1. Books

The force is strong with 'Star Wars Made Easy'

Why does Anakin Skywalker join the Dark Side?
Why does Anakin Skywalker join the Dark Side?
Published Oct. 27, 2017

There are two kinds of people in the galaxy: those who have every last particle of trivia about the Star Wars movies at their fingertips, and those who don't.

Fortunately for the latter group, someone from the former one is reaching out to help before the next blockbuster in the series, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, hits theaters in December like a proton torpedo blast.

Christian Blauvelt is deputy editor at BBC Culture and a Star Wars nerd of the highest order. That's clear from his new book, Star Wars Made Easy: A Beginner's Guide to a Galaxy Far, Far Away.

In it, Blauvelt — who hails from St. Petersburg and graduated from Shorecrest Preparatory School — offers a fun, knowledgeable guide in graphic format for everyone who doesn't know a Wookiee from a wampa.

Colette Bancroft, Times book editor

Need help sorting out all the different kinds of beings on screen? This overview explains how people interact with other sentient species, the nature of droids and whether the humans in Star Wars are "us" or not.

One handy feature of Star Wars Made Easy is graphic plot outlines. There is a chapter devoted to each of the films, and the outlines illustrate the main events and major players for quick reference. Oh yeah! A New Hope is the one where Princess Leia says, "Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope."

Star Wars Made Easy also includes pages focusing on particular characters and the controversy that surrounds some of them. This one is all about how and why Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker became Sith Lord Darth Vader — love, fear or fate?