SALT LAKE CITY — (KUTV) - Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have a long-standing love for the Star Wars franchise. For the first time in four years there isn't a Star Wars film being released for the holiday season ("Solo: A Star Wars Story" arrived early in May), but that doesn't mean that there aren't some worthwhile new releases suited perfectly for gift giving to those who wish they lived in a galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy: Written by journalist Amy Ratcliffe (you've read her byline on Nerdist, IGN, Star Wars Insider or heard her on the Full of Sith podcast) with a forward provided by Kathleen Kennedy, "Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy" is a visually resplendent voyage to a far, far away place where the likes of Leia Organa, Ashoka Tano, Jyn Erso, Rose Tico and Rey debunk the theory that women need saving. Part of my love for the Star Wars universe has always been its strong female characters. I saw so much of Leia in my godmother that the two are forever entwined. The artwork, as if you can't tell from the gorgeous cover, is as sumptuous as the text.
Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy Notebook Collection: "Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy" tells the stories of the franchise's most notable female character. This set of three notebooks is your opportunity to add your story, be it a fictional tale or the starting of an autobiography, to the cannon of this galaxy.
Star Wars: The Rebel Files: Consider this collection of notes, schematics and official communications a rough history of the Rebel Alliance as told by those who were there on the front lines.
Solo: A Star Wars Story - Expanded Edition: Mur Lafferty's adaptation of "Solo: A Star Wars Story" includes additional scenes that reveal more about Qi'ra's history and Han's time in the Imperial Navy. You've seen the movie, now read the book.
Han Solo: Volume 1: This hardcover release collects the comic releases "Han Solo" #1-5 and "Star Wars" #8-12 into a single volume. The story finds Han entering the Millennium Falcon in the Dragon Void competition, a smokescreen for his real intention of recruiting potential allies for the Alliance.
Star Wars: Ultimate Co-Pilot Chewie: When this interactive Chewbacca was revealed at New York City's Toy Fair earlier this year I knew that I absolutely had to have one. Imagine an infant Wookie who laughs when you throw him into the air, falls to sleep and snores when you rock him and says a bunch of nonsense when you call out his name. He's a little attention starved and needy, but unlike an actual child, if you need a little quiet time, you can always switch him off. He looks adorable on a shelf.
The Star Wars Archives: This large compendium focuses on the original Star Wars trilogy and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the films from its origins to the completion of 1983's "Return of the Jedi." It includes storyboards, script pages, concept art and more in a lavishly designed 604-page release.
Po-Zu: Star Wars: This collection of Star Wars inspired shoes features a variety of high-top and low-top sneaker and boots. Taking influence primarily from the post- Lucas period, there are numerous designs ranging from cloth sneakers adorned with porgs, Kylo Ren, Rey, BB-8, the Millennium Falcon and the Rebel Alliance emblem as well as higher-end boot offerings for men, women and children alike. I have three pair, but the black Rebel Combat high-top shoes are very tempting. Now if the Skywalker boots only came in black, I'd probably buy two pairs.
Star Wars: Volume 3: The third hardcover volume from Marvel's current Star Wars run includes "Star Wars" #26-30, 33-37 and "Star Wars Annual" #2-3. This volume features stories from Ben Kenobi's journals, Luke and Leia stranded on an island and Han's ridiculous idea for a rebel base.
Star Wars: Thrawn - Alliances: At the Emperor's bidding, rivals Lord Vader and General Thrawn are tasked with investigating a potential threat to the Empire located at the edge of the galaxy.
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra - Volume 1: Doctor Aphra, a rebellious archaeologist who has made Lord Vader's naughty list, is a new character that initially appeared in Marvel's "Darth Vader" series. This collection includes "Doctor Aphhra" #1-8, "The Screaming Citadel" #1 and 'Star Wars" #31-32.
Star Wars: Millennium Falcon - Owner's Workshop Manual: Everything you'd want to know about the YT-1300 modified Corellian freighter (AKA the Millennium Falcon) and then a few hundred other details, facts and technical specs that you never really thought about. I don't think I've ever read my car's owner's manual from start to finish, but I did devour this 124-page volume in one sitting.
Yoda Electronic Mask: While it isn't nearly as helpful as my electronic fortuneteller Yoda, I don't think I've laughed harder at myself than when I put this mask on. In fact, I ended bringing it along with me to do election-night coverage. To this point I've only been able to get the mask to laugh, grunt and sigh (due in part that I've yet to develop the jaw muscles it requires to move the mouthpiece fast enough to get it to quote dialog from the films).
Solo: A Star Wars Story: Travel back to Han Solo's formative years as he rises from the squalor of Corellia to start on the path that eventually will make him a legendary smuggler (at least in his own mind) and hero for the Rebel Alliance. I found the film to be a thrilling roller-coaster ride. It's a little fluffy and tastes like cotton candy, but sometimes that's exactly what a film needs to be.
Star Wars: Rebels - Complete Season Four: Even when the film franchise has stumbled, the Star Wars animated series have always been incredibly strong. Maybe its because Dave Filoni was involved. Regardless, if you haven't watched "Star Wars: Rebels" you're missing out on some fantastic storytelling about a band of misfits set against the backdrop of the Imperial Empire's rise and the forming of the of the Rebel Alliance. Season four wrapped up the series earlier this year, but I suspect that we'll be seeing some of these characters factor into stories down the line.
At its heart, Star Wars has always aimed for a younger audiences. The films were in many ways were love notes from George Lucas to the serials that he saw growing up. Here are a few books that are geared for younger audiences.
Lando’s Luck: Lando Calrissian and L3-37 where the infamous smuggler and his legendary droid embark on a galactic adventure.
Star Wars: Choose Your Destiny: A Luke and Leia Adventure: Set just after the destruction of the original Death Star, this novel features twenty different endings based on the decisions made by the reader. I loved these books as a kid. Actually, I still love them now.
Are You Scared, Darth Vader?: Being afraid is a part of growing up, Unless you are Darth Vader. Lord Vader isn't afraid of anything. Or so he says. Find out what scares Vader in Adam Rex's entertaining book.
Star Wars: Search Your Feelings: Emotions can be a tricky subject. One minute you're happy and then the slightest of events can change your mood entirely. This picture book from Caitlin Kennedy and Calliope Glass uses poems and art based on scenes from the Star Wars franchise to explore the complicated world of feelings.