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Women of the Galaxy

They are heroes and villains, Sith and Jedi, senators and scoundrels, mothers, mercenaries, artists, pilots….

The women of the Star Wars galaxy drive its stories and saga forward at every level. This beautifully illustrated, fully authorized book profiles 75 fascinating female characters from across films, fiction, comics, animation, and games. Featuring Leia Organa, Rey, Ahsoka Tano, Iden Versio, Jyn Erso, Rose Tico, Maz Kanata, and many more, each character is explored through key story beats, fresh insights, and behind-the-scenes details by author Amy Ratcliffe. Also showcasing more than 100 all-new illustrations by a dynamic range of female and non-binary artists, here is an inspiring celebration of the characters that help create a galaxy far, far away.

Size: 8 x 10 in;
Pages: 232 pp;
Format: Hardcover
Publication: 30th October 2018
ISBN: 9781452166315

Amy Ratcliffe’s first book comes in on a wave of interest, initially based upon being the very first book entirely written by and with art by female and non-binary artists. That’s a hefty calling card to lay down, but the good news is that Women of the Galaxy more than lives up to its billing.

DOCTOR CHELLI APHRA – Artist; Annie Wu

The book focuses on 75 female characters from all corners of the Star Wars saga, illustrated by 100 accompanying images in a wide variety of styles. Ratcliffe takes on each character, giving us a look at their first appearance and their impact on the galaxy. For example, a read of Doctor Aphra details summarizes what we know, revealing the brazen, cheeky, fearless archaeologist who became a valued agent for Darth Vader while relic hunting across the galaxy.

Then we hop from Aphra to one of the newest and most fascinating characters of the Star Wars galaxy, Enfys Nest. Young she may be, but her reputation fizzes across the galaxy in no time. And very usefully, we get confirmation that the Cloud Riders – a proto rebel cell a decade ahead of A New Hope – consists of not only Weazel from The Phantom Menace but also the Tognath Benthic from Rogue One, a story that’s still a decade away.

KNEESAA –Artist: Jenny Parks

One of the treats of the book, apart from it’s lavish design and striking cover by Jen Bartel showing Rey and Leia, is how it hops from recognised character to hidden gem.

Princess Kneesaa is best known from the Ewoks animated series and Star Comics line back in the mid 80’s. The daughter of Chief Chirpa, she was presented as a comic character, a big bossy sister to Wicket and co. The painting by artist Jenny Parks completely dodges that, showing our friendly, furry, carniverous forest friend in action, showing her warrior mettle and it’s in twists like that which show the full value of the book as more than just a compendium of female-focused characters.

OOLA –Artist: Christina Chung

The artwork is uniformly stunning, and the accompanying words are concise and helpful blocks of text, written by an author with a deep understanding of the source material. Certain characters receive a deeper dive into their history, primarily the trio of Padme, Leia and Rey as well as Hera and Jyn Erso.

So, looking at the book purely as a Star Wars presentation it’s a handsome, beautifully designed book that will stand out on bookshelves. As a first dip into the female characters of the galaxy it’s a must, and as the first book written and drawn entirely by female creators it deserves every ounce of credit and plaudits it gets. Let’s hope there’s room in future schedules for further releases by this team as there’s plenty more characters to investigate.

Many thanks to Chronicle Books for the free review copy.