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A Guide to the Star Wars Universe (First Edition)

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This article is about the First Edition of this book. You may be looking for other editions.
AGTTSWU-1E
A Guide to the Star Wars Universe
Attribution information
Author(s)

Raymond L. Velasco

Illustrator(s)

Unidentified

Publication information
Publisher

Ballantine Books

Publication date

December 1984

Type

Paperback

Pages

215

ISBN

0345319206

The first edition of 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 summaryEdit

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…

DescriptionEdit

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 case of the entry for "hydrospanner." The longest entries within A Guide to the Star Wars Universe are about a page and a half long. The subjects of these long entries are usually devoted to descriptions of 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. Where appropriate, an entry will direct readers to look at other entries relevant to the subject that it covers. This is the sole function of approximately 67 entries within the book. 43 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.

PerspectiveEdit

A Guide to the Star Wars Universe was written at a relatively early time in the history of Star Wars and it shows. 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 out-of-universe elements.

Possibly the most out-of-universe entry is that for Orron III, which is described as "an Earthlike agricultural world." However the most common examples of this occur within the entries given for the comm designations of the Rebel pilots at the Battle of Yavin, where the book attempts to clear up the contradictions between the novelization and the film. 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.')"

SourcesEdit

A Guide to the Star Wars Universe included information from:

Behind the scenesEdit

ArtEdit

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 the second edition of A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, there was no such acknowledgement in the first edition.

ErrorsEdit

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").

ContentsEdit

The book categorizes each entry into one or more of the eleven broad categories below. Terms which appear in the book but do not have their own entries are listed in the appropriate "Additional" section 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 SpeciesEdit


Additional Alien Creatures and SpeciesEdit


Characters and Characters' NamesEdit


Additional Characters and Characters' NamesEdit


Devices and ThingsEdit


Additional Devices and ThingsEdit


Droid Names and Types of Droids/AutomataEdit


Additional Droid Names and Types of Droids/AutomataEdit


Historical EventsEdit


Slang/ColloquialismsEdit


Additional Slang/ColloquialismsEdit

Social Customs and InstitutionsEdit


Additional Social Customs and InstitutionsEdit


Technical Concepts and Other AbstractionsEdit


Additional Technical Concepts and Other AbstractionsEdit


Vehicles/VesselsEdit


Additional Vehicles/VesselsEdit


WeaponryEdit


Additional WeaponryEdit


Worlds and PlacesEdit


Additional Worlds and PlacesEdit


NotesEdit

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