Teeming with pop-ups capped by a wonderfully menacing Darth Vader wielding a glowing light saber, this companion to Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy (2007) makes a memorable keepsake for fans of The Phantom Menace film and its two sequels.
With only glancing reference to the interstellar epic’s storylines, Reinhart introduces flurries of major and minor worlds, characters, spacecraft and alien races. Each broadly topical spread (example: “Slick Tech and Astromechs”) features both a big central figure or tableau that rears up to an unlikely height and, in at least two corners, nested pop-up constructs that open or unfold in layers. The art’s watery colors and indistinct lines don’t recall the vivid realism of the movies, and the bland accompanying commentary underwhelms (“…weaponry can mean the difference between victory and defeat”). That’s hardly the point: Even casual or nonfans will be open-mouthed at the gloriously rococo paper engineering—particularly the multiarmed, insectile droid Gen. Grievous and the final spread, in which viewers get a glimpse of Anakin Skywalker’s scowling visage before Vader’s armored helmet snaps into place.
A fragile but awesome tribute. (Pop-up/movie tie-in. 7-11, adult)