Let me just get this out of the way first. Thank you Pablo.
So, if you listen to the show or know me, then you’ll know that in ages past I consumed as many encyclopedias, essential guides, and in-universe books as possible when it comes to that galaxy far far away. I loved everything about what went on in that universe and I wanted to know all of it. The hard reset done on canon back in 2012 did nothing to change that. Those books are still coming out, which means I can still dive neck deep into the lore, tech, and history. And now I get to start at the “beginning”. I picked up the visual guide/dictionary for The Force Awakens and Rogue One as soon as they became available. The Last Jedi was no different.
Let me say, right now, Pablo hit another home run. Visually, this book is just as stunning as the movie it covers. The bright red of the Praetorian Guard on the cover instantly catches your eye. No joke, when I went to the book store to pick it up, three kids were sitting in a circle around the display, each with their own copy. Flipping over the cover reveals a two page black and white spread of Rey igniting Luke’s lightsaber for the first time. A section in the beginning also gives you the galactic map and a rundown of the consequences of what went down in The Force Awakens, which can be seriously helpful.
One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about these book, from the very first up to now, is the amount of information given in these things: The background of the MG-100 Starfortress bombers that sacrificed themselves during the evacuation of D’qar and their beginnings at the end of the Galactic Civil War. The purpose of the Executioner Troopers within the First Order. Why the Rebellion abandoned it’s base on Crait during the fight against the Empire. It’s staggering how much history and lore gets put into this to broaden the story. Which, I think, is a strong point considering you can’t bog down an already two and a half hour film with minutia.
Speaking of minutia. Let’s break it down even further. Personally, the best parts of these books are the even smaller bits of info that can add huge plot items, or just really cool details. Examples: What was the mosaic in the pool of water located in the Jedi Temple? Where did Snoke get the gem for his ring? Who repaired Finn’s jacket while he was healing? I won’t spoil those here, so go pick up the book. It can take a seriously long time going through all of this, and it’s a total delight.
At the end of the day, this series of books never disappoints. You always learn something. You always want more. And, so long as new films are released, we’ll have a never ending stream of awesome detail coming our way.