The Star Wars universe is not just limited to its film and television offerings as it also extends to the numerous books based on the popular license.
Several new books are being produced, including The Lightsaber Collection, which chronicles a variety of different blades from popular Star Wars heroes and villains. Many images from the book have already been released, including Rey's dark side lightsaber from The Rise of Skywalker and a sneak preview at the lightsabers being used for The High Republic.
Speaking of, for those who are looking for fictional offerings in their novels, The High Republic provides just that. The new initiative at Lucasfilm will focus on an entirely new era in the Star Wars universe and will be comprised of many novels and comic books. The 'opening crawl' has already been released for the upcoming project, providing some insight into the setting of these stories. A spaceship from The High Republic era has also been uncovered in a Doctor Aphra comic.
A new book has now been announced, which should provide some insight about the ins and outs of the galaxy and how it's put together behind the camera...
SyFy spoke to Lucasfilm Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo, who penned a new book titled Star Wars: Fascinating Facts. The book goes into detail about in-universe lore as well as behind the scenes tidbits about the making of films.
Hidalgo notes that the book covers all nine films from The Skywalker Saga and that it should provide a "well rounded Star Wars education."
The format demanded a representation from all nine saga films across a variety of topics, so that kept the process more interesting than if it was a simple chronological list of fun facts...Because the book covers in-universe lore as well as behind-the-scenes info, it was very satisfying to be able to include trivia from both, because I tend to think a well-rounded Star Wars education includes how these movies are made, as well as what’s in them.
Rian Johnson discusses his thought process going into the Force connection seen between Rey and Kylo Ren, wanting to make the power to be "as simple and intimate as possible." Because of this, Johnson and editor Bob Ducsay refrained from using visual effects for the power, which may have detracted from the character-focused scenes.
Spaceship models have been used for the vehicles in the film and have come and gone out of fashion over the years. A notable detail is that the models never actually moved when used, instead being made to appear to through an optical illustation by ILM visaul effects supervisor John Dykstra.
One interesting fact that Hidalgo points out is the strange occurrence and subsequent need for storms during the production of the original trilogy:
[I've] always found it weirdly poetic that natural storms hit the production of two of the original trilogy films (Star Wars and Empire), and yet when they finally needed a storm on-screen and created a controlled sandstorm for Return of the Jedi, they ended up cutting it out. It was the first scene shot, and first scene cut for that film.
Also revealed is concept artwork for the Emperor's throne room from Return of the Jedi, which would then go on to inspire the look of Coruscant in the prequels.
The front cover is pleasing and simple with small Star Wars-related graphics dotted around, so it should look good on any coffee table. The cover is also emblazoned with the book's full title: Star Wars: Fascinating Facts - Story, Lore and History From the Greatest Galaxy.
The Last Jedi is definitely a film that puts its characters on the forefront, with spectacle certainly coming in second. While there are standout, visually impressive moments, such as the Throne Room battle or the Holdo lightspeed maneuver, Rian Johnson ensures that the focus is always on the characters and their motivations. This has been a trend for Johnson's style of filmmaking, as seen in his character-driven directing style that stems as far back as Breaking Bad and most recently in Knives Out.
Therefore, it makes complete sense for Johnson to forgo the use of visual effects in certain areas, instead opting for simple shot-reverse-shot camerawork to achieve the Force connection scenes. For films so rich in their production design and visual wonder, it is interesting to hear when directors choose to hold back in this regard.
The book should provide interesting information about all of the films in the Skywalker Saga, though, and how they have continued to influence and inform one another. The Emperor's throne room inspiring the design for Coruscant is surely one of many times where the past has been used as a basis for the franchise's future.
Star Wars fans can learn more interesting details about the galaxy and how it's made when Star Wars: Fascinating Facts releases on October 13, 2020.