Wednesday, December 14, 2011

18. Gifts for a Jedi

Lego Star Wars Character Encyclopedia
Dorling Kindersley, 2011
$18.99, ages 7-17, 208 pages.

It's a match made in toy heaven.

Lego Group joins with the Star Wars property to create an illustrated encyclopedia as irresistible as last year's Lego Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary.

An exclusive minifigure of Han Solo tucked into the cover entices readers inside where more than 300 minifigures await, from the rabbit-eared Jar Jar Binks to a sinister looking Shadow Trooper.

Each minifigure is blown up in size to fill out a page, as diagram lines identify key attributes, from Anakin's battle scars to Chewbacca's bandolier loaded up with energy bolts.

Divided into eight Star War sections, the book covers minifigures from Episodes I through VI, the Clone Wars and the Expanded Universe.

Among the highlights, rarely seen minifigures, like a nondescript all-blue Watto from 2001, and multiple versions of key characters, including ten variations of Luke Skywalker.

Lego Star Wars fans will pour through this with the same passion their parents did through the Sears Roebuck's Christmas catalog as kids.

Star Wars Darth Vader
A 3-D Reconstruction Log
Created by Daniel Wallace
Illustrated by Chris Trevas and Chris Reiff
Scholastic, 2011
$19.99, ages 8 and up, 22 pages.

Peel back the layers of Darth Vader to discover the secrets of the Sith Lord in this fascinating 3-D reconstruction.

As readers turn paperboard pages, layers of Vader cut away, showing everything from his scarred face to his circuitry.

Then off to the side, the surgical droids who transformed Anakin Skywalker into Vader explain each component in informational break-outs.

Readers see inside the black knight's chest computer, which regulates his breathing, and learn how his bodysuit self-seals against cuts and punctures.

Nothing, it seems, is left unanswered, though luckily some of Darth's coarser parts are left to the imagination, including an implanted bladder filled with nutrient paste. Yikes.

Coming a year after the popular Star War Millennium Falcon 3-D Reconstruction, this is must for any Star Wars fan who craves to know more, just not every nitty-gritty detail.

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