Book Review: Chronicles of the Force

DK Publishing has a new book on LEGO Star Wars, Chronicles of the Force. It includes an exclusive minifigure of Unkar’s Brute, one of junk trader Unkar Plutt’s thugs from The Force Awakens.

The book is a full color glossy overview of the Star Wars universe as told through LEGO minifigures and sets. It’s clearly meant for kids, but I got one thing out of it that was interesting – the way it tied together the Star Wars movies (which I have seen) and the animated TV shows (which I have not) into a single coherent story line. This was all part of the Introduction section, which gives overall background about the Star Wars storyline and introduces the two sides of the Force. The majority of the book is then divided up into Light Side and Dark Side chapters, in which all the different people, factions, droids, weapons, and ships of each are explained.

Every page is illustrated with photos of LEGO minifigures and sets, not photos from the films or TV shows. There are backgrounds of space and planets behind them, but these are fairly generic and plain. Still, it’s visually appealing and the graphic arts work behind it was impressive. There are a couple of two-page spreads that you have to rotate the book sideways to read, however, which I thought was a little annoying.

There are lots of little factoid bubbles on the pages, with captions like “No Way!” and “Really?!” and “Wow!” listing trivia of various kinds, but rarely do these factoids measure up to the level of enthusiasm in the headline, in my opinion… example: “Wow! A BB-8 droid’s rolling, circular body allows it to travel at much faster speeds than most other droid models.” Not really a Wow level fact to my way of thinking. Another thing that bothered me was statistics about the speeds that vehicles could go – I’m quite sure that was never specified in any of the movies, whether in mph or km/h (what units do they use in the Star Wars galaxy?). But still some of the factoids were interesting. The pages are also littered with “Brick-sized Fact” boxes with information about LEGO Star Wars sets over the years.

Anyway, I’m not the target audience for this book. I’m not a big fan of Star Wars in general or LEGO Star Wars in particular, and I’m a bit old for it. But for the right aged kid, it would make an awesome gift. And if you have to collect all the minifigures, well you’ll need to get it for that Brute guy…

Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary review copy of this book and the above link goes to an affiliate page on Amazon.