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Magazine Review

Book Cover

The Official Star Wars Fact File


Publisher: De Agostini Publishing
RRP: £2.99 (weekly)
Publication Date: 15 January 2014 - Ongoing

Since 1977, when cinema audiences were first stunned by the sight of a vast Star Destroyer rumbling across the screen, the Star Wars films have continued to capture imaginations and, with a new film due to hit the screens in less than two years, fresh enthusiasm for the Star Wars universe is mounting. Officially licensed by Lucasfilm, The Official Star Wars Fact File features facts and figures from the original and prequel film trilogies, the Clone Wars TV series, and the official Star Wars novels, games and comics throughout the years...

De Agostini Publishing's latest partwork collectable magazine range is The Official Star Wars Fact File. This collection is designed to offer fans the most comprehensive insight into the Star Wars universe ever, building up week by week to be the ultimate guide to a galaxy far, far away…

With access to historical information, movie photography, commissioned artwork, CGI images and detailed blueprints, each issue covers events from a long time ago in six separate sections:

Battles & Events: The major, decisive battles that have shaped the Star Wars universe; including battle plans and strategies, profiles of the key factions, training tactics and blueprints.

Humans & Aliens: Data files and biographies of all the major personalities and races, humanoid and alien, including councils, secret sects, and other important affiliations.

Planets & Locations: Key data on the universe itself: orbits, environments, locations, cities, buildings, indigenous populations and, of course, Death Stars.

Droids & Machines: Design details and specifications, historical usage, primary functions and notable models of droids, robots and other programmable entities.

Weapons & Technology: The military and domestic technology of the Star Wars universe; from ion blasters to double-bladed lightsabers, sensor packs to quad laser scopes, cybernetic implants to thermal detonators, and much, much more.

Starships & Vehicles: Detailed cross-sections, design blueprints, owner profiles, and key uses of the spacecraft, land units and transporters from the Star Wars universe.

This partwork publication is published in weekly installments with 120 issues making up the set. That means it will take you just over two years and just under £360 to collect the entire series. The only slight drawback is the fact that, with a new movie coming out almost as this series is completed, your collection will already have a huge history gap in it. However that's not a major problem as it represents the Star Wars universe as we know it now.

From a design point of view, the collection is bright and colourful, with an impressive layout that is pleasing on the eye. The editorial is written entirely as though the franchise were real - it's almost an encyclopedia for the Star Wars universe. So don't expect any behind the scenes information on any element. For example, in issue one we look at Darth Vader's lightsabres, as though they were real pieces of equipment - there's no look at what Earthbound inspiration allowed the prop master to come up with the design. This isn't a complaint, I'm just pointing out that if you want a collection of this nature you'd be better off looking elsewhere.

So, at the end of the day, this delivers what it says on the tin. It's a partwork publication that is designed to be collected and added too over a couple of years. Once you know how long the collection runs for and how much you'll have to pay out to own the entire collection the choice boils down to whether or not you're that much of a Star Wars fan.


Nick Smithson