Review by C.J. Bunce

When I was a kid in school, periodically we were given book orders, full of discount versions of books, but also posters and popular magazines like Dynamite, and lots of tie-ins with the latest news on current movies and TV shows.  Anything Star Wars was quickly added to our book order form, and that’s what Titan’s latest tie-in reminds me of most.  Star Wars Insider: The Galaxy’s Greatest Heroes looks at 16 of the biggest heroes of the franchise from the creators and actors behind them.  But after nearly 45 years, the book allows a greater opportunity for even more people behind the scenes to offer their commentary on fan-favorite characters, with something for every Star Wars fan.

The publisher didn’t include the name of the writer behind the book, but kudos to whoever assembled these questions and interviews.  As the centerpiece of the franchise, Mark Hamill has the biggest scope, having inhabited the role of Luke Skywalker for all of these years.  For Princess Leia readers get input from Carrie Fisher but also several actors who provided her voice in animated series and video games.  Directors like Lawrence Kasdan and Ron Howard, writer Jonathan Kasdan, and of course the actors who have played both Han Solo and Chewbacca take on what it’s like to be in the shoes of the duo.  Old interviews with Alec Guinness are combined with modern interviews of Ewan McGregor and The Clone Wars voice actor James Arnold Taylor to discuss Obi-Wan Kenobi (in fact for fans of The Clone Wars, note that there may be more content for Taylor and The Clone Wars than any other subject).  Similarly interviews with Billy Dee Williams and Donald Glover fill in the blanks for the section on Lando Calrissian.

The book includes interviews with original creator Stuart Freeborn and Frank Oz for Yoda, along with later creators Neal Scanlan and Tom Kane.  Other heroes include Padmé Amidala (including interviews with Natalie Portman and The Clone Wars’ Catherine Taber and Dave Filoni), C-3PO and R2-D2 (including great backstage photos and discussions with Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker), Rey (with contributions by Daisy Ridley and director J.J. Abrams), Finn (with an interview with John Boyega), Jyn Erso (with comments from Felicity Jones, director Gareth Edwards and Lucasfilm executive Kathleen Kennedy), Poe Dameron (discussed by Oscar Isaac and Rian Johnson), and last, but not least, a fun surprise: Warwick Davis discussing Wicket the Ewok.

A great addition to the line-up is Ahsoka Tano, represented in the book entirely by voice actor Ashley Eckstein.  The unfortunate gap in the book is the lack of Hamill and Ahsoka live-action actor Rosario Dawson discussing their characters’ appearances in season two of The Mandalorian, which is likely just a timing issue with putting the book together and the premiere of those episodes.

Visually the assemblage includes hundreds of behind-the-scenes photographs, concept art, even original costume sketches, plus some marketing images showcasing the characters.  Even readers who may have read interviews on the subjects before will appreciate seeing them all together in one place.

There’s something for every Star Wars fan in this book.  Pre-order Star Wars Insider: The Galaxy’s Greatest Heroes now here at Amazon (and here at Forbidden Planet for UK readers), or add it to your pull list at Elite Comics or your local comic shop.