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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[edit | edit source]

'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[edit | edit source]

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 within A Guide to the Star Wars Universe are about a page and a half. The subjects of these long entries are usually main characters and battles.

Every entry is followed by a series of codes which tell the reader where the information contained in the entry is drawn from. 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[edit | edit source]

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 within the entries for the Rebel pilots at the Battle of Yavin, which point out differences between the novelization and the film in the pilots' com designations. Additionally, Luke Skywalker's entry states: "(The second of three trilogies in the saga known as Star Wars chronicles the events in galactic history revolving around Luke Skywalker. The second trilogy is comprised of three stories: 'A New Hope,' 'The Empire Strikes Back,' and 'Return of the Jedi.')"

Sources[edit | edit source]

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.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Art[edit | edit source]

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 had been 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.

Errors[edit | edit source]

After Velasco had 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 had found. Daley would later claim 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. In addition to this, Velasco had 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]

Though he acknowledged that A Guide to the Star Wars Universe was not perfect, Abel G. Peña would salute Velasco for what he considered to be a "corusca gem in the rough."[2] In an essay about the first edition of A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Peña cited the diagram of the Behavioral Circuitry Matrix and other examples in the book as reasons for why 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[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]


Characters and Characters' Names[edit | edit source]


Devices and Things[edit | edit source]


Droid Names and Types of Droids/Automata[edit | edit source]


Historical Events[edit | edit source]


Slang/Colloquialisms[edit | edit source]


Social Customs and Institutions[edit | edit source]


Technical Concepts and Other Abstractions[edit | edit source]


Vehicles/Vessels[edit | edit source]


Weaponry[edit | edit source]


Worlds and Places[edit | edit source]


Appearances[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

  1. Newborn, Alex (October 1999). A STAR WARS Fan Interviews: Brian Daley. Star Wars Fanboy Association. Archived from the original on August 12, 2019.
  2. 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. Star Wars Fanboy Association. Archived from the original on October 26, 2019.

External links[edit | edit source]

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