Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Star Wars Encyclopedia

The Star Wars Encyclopedia

by Stephen J. Sansweet

See All Formats & Editions

Its vast history and environs have been explored, studied, and chronicled extensively for more than twenty years. Now, this landmark volume--a definitive reference devoted exclusively to the Star Wars milieu--draws together data from films, radio dramas, novels, short stories, computer games, and more, running the full gamut of this extraordinary galaxy.



Its vast history and environs have been explored, studied, and chronicled extensively for more than twenty years. Now, this landmark volume--a definitive reference devoted exclusively to the Star Wars milieu--draws together data from films, radio dramas, novels, short stories, computer games, and more, running the full gamut of this extraordinary galaxy.

From science and technology to history and geography; from culture and biography to ecology and cosmology; from "abo" and "Abrax" to "zwil" and "Zirtran's Anchor," this all-encompassing, fully illustrated, alphabetical reference covers all the elements which have developed and expanded the Star Wars universe, creating a rich and diverse history that spans millennia. Its scope ranges from the renowned and infamous ("Luke Skywalker," "Darth Vader") to the obscure and enigmatic ("Tnun Bdu"); from the history of the Sith Wars to the Galactic Civil War that pit the Rebel Alliance against the Empire. It introduces us to the natives and customs of planets as diverse as Tatooine and Dagobah, and even to the secrets and beliefs of the Jedi Knights.

As a bonus for the intensive researcher, this massive reference includes the complete timeline of major events in Star Wars history.

Every key element that exists in the world of Star Wars is supplied here--in clearly defined entries that have been researched and written by one of the leading authorities on the Star Wars universe.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Who would have imagined, 21 years after the initial release of Star Wars, that the Force would still be with us? And box office receipts in the hundreds of millions of dollars generated by the 1997 rerelease of the SW trilogy prove that interest in the series hasn't waned. This trio tell you everything you always wanted to know about Star Wars but were afraid to ask (or didn't know you should). Sansweet's Encyclopedia is an incredibly detailed A-Z listing of characters, creatures, gadgets, and gizmos gleaned from the films as well as the numerous novels and comic books they've spawned. It also offers a time line for the entire SW story and an introduction by best-selling novelist Timothy Zahn. The beautifully illustrated DK duo cover characters, costumes, and weaponry in Visual Dictionary, while Cross Sections dissects vehicles and spacecraft. Want to know how a light saber really works or what the interior of an Imperial Stormtrooper's helmet looks like? It's allhere. The most remarkable thing about the books is the amount of thought that's been expended on the workings of things that don't exist. Though the Encyclopedia is remarkably comprehensive, it will unfortunately become outdated upon the release of the first of the SW prequel films, The Phantom Menace, May 1999, making it a marginal purchase, especially at $50. The DK books are seriously cool and exceedingly browsable, making them solid items for libraries. Though they are aimed at kids, don't be surprised to see plenty of adults flipping through them as well.--Michael Rogers, "Library Journal"

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Star Wars

Read an Excerpt

A-1 Deluxe Floater: A luxury air speeder, it features automated steering and fine Corellian leather. It is manufactured by Mobquet Swoops and Speeders. [CCG]

A-3DO: A multitalented service droid owned by Jedi Andur Sunrider,
the robot was a crack mechanic and copilot who witnessed his master's death at the hands of a criminal gang headed by Great Bogga the Hutt some
4,000 years before the Battle of Yavin. Called ThreeDee for short, the droid then aided Andur's wife, Nomi, as she reluctantly trained to learn the ways of the Jedi. [TOJ]

A-9 Vigilance Interceptor: An Imperial starfighter, this short-range fighter was introduced about six years after the Battle of Endor, soon after Grand Admiral Thrawn's defeat. The A-9 Vigilance Interceptor gives up shields and hyperdrive for speed. Faster than TIE interceptors, it's about equal to the New Republic's A-wing fighters. Imperial forces use its forward-firing laser cannons for hit-and-run attacks on hardened Republic installations. However, overall performance is less than hoped for because of its limited maneuverabil-ity and relatively weak hull. [DE, SWVG]

Aalun, Syron: One of a trio of famous Gand ruetsavii, or observers,
who were sent to observe Rogue Squadron pilot Ooryl Qyrgg's life and determine his worthiness to become janwuine. The highest possible honor in the communal Gand society, janwuine involves the right of an individual to speak of himself in the first person and to use personal pronouns in conversation. The ruetsavii not only observed Qyrgg's activities but also participated fully in the squadron as fighter pilots and undercover operatives. [BW]

Aba: The name young Jacen Solo gave to his Wookiee doll. [CS]

A'baht, General Etahn: Assigned as commander of the New Republic's Fifth Fleet because of experience leading his native Dornean Navy against Imperial forces, A'baht had a leathery face that flushed purple and eye folds that swelled and fanned out. His flagship was the fleet carrier Intrepid, and he declared the fleet operational following the live-fire exercise Hammerblow. Defying specific orders from Princess Leia Organa to stay out of the unexplored Koornacht Cluster, he sent the survey ship Astrolabe to Doornik-1142, hoping to get good military intelligence.
Yevethan forces, which had been roiling the sector and undertaking xenophobic extermination campaigns, destroyed the Astrolabe. Ambassador Nil Spaar, viceroy of the Duskhan League, declared the incident an act of aggression by the New Republic and prepared to go to war. General A'baht then led the deployment of the Fifth Fleet to the cluster and blockaded Doornik-319, where the Yevetha were mounting their forces. When the fleet came under withering attack, General A'baht was forced to withdraw.
Princess Leia Organa Solo then relieved him of command and substituted her husband, Han Solo. [BTS]

Abano: A poor farmer on Aruza, he was the father of Manaroo, a tattooed dancing girl who eventually married the bounty hunter Dengar.

Abbaji: The planet where the famous 100-meter-tall firethorn trees grow in a single grove of the Irugian Rain Forest. Prince Xizor, head of the Black Sun criminal organization, was given a 600-year-old dwarf firethorn tree as a peace offering by a business rival. The tree, less than half a meter high, had been in the man's family for ten generations and was considered by Xizor to be one of his most prized possessions.

abo: Old Imperial slang for native inhabitants of a planet, often used in a derogatory manner. [SME]

Abrax: An aquamarine cognac with spicy vapors. The best vintages were produced during the Old Republic. [BW]

Abregado-rae: A manufacturing and trade-oriented planet in the Abregado system, with a formerly primitive spaceport. Since the birth ofthe New Republic, the spaceport has cleaned up its act--at least to the untrained eye. Beneath the spit-shine and polish lies the heart of a smuggler, a spaceport where the galaxy's uncounted species mingle briefly,
have wild and sometimes fatal flings, then head off again for parts unknown. An oppressive government allied to the New Republic rules the planet's population of 40 million. Some nine standard years after the Battle of Yavin, the leadership cut off all supplies to a clan of rebellious hill people, which created opportunities for ambitious smugglers. [HE, HESB, DFR]

Abregado system: A planetary system located in the Borderland Regions--a militarized zone that separates the New Republic from the remnants of the Empire--it is controlled by neither but influenced by both. A vast and complex manufacturing infrastructure links the system's planets, and the goods produced there are vitally important to the well-being of the New Republic. [HE, HESB]

Abrion sector: The location of the planet Ukio, one of the top five producers of foodstuffs in the New Republic. Grand Admiral Thrawn's capture of Ukio had serious repercussions in the sector. [LC]

Abyssin: This primitive and violent species inhabits the occasionally fertile planet Byss in the binary star system of Byss and Abyss. (Byss has the same name as a distant planet that was used as a retreat by Emperor Palpatine). At about two meters tall, the hulking,
humanoid Abyssin have long limbs and a single large eye dominating greenish-tan foreheads. Because they heal quickly and can regenerate any body part, this nomadic race condones a high degree of physical violence,
since the consequences are short lasting. Off-world, they are often hired as petty thugs. [GG4]

Academy, the: Under the Old Republic, this elite educational and training institution turned unseasoned youths into highly trained members of the Exploration, Military, and Merchant Services. Under Emperor Palpatine, the Academy slowly became a training ground for Imperial officers, especially Raithal Academy in the Core region. (The Academy's numerous campuses are spread across the galaxy.) Under the New Republic,
the Academy is rebuilding to regain past glory. [SW, SWR, ISB]

acceleration compensator: A device that generates a type of artificial gravity and helps neutralize the effects of accelerating to high speed aboard medium- and larger-sized spacecraft such as the Millennium Falcon. [HSE]

acceleration straps: These passenger-safety harnesses are usually built into the seats of spacecraft to restrain passengers during takeoffs,
landings, and violent maneuvers. [SW]

Access Chute: The kilometers-long pathway snakes through a grid of decaying cities and tall docking towers on the spaceport moon Nar Shaddaa.
Its entrance is masked by a bright advertising holoscreen, and the Chute leads to the repair facility of an old buddy of Han Solo, Shug Ninx. [DE]

Accuser: See Emancipator

Ackbar, Admiral: Born on the watery world of Mon Calamari, Ackbar has risen from humble beginnings to become a re-nowned military strategist. His championing of the Rebel Alliance--after conquering his own inbred caution--played a major role in the Rebels' defeat of Imperial forces during the Galactic Civil War. He prefers to personally lead major assaults, and his troops still affectionately call him Admiral even though he is now of higher rank. Ackbar, who like other Mon Calamari has salmon-colored skin, large, bulbous yellow-orange eyes, and webbed hands and feet, was the leader of Coral Depths City when Imperial forces invaded and nearly destroyed his planet. Ackbar, one of the first to be enslaved, eventually became an interpreter for Grand Moff Tarkin. It was from Tarkin that Ackbar first heard rumblings of the Rebellion--as well as veiled references to a new super weapon that would crush the Rebels. Ackbar was rescued during a Rebel attempt to assassinate Tarkin and helped convince his species to actively support the Rebellion.
Among the hardware that the Mon Calamari contributed to the Rebel cause were strikingly beautiful, organic-looking star cruisers.

Made a commander, Ackbar helped develop the powerful two-pilot B-wing starfighter. After delivering several prototypes to the Rebels, he was promoted to Admiral by Alliance leader Mon Mothma. At the Battle of Endor,
Ackbar at first called for a tactical withdrawal. After becoming convinced that the Rebels could succeed, he committed all of his forces in one of the bloodiest battles of the Rebellion. In the end, the Rebels destroyed the second Death Star.

Even after the establishment of the New Republic, remnants of the Empire and bold criminal gangs mounted major military challenges. The New Republic later faced an attack led by Grand Admiral Thrawn. In the midst of the onslaught, Ackbar faced a personal crisis. On the home front,
Ackbar had been named a member of the Provisional Council and the ruling Inner Council of the New Republic, where he frequently clashed with Borsk Fey'lya, a Bothan leader. Based on what turned out

to be false "evidence" planted by Thrawn in Ackbar's financial accounts,
the commander was arrested on charges that he had embezzled New Republic funds. He was cleared in time to lead the New Republic fleet to victory over Thrawn's forces in the battle at the Bilbringi Shipyards.

Within days of Thrawn's defeat, survivors of the Emperor's ruling circle and six fleet commanders attacked and recaptured Coruscant, sending the New Republic fleeing to the fifth moon of Da Soocha. There, Ackbar and the others planned how to battle the clone of the Emperor Palpatine. After a few months on the space city of Nespis VIII, New Republic forces regained Coruscant.

Later, on a diplomatic mission to the windy planet Vortex with Princess Leia, Ackbar crashed his personal B-wing fighter into the planet's greatest artistic treasure, the towering crystalline Cathedral of Winds, killing 358
Vors. Later it was discovered that the commander's trusted chief mechanic had been turned into an Imperial operative and had sabotaged the ship.
Before being cleared, Ackbar had to fend off an attack on Mon Calamari by the ruthless Admiral Daala.

Ackbar returned to Coruscant and reassumed his role in the New Republic.
He asked Leia's aide, Winter, to join him on a trip to Vortex for a ceremony marking the rebuilding of the Cathedral of the Winds, and the two developed a close relationship. [SWCG, RJ, SWSB, SFS, HE, DFR, LC, DS, DA]

Meet the Author

Stephen J. Sansweet was a feature writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer before joining The Wall Street Journal. There, he was named deputy bureau chief in 1983 and, four years later, served as the Journal's Los Angeles bureau chief. In 1996, Sansweet joined Lucasfilm Ltd. as Director of Specialty Marketing to help promote Star Wars to fans both old and new. He started collecting robots and space toys in the mid-1970s and over the years has created the largest private collection of Star Wars memorabilia in the world. He is the author or coauthor of six books, including The Punishment Cure, Science Fiction Toys and Models, Star Wars: From Concept to Screen to Collectible, Tomart's Price Guide to Star Wars Collectibles, and Quotable Star Wars: I'd Just as Soon Kiss a Wookiee.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews