Writer Ryder Windham and artists Chris Reiff and Chris Trevas have been in a galaxy far, far away again and have had access to the Rebel Alliance to produce this book, ‘Star Wars Rebel Starfighters Owners’ Workshop Manual’, mostly from the original trilogy.
In the introduction, Princess Leia Organa points out that although it would have been easier to have stolen their fighter spacecraft from the Empire, they couldn’t steal enough and it was a better option to build their own and make them a bit more flexible.
When you consider how big the Empire is, hiding factories would probably have not been a problem although you do have to wonder where they got their finance from to build their own fleet, helped along by freeing some technical staff prisoners away from the Kessel Mines.
Although the X-Wing Starfighter is on the cover, all of the Rebel Alliance fighters are covered inside, with schematics and blueprints tied in with illustrations and photos. Special attention was made to be better than the Empire’s own fighters. I’m still a bit puzzled about weight conservation.
It might be applicable inside an atmosphere but it shouldn’t make much difference in space and you would think the power sources would compensate for that. I did find other reasons to have an astro-droid on-board making a lot more sense and was more like a sentient auto-pilot should the pilot be incapacitated. Looking at how many of these vessels have astro-droids, all with their heads above the chassis, you would think they would be more vulnerable to attack than the pilots.
Oddly, there is more pictures than text and I found it a comparatively light read, compared to the other books in this series. If you’re planning to scratch-build some of these spacecraft you will find a mine of information.
Whatever, the book will sell solely because it’s part of the ‘Star Wars’ canon. Just don’t give a copy to anyone belonging to the Empire.
(pub: Haynes. 123 page illustrated indexed large hardback. Price: £22.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78521-660-2)
check out website: www.haynes.co.uk