Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide
Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide is yet another Star Wars reference book you can add to your home library. Like the many visual guides, encyclopedias and dictionaries that have come before, this one offers a slew of pictures and information. It puts names to the background characters, droids, vehicles and weapons. However, one nice difference between this book and other guides is this one the locations and cross-sections elements, making it a one stop reference for everything Rogue One.
The book is the same size as the other guides, so it will look nice on your bookshelf. When compared to The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary, the Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide is way longer. It’s 80 pages versus 200 pages. Thus the “ultimate” part of the name is no joke. They crammed in information for the planets, the characters, the equipment, droids, ships and vehicles. Plus there’s cross-sections of some of the vehicles. It’s an all in one guide combining all of the normal guides that would typically be done into one convenient volume. This means that the format is a little different from the visual dictionaries. Those tended to have all white backgrounds with the images prominently displayed and usually cropped out. With the Rogue One book, there’s more color and only some of the images are cropped out. There’s also some big splash pages with scenes from the film. While this can be more aesthetically pleasing, the splash pages don’t really offer anything of value to the “reference” part of the book.
Digging into the real meat of the matter, this book does offer some interesting information and insight into the film elements and the characters. Whether you want to learn who that Twi’lek was in Saw’s cave or the name of the rebels on Jyn’s suicide mission, you can find it in this guide. That said, it’s not something you can read cover-to-cover and enjoy. There’s some interesting tidbits in there, but there’s also a lot that’s simply putting the content of the film into words. Reading through large sections of the book, you’ll quickly realize that you can skim over a lot of it as it doesn’t have any worthwhile reference information. It’s not like reading one of the old West End Game guides where they fearlessly dived into anything and churned out cool stories and background info. Instead, this guide plays it safe a lot of time. Still, there’s some memorable content. The character bios for the various rebels, Imperials and background characters has some neat info that gives them mini-stories. There’s some specs on the main characters revealing their homeworlds and ages. Plus one of the biggest highlights of the book is a full two page spread of all of Jyn’s toys as briefly seen in the opening of the movie.
So the question is: do you need to get this book? Maybe. It depends on how deeply you want to dive into Rogue One. If you want to know the names of things, their homeworlds or a brief snippet of who some of these people are, then this is the book for you. There’s some good stuff in it, and the amount of content does wrap everything up into one nice reference book. On the other hand, a bunch of books dedicated to each topic could have yielded more info. It’s a give and take. In the end, you might just want to check this one out at your local library. However, if you’ve already got a vast Star Wars library, you’ll probably want to add this one to your collection. It’s not the best guide, but it’s still pretty good. I give it a four out of five metal bikinis.
Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.