Star Wars: The Blueprints review

Epic production archive reveals how a team of artists helped build an entire universe

Originally produced back in 2011 as a limited edition that would set you back the best part of £200, J.W. Rinzer's epic collection of technical drawings for George Lucas' Star Wars saga is now available in a more 'mass-market' edition. True, it'll still set you back around £60 and is heavy enough to brain a Wampa, but no self-respecting Star Wars fan will want to miss out on this surprisingly absorbing look at a previously uncelebrated part of the making of the films.

Now, before anybody starts doubting my sanity in recommending this tome, I'll be the first to admit that the very thought of a book full of Star Wars blueprints filled my mind with visions of a Haynes manual for the Millennium Falcon and seemed like the very epitome of nerd-dom. But after finding a table large enough to hold its weight and starting to pore over the book itself, I was shocked to discover how utterly fascinating it all was.

Taken film by film in production order - and with only 62 of its 336 pages devoted to Episodes I-III (because so much of those movies was done entirely digitally) - Star Wars: The Blueprints is a treasure trove of technical illustrations for the films' sets, vehicles, droids and other miscellany. Accompanying the hundreds of illustrations and photographs are detailed descriptions and interviews with the artists, as well as full credits for each blueprint.

In doing so Star Wars: The Bluerints fills a vital gap in your appreciation of how the films were created, stradling the line between the countless production art books that have been published in the past and the movie themselves. In doing so it showcases just how the famous concept art of Ralph McQuarrie et al actually made the jump from the page to the screen and finally brings the work of these previously unsung heroes to light.

Star Wars: The Blueprints, Titan Books, £60 Approx