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We first read about it back in 1977, told to us by an older Obi-Wan Kenobi – The Clone Wars. Attack of the Clones showed us the start of the war with the Battle of Geonosis and Revenge of the Sith the end. Now we’re about to go one step further….

During 2008 there’s been a growing interest in The Clone Wars movie that seems to have organically built as more and more information and images have been released to an intrigued public. This book will light a fire under that interest and send it sky-high, because if the film and forthcoming television series are even half as intriguing and dynamic as this book then we are in for a treat.

Welcome to the Clone Wars, a three year conflict that engulfed the galaxy in war and misery but also stood as a time when the galaxies greatest heroes came to the fore and showed their mettle. Against impossible odds, the forces of the Jedi, supported by the Grand Army of the Republic, toiled against the trillions upon trillions of Battle Droid of the Separatist Army. And that struggle is laid out here in minute detail.

Jason Fry does an admirable job in setting the scene, with a classic Star Wars scroll up describing how ‘Supreme Chancellor Palpatine has committed thousands of clonetroopers to the war against Count Dooku’s Separatist Alliance‘. Laying out the sides in the vast canvas of the Clone Wars he pits the Republic Navy’s Jedi Cruisers against the Separatist Fleet’s flagship, The Malevolence, Clonetroopers against Super Battle Droids before delving into greater detail with the film and television shows main protagonists.

We’re all very familiar with Hayden Christensen’s portrayal of Anakin Skywalker, but the CGI incarnation is fresh and new, and here we get to see this three year period of Ani’s life begin. Interesting, in that the Anakin we left at the end of Attack of the Clones and the one we meet in Revenge of the Sith is markedly different, and this show will explain the reason why.

And clearly Ahsoka Tano is a huge part of that development. Arriving on Christophsis she is largely ignored by Anakin, but his eventual acceptance of her clearly shapes who he later becomes, and utilising the clever format Fry is able to introduce these snippets of info in bite-sized and informative packages.

Indeed, that is the way the entire book is laid out, filtering paragraphs of cleverly designed information in small enough blocks so any die-hard fan can absorb it. For example, did you know that Jabba the Hutt has ultraviolet vision, or that C-3PO’s cognitive module may have been stitched together from three scrapped verbobrains. I didn’t, not until just now, and the book is filled to the brim with such information that’s both relevant to the plot and story of the Clone Wars but also to the casual Star Wars fan who wants to know more about their favourite characters.

It’s also worth noting that the book covers both the television series as well as the film, so the appearance of both General Grievous and Jar Jar Binks is interesting, as neither are present in the forthcoming Clone Wars movie.

All in all this is an excellent addition to any Star Wars fans bookshelf, and an invaluable resource for those who are keen to follow the Clone Wars from the very start to the very finish. Sure to be expanded and added to, Jason Fry and the Lucasbooks team have outdone themselves.

This review was originally published on Lightsabre.co.uk on 3rd August 2008.