I am certainly not going to reread the entire set of books looking for those references, including the game journals and short stories. As a whole, the book was fantastic, though. A worthy reference, with accurate summaries of most stories. Definitely a keeper.

 

 

2 stars
 

A GUIDE TO THE STAR WARS UNIVERSE
By Raymond L. Velasco
This original guide has a neat cover -the best thing going for it- with the Imperial bunker on Endor and its shield generator dish.  It covers everything from the original Trilogy, Splinter of the Mind's Eye, the newspaper strips, and the first Ewok adventure.  It wasn't very well organized, and the things/ people that were covered seemed to be picked at random.

 

 

2 stars
 

A GUIDE TO THE STAR WARS UNIVERSE, SECOND EDITION
By Bill Slavicsec
This guide was organized a little better than the first guide, but still seemed a little random in the items the author chose to write about.  It covers everything published up to the original Dark Empire comics.  I didn't read it cover to cover, but flipped through it every time I read a new Star Wars book -or every time I couldn't fall asleep!

 

 


4 stars
 

THE STAR WARS ENCYCLOPEDIA
By Stephen J. Sansweet (1998, Del Rey)
This one is sitting nicely on my bookshelf, where I flip through it every time I read a new book that contains references to the older books. It is organized like a real encyclopedia, and covers everything up to, but not including, I, Jedi. I kind of wish they had waited until the first generation of books was finished, before publishing this one. But it seems thorough in what it covers.

 

 

2 stars
 

STAR WARS TECHNICAL JOURNALS
By Shane Johnson
Read in 1997

At the time, I thought these three Technical Journals were worth the money.  Then they published it in the giant silver hardcover version, combining the three into one volume.  I don't think the hardcover is worth it.  Even the three magazine format editions are a little low on substance, now that I look at them.  The first one is on Tatooine, followed by Imperials and Rebels.  None are that striking in either the images or the text or schematics.

 
     

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