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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

AFICIONADO REVIEW: 'STAR WARS REBELS - EPIC BATTLES' (BOOK)

The struggle for survival and rebellion, brought to life in STAR WARS REBELS: EPIC BATTLES. Images: DK BOOKS.

Our motley heroes leading a rebellious charge from their small sector of space in Lothal will soon look down into the darkest, deepest pool of hate and revenge when they encounter the fearsome Sith warrior, Darth Vader, as the all-new second season of Disney's hit animated adventure STAR WARS REBELS returns this October. And as we await the sounds of fury ahead- clashing lightsabers, screeching TIE fighters and zingingly connecting laser blasts- why not spend some quality catching up with the incredible conflicts, events, character meetings and alien environments uncovered within the first season of the acclaimed STAR WARS history-making series, as DORLING KINDERSLEY's info and picture-packed, all-new young readers edition Visual Guide, EPIC BATTLES, hits the book shops and online from 1st October, 2015.

A day in the life of Chopper the droid!
The mysteries of a long-abandoned Jedi Temple.

Going beyond the early minisodes and episodes covered in last year's opening series guidebook, EPIC BATTLES takes us up and away from the beleaguered Lothal, as our heroes lose some of the their early, erratic nature to become a firm fighting unit with the arrival of young Jedi-to-be Ezra Bridger, now being trained in the ways of the Force by his new mentor in Kanan Jarrus. Along the way, they'll fight the despicable and cruel servant of Vader, the corpse-faced Inquisitor and his unique mastery of a rotating lightsaber face, encounter mystery and enlightenment with the discovery of an old Jedi Temple and the vocal guidance of a certain frog-like wizard from far far away, make a fun alliance with that lovable rogue Lando Calrissian, have a memorable encounter with the always out of his depth C-3PO, once more partnered with the more rational and brave R2-D2, attempt to free a trapped Jedi from a seemingly escape-proof hellhole, and discover a new destiny and sense of unity joining forces with another section of the spirited, fledgling Rebel Alliance, along with the return of an old favourite from the modern animated STAR WARS universe, in their struggles against the cruel and despicable Grand Moff Tarkin, controller of the Outer Rim territories, above the deadly volcanic lava planet "where Jedi go to die": Mustafar!

Ahsoka lives!

Adam Bray, one of DK BOOKS finest STAR WARS historians, charts the adventures of the universe canon-concocted by the STAR WARS STORY GROUP with easy to read flair, giving us the lowdown on the many shocks and surprises (especially linked to young Ezra) now being revealed in the years set before A New Hope, whilst the selected imagery and inventive design work showcasing key action and story beats is as classy and gorgeous as ever.

The Empire's technological might strikes back!

But it isn't all just about Season One. There's a fine chunk of coverage for Season Two as well- its feature-length opener, The Siege of Lothal, with the return of the gracefully heroic, no longer undercover Ahsoka Tano, somehow survivor of the brutal ORDER 66, and the indomitable and foreboding Darth Vader- his unflinching, almost unstoppable attack on out heroes and their merging with the newly revealed rebel phalanx, being nicely represented, as is the first regular episode of the season after that- giving dedicated THE CLONE WARS fans more satisfaction with the return of the older but certainly not obsolete Captain Rex, alongside two of his equally cranky but cause renewed Clone Troopers, now living in deliberate isolation on the salty plains of Seelos. And if that wasn't enough, the book's chilling final spread gives us a fearsome up close and personal look at the next new formidable lightsaber-adept baddie bringing antagonism and danger to the REBELS universe: the Seventh Sister!

AFICIONADO RATING: The tension rises, the saga continues, with this super second book- colourful, striking and fun- just as the weekly series is to so many fans. 8 out of 10  

Get hold of STAR WARS REBELS: EPIC BATTLES here: Star Wars Rebels: The Epic Battle: The Visual Guide: Amazon.co.uk: DK: 9780241198247: Books

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