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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

AFICIONADO UPDATE: 'STAR WARS: YEAR BY YEAR - A VISUAL HISTORY' (2016)

Images: DK Books. © &TM 2016 LUCASFILM LTD.

The rise of the female heroine within the STAR WARS universe this past five years has certainly been the most noticeable aspect of the reinvigorated franchise since its inheritance by new Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, especially the creation of all-new sequel character of Jedi-to-be Rey, who captured the hearts and minds of fans so quickly, and the continuing evolution of animation series favourite Ahsoka Tano. Both striking ladies now take well deserved placings between Ralph McQuarrie's classic 1976 Vader Del Rey book cover art for the new edition of STAR WARS: YEAR BY YEAR - A VISUAL HISTORY, out now from DK BOOKS. New characters included, its incredible to see and read about how so much has happened with STAR WARS since 1977, of which this book is a timely reminder of how many generations of fans are more in love with the saga than ever as it approaches its intergalactic 40th Anniversary...

Here's a look back to our original review of the book in its 2010 incarnation, which still stands true to the overall tome: STAR WARS AFICIONADO WEBSITE: STAR WARS: YEAR BY YEAR

Kylo Ren makes his mark as the new sequel baddie, for the book's outside sleeve cover. Grandpa Vader is the back cover star.

As two gorgeous new concept art pieces from THE FORCE AWAKENS- Erik Tiemens and Iain McCaig's concept work for the epic lightsaber duel snow fight, and Doug Chiang's thrilling imagery for the TIE fighter chase of the Millennium Falcon across the Jakku spaceship graveyard - replace the book's previous prints, here's AFICIONADO's pick of the most noteworthy and standout parts of the expanded 2016 edition.

2010: Fans, critics and filmmakers come out to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, alongside the continuing success of the soon more adult and sophisticated THE CLONE WARS animated series.

2011: The launch of the new STAR TOURS ride with even more environments and characters than before, the return of wookiee hero Chewbacca in animated form, and the chart-busting Blu-ray release of the six films (albeit in further enhanced, love 'em or hate 'em Special Editions).

2012. The year STAR WARS made its transition towards The New Era. Image: © & TM 2016 LUCASFILM LTD.

2012: The arrival of the long gestating World War II movie RED TAILS, and the release of EPISODE I in 3D cinemas, giving the Prequel launcher additional staying power inside the all-time box office chart, show that George Lucas is busier than ever. Then comes the surprising news by Summer that he is retiring, and that control of the company is going to the safe and creative hands of Kathleen Kennedy. Following that, fans wonder what will happen next with the STAR WARS universe with the purchase of the company by Disney. As Lucasfilm undergoes intriguing structural changes and creative recruiting, as well as long term strategy formulation, the news is building that new theatrical STAR WARS movies are in the works...

2013: And so begins The New Era, as a huge wave of energy hits Lucasfilm and the STAR WARS franchise, via acclaimed fiction and the launch of new merchandise. THE CLONE WARS is sadly curtailed three seasons short of its planned run with Lucas's retirement, though the news is soon in that Disney has an all-new genre series planned, set between EPISODEs III and IV: STAR WARS REBELS. Meanwhile, fans eagerly await all the news thats fit to print on the upcoming EPISODE VII, excited by the prospect of incoming director J.J. Abrams finally signing up, and teamed alongside Classic Trilogy veteran Lawrence Kasdan, whose work on RETURN OF THE JEDI is also being celebrated within its 30th Anniversary.

2014: Nearly ten years on from the end of EPISODE III, the next untitled chapter of the franchise finally begins filming in April, as the first press call pic featuring its impressive cast, mixing old and new stars with some great new supporting actors, is unveiled worldwide. May sees the announcement of an all-new standalone movie, ROGUE ONE, helmed by Britster Gareth Edwards- when the film's central plot is later revealed at a CELEBRATION convention, fans go deservedly wild at the prospect of finally witnessing the stealing of the infamous Death Star plans. STAR WARS REBELS debuts and immediately makes a positive impression with younger fans, whist older fans see its long-term potential with the eventual return of Darth Vader.

2015: A true blitzkrieg of emotion, joy and wonder, as THE FORCE AWAKENS makes its indelible mark on worldwide cinemas audiences, helped by brilliant marketing, the return of the earlier six films to a new generation via digital HD and streaming, new plans for an ambitious STAR WARS site at Disneyland, and an American CELEBRATION event where fans are rabidly enthusiastic and soon blown away with the film's second trailer. The feeling of "we're home" has never felt stronger to so many. Meanwhile,with the world distracted by AWAKENS fever, the covert heroes of ROGUE ONE begin their equally covert filming in England.

2016: Its a STAR WARS universe bigger and brighter than ever, as fans applaud the majority of the creative decisions made by Kathleen Kennedy and her team in their handling of the old with the new, with ROGUE ONE about to be a wonderful Christmas present, and post production of EPISODE VII a sudden reality.

Get hold of STAR WARS: YEAR BY YEAR here: Star Wars Year by Year Updated Edition: Amazon.co.uk: DK: 9780241232415: Books

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