….and didn’t know you should ask. I have always loved Dorling Kindersley books (known as “DK” for short). They have a long history of having great pictures, cool cross-sections, and bizarre little known facts so of course when they published a book on Rogue One it would have all of those elements – and more. What was special about this publication were two things – one that it included more than just details about ships and characters and two that it was written by none other than Star Wars guru Pablo Hidalgo.
Title: Star Wars: Rogue One – The Ultimate Visual Guide
Author: Pablo Hidalgo (illustrations by Kemp Remillard)
Cost: $30 (although it’s been on Amazon on sale for only $18)
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley (DK) / Penguin Random House
Genre: Star Wars
They do have cool cross-sections like the new U-Wing Gunship (UT-60D) and Krennic’s Shuttle (Delta-Class T-3C). They do have cool details about characters like Lyra Erso’s clothing are sacred vestments from Jedha or that Galen Erso’s middle name is Walton. But I love the additional tidbits of story elements Pablo added to the book like the code name for the mission Jyn and Cassian are headed on is Operation Fracture or Chirrut Imwe wears an old Jedha symbol on a pendant around his neck that later becomes the symbol of the Rebel Alliance.
I also LOVE some of the additional details that you would never notice just from watching the films but exhibit the deep background that Pablo and the story team delve into when creating these worlds. One of my favorite images is the collection of Jyn’s dolls she keeps on her bed on Lah’mu. We met “Stormie,” Jyn’s stuffed Stormtrooper she dropped while running to her hiding place, but did you know that Stormie’s best friend is “Kookie” the Tooka? Or that she has a snow lizard named “Tinta?” And even an Opee Sea Killer doll simply named “Opee Opee?”
I find it remarkable that everyone in the movie has a name! Whether it’s ever used or not in the film, each character has a name. All the scientists who got shot by Krennic’s Death Troopers (Rasett, Vlex, Ames, Sirro, and Feyn), the Rebel senator who wanted to give up (Vaspar), and even the former Red Five who Luke Skywalker would replace (Cadet Pedrin Gaul). It’s amazing to read the details behind the movie which only makes the movie that much more enjoyable to watch as you feel you have even deeper insight into what’s going on. Maybe the most cool reveal were the Rebel pilot helmets where you can see the detail on each one. Pablo shares that the helmets represent the pilots origins – either their original units, homeworlds, or beliefs (pp. 172-173).
DK is known for their high quality work, their attention to detail, and the crisp, beautiful images they always seem to manage to find. But with Pablo Hidalgo’s additional material, this book is a gem for any Star Wars fan. The book itself is beautiful but the details will have you pouring over its pages for hours just soaking in all of those details that make the Star Wars universe such a fun place to visit.
- If you want to know even MORE about the background for Rogue One read Catalyst