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This article is about the first edition of this book. You may be looking for the second or third edition.

A Guide to the Star Wars Universe is a reference book that was compiled by Raymond L. Velasco and published by Ballantine Books in 1984. It details the locations, inhabitants, and technology of the galaxy far, far away in approximately 951 alphabetized entries. It was later followed by second and third editions.

Publisher's summary[]

From Alderaan to Yavin and a myriad of fantastic worlds before and between—this is the one indispensable guide to the characters, places and things brought to life by George Lucas.

Characters
Organic and Metallic
From Artoo-Detoo to Salacious Crumb—all the heroes you cheered…and all the villains you love to hate.

Places
Havens and Otherwise
Anoat System, Hoth, Mos Eisley, Stars' End, Yavin—the landscapes, skies and vistas that are backdrops to Mankind's biggest saga.

Things
Useful and not
Chrysopaz, hydrospanner, Krayt Dragons, and Rancors.

Here is the key to a story that began long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Description[]

The entries within A Guide to the Star Wars Universe are divided into a series of categorized lists to help readers find specific names or terms. The entries within the main body of the book are alphabetized with no further categorization. They can be short and to the point, as in the two-word entry for "hydrospanner." The longest entries are about a page and a half. The subjects of these long entries are usually main characters and battles.

Every entry is followed by one or more codes that indicate the source of the information contained in the entry. A list of source materials and their individual codes are provided at the front of the book. Where appropriate, an entry directs readers to other entries relevant to the subject that it covers. This is the sole function of approximately 67 entries within the book. Forty-three entries are accompanied by a picture of their subject, and 20 entries include a pronunciation guide. The entry for the "Behavioral Circuitry Matrix" includes a diagram.

Perspective[]

A Guide to the Star Wars Universe was written at a relatively early time in the history of Star Wars. In contrast to more recent reference books that have been presented as in-universe works, certain entries within A Guide to the Star Wars Universe contain references to the real world.

For example, Orron III is described as "an Earthlike agricultural world." However, the most common examples of this occur in the entries for the Rebel pilots at the Battle of Yavin, which point out differences between the novelization and the film in the pilots' call signs. Additionally, Luke Skywalker's entry names the three films of the original trilogy and mentions that he is their central character.

Sources[]

A Guide to the Star Wars Universe includes information from:

Of previously published works, it contains no information from:

Furthermore, while the book does contain information from the Holiday Special, The Wookiee Storybook, and Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu, only the Chewbacca, Kashyyyk, and sabacc entries use information from these sources; there are no entries for characters and items that originate in these three stories.

Development[]

Art[]

The illustrator of A Guide to the Star Wars Universe was uncredited in the book. Though June Brigman was credited in The Secrets of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire for illustrations that had appeared in A Guide to the Star Wars Universe and she was acknowledged for her work in helping prepare the second edition of A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, there was no such acknowledgement in the first edition.

Text[]

After Velasco turned in the manuscript of A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Judy-Lynn del Rey asked Brian Daley to review it and correct any errors that he found. Daley later claimed in an interview conducted by fan Alex Newborn that he had filled up two to three pages with errors that he had found in the manuscript relating to the movies, his novels and a number of other sources. Velasco had also related subjects that were never intended to be such. For example, Daley had never intended the character Squeak to be a Tin-Tin Dwarf.[1]

Continuity[]

Though he acknowledged that A Guide to the Star Wars Universe was not perfect, Abel G. Peña saluted Velasco for what he considered a "corusca gem in the rough."[2] In an essay about the first edition, Peña cited the diagram of the Behavioral Circuitry Matrix and other examples in the book as reasons Velasco should be considered "the father of the ret-con in the Star Wars Universe" and "Star Wars' very first fanboy author."[3]

It appears that the only continuity errors that made it into the published edition of A Guide to the Star Wars Universe had to do with the physical descriptions of the bounty hunters Bossk and Zuckuss. This may indicate a reliance upon the novelization of The Empire Strikes Back for certain details. In addition, a few entries were misspelled (e.g., "Galandro" instead of "Gallandro," and "Sabador" instead of "Sabodor").

It is also questionable whether some entries should have been entries at all, as they were either standard English words with no different meaning in the Star Wars universe (e.g., "erg"), or phrases consisting of words that in combination carry no meaning beyond that implied by standard English construction (e.g., "external audio pickup").

Contents[]

The book categorizes each entry into one or more of the eleven broad categories below. The one term that has an entry in the main body but is not categorized in the lists is medipak. The synonymous term medikit is in the category lists, followed by the parenthetical "(see ref.)" Although many entries in the main body are merely pointers to other entries, this is the only one so marked in the category lists.

Alien Creatures and Species[]


Characters and Characters' Names[]


Devices and Things[]


Droid Names and Types of Droids/Automata[]


Historical Events[]


Slang/Colloquialisms[]


Social Customs and Institutions[]


Technical Concepts and Other Abstractions[]


Vehicles/Vessels[]


Weaponry[]


Worlds and Places[]


Appearances[]

By type
Characters Creatures Droid models Events Locations
Organizations and titles Sentient species Vehicles and vessels Weapons and technology Miscellanea

Characters

Creatures

Droid models

Events

Locations

Organizations and titles

Sentient species

Vehicles and vessels

Weapons and technology

Miscellanea


Notes and references[]

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  1. Newborn, Alex: A STAR WARS Fan Interviews: Brian Daley. myuselessknowledge.com. Star Wars Fanboy Association. Archived from the original on August 12, 2019.
  2. JCF-favicon.png The Official Wizards of the Coast RPG Designers Thread on the Jedi Council Forums (Authors and Artists board; posted by Halagad_Ventor on 5/29/04 1:22pm) (backup link)
  3. Peña, Abel G: Rejects of the Star Wars Universe 1.0. myuselessknowledge.com. Star Wars Fanboy Association. Archived from the original on October 26, 2019.

External links[]

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