Star Wars: Elee & Me

When Slaju’s father brings little Elee home from his travels, Slaju and Elee become instant best friends, having adventures together all over Black Spire Outpost.

But as Elee grows older–and larger–she’s anything but “little” anymore. Slaju will have to decide what is the best thing to do for her best friend in the galaxy.

Author: Amy Ratcliffe
Illustrator: Anna Daviscourt
Release date: November 3, 2020
Pages: 48

Amy Ratcliffe and Anna Daviscourt give readers a great big fluffy hug and deliver a Batuu-based, feel-good, picture-driven book with Star Wars: Elee & Me. It is the story of an active and positive youth learning lessons of responsibility and relationships during her day-to-day dealings throughout Black Spire Outpost.

Ratcliffe’s writing introduces young Salju receiving a pet therii as a surprise gift from her father, after one of his galactic journeys. The Batuuan, who also dreams of owning her own speeder one day, is smitten by the tawny-haired baby, she names Elee. The cute little beast sports white upward-facing tusks from a smile-shaped mouth, adorable floppy brown ears, and a playful disposition.

They grow up alongside one another as typical pet duties are highlighted, such as feeding and cleaning up after the four-legged friend. Through Daviscourt’s whimsical and comical illustrations, we also watch Elee’s physical transition, including the pet becoming too large to live inside anymore.

The duo are inseparable—but the maturing girl understands that her therii needs space and room to roam—eventually freeing her to the Surabat River Valley where they find other members of the same species. The responsible “parent” assures Elee they will still see each other often—and is rewarded by eventually being introduced to her former pet’s very own baby therii.

On the surface, this children’s book is cheerful and enjoyable, but what sets this story apart is the masterful tie-in to the Batuuan mythology the story group continues to evolve.

The cover of the book, a Target exclusive in the United States, helps to showcase the joyous duo amongst a backdrop of Outpost architecture and the spires that accentuate the landscape. But it also includes two ships—one leaving, the Millenium Falcon, and one arriving, what appears to be the Razor Crest. Will Salju hug Grogu like she did baby Elee? Will she work on Din Djarin’s ship? Maybe this is a reach, but I don’t think it’s out of the question.

At a deeper level, and with help from additional information in The Traveler’s Guide to Batuu by Cole Horton, this is an origin story for Salju, the best mechanic on Black Spire Outpost and owner of Black Spire Station.

The illustrations by Daviscourt provide a deeper look at characters we know of but have rarely seen on anything Galaxy’s Edge. The story and art provide visuals of two mainstays from The Market that scarcely make in-person appearances. Bina, the Amani from Utapau who owns the creature stall, is typically exploring the galaxy for new animals—leaving her shop often staffed by “creature assistants.” There is also Lunacca, the proprietor and carver from The Wooden Wookiee, who spends much of her time back on Kashyyyk for supplies and resources. Both characters provide companionship and guidance to the young girl, and the Wookie even gifts her a wroshyr tree carving of Elee that makes multiple appearances in the book.

Ratcliffe and Daviscourt also share the lighter side of one of the most notorious citizens of The Outpost—Oga Garra. The Blutopian owner of Oga’s Cantina, who unofficially oversees all business deals on the planet, is also the owner of a cute tooka cat named Kaiska who is introduced by Salju.

“Star Wars: Elee & Me” is perfect to read to a very young child or to empower a burgeoning reader to navigate the well-illustrated tale of “growing up but not growing apart from those we love,” as described by Walt Disney Imagineering portfolio creative executive Scott Trowbridge. However, it is also a playground for any adult Star Wars fan who wants to get even closer to all the mystery and background provided through the land and stories of Galaxy’s Edge.

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