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 Post subject: The complete Vader
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:00 pm 
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Note: The Prop Den review is based on one person's opinion which can vary. The review is independant as a fan and avid collector.


Review:

This was a much sought after book in the build up to it's release date. For UK residents the book is available via waterstones and through play.com. play.com being the cheaper option at £19.99 instead of £30.00. Although there is talk of printing issues I purchased two copies and I opened the waterstones issue and the print was without error, I am unsure of the play.com print inside.

The layout and design of this book is well written and the chapter's nicely intertwined, the book is of large hardback size. Some care has gone into the content and while some small errors for instance mentioning Prowse’s Welsh accent instead of a west country Bristol accent are evident, all in all the Authors try to stay away from anything hard hitting and rely on information from the likes of previous research from the Making of Star Wars and various websites which is old hat but no doubt essential in reminding the public. In fact there is little for hard core Vader fans to learn as much of it has been said before for decades. Any image collectors will also be a little frustrated that the 170 images basically are great for people that don’t frequent enough forums, as all apart from one image of Seb Shaw (in a decent size) there really isn’t anything new. The images that Bill Malone took are nice to see at last in a Star Wars book and novices especially will lap this up along with the Kersh/Vader Empire shot.

The book relies on Vader merchandise over the last 32 years and that takes a chunk of the book up. The Vault style layout is a popular and interesting design. The pull out on how to wear the Vader costume for appearances is a welcomed benefit. Overall the book is very well put together but it just lacks enough new information and fails to put enough detail into each sub section/chapter whether it be covering Vader‘s tie fighter or his sabers. For the merchandise sections I would’ve liked to see a statue section with all the various attakus, gentle giant, sideshow and numerous other releases, it just hints at what is out there. It is the same for the Kenner and Hasbro range and the book goes right through just giving a vague guide into what should have been more detailed information taken from all the various and previous SW books and condensing it successfully down into a well covered guide. Some may think that may be overkill but the authors had chance to give the book a broader spectrum.


Verdict:

The presentation of this book along with the glossy Images and vault style layout make this a must have for Vader fans. More seasoned prop collectors or Vader fans may find the book to lack the level of information they hoped for or rare images contained and the same can be said for merchandise collectors but overall it's a welcomed addition to a book shelf and nice to see Vader get a decent book of his own even if chapters were lacking depth from visual reference and information:

Rating

4 out of 5 - Recommended



Price: £19.99-£30.00

Brief Description:

Ever since the first Star Wars film was screened in 1977, fans have been drawn to Darth Vader -- the only character who links all six Star Wars films. Many books, both fiction and non fiction, have been written about the Dark Lord -- but only this one tells the complete story of the galaxy's consummate villain. From his early development by George Lucas, to the new legends created in comics and novels, The Complete Vader provides an overview of the character in all his incarnations. Going beyond the films to cover his further adventures in the Expanded Universe and beyond, the text combines new insight with collected interviews from pivotal behind-the-scenes figures, while more than 170 images illustrate our endless fascination with the Darth Vader and his story. Combining the epic sweep of the myths surrounding the character with his powerful visual impact, this is a must-have for fans and collectors everywhere.
Details


Author Ryder Windham & Peter Vilmur

Publisher Simon & Schuster Ltd (UNITED KINGDOM)

Year 2009

ISBN 9781847376657

Format HARDBACK - 200 Pages


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 Post subject: Re: The complete Vader
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:56 am 
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There was an interview with the authors about the book...

http://www.starwars.com/vault/books/news20090911b.html

And my own review back in September 2009...


Recall back to that softcover book "Vader, The Ultimate Guide"...take that and kick it up like 100 decibels. :lol This is a fairly comprehensive book geared toward the development of Vader from many points of view, including his development as a character, as well as his impact from a cultural, artistic, and collector's standpoint. There is discussion of McQuarrie, Muir, and Prowse and Jones, among others. For the astute Vader experts or enthusiasts here, perhaps a lot of it would be bits of things we've come across on Hyperspace or Star Wars insider, but it is a beautiful book for the Vader enthusiast and I think a worthy addition to anyone's Star Wars book collection, as it brings together more formally much of what we've come to appreciate about Vader over the years. Of course we would all love to see something more in terms of behind the scenes images of the costume development, but perhaps in a later edition (if I have anything to do with it :wink: ). There are quite a few fold-outs with tidbits like George Lucas' original handwriting of the gantry scene in ESB, and I was pleased to see both a conceptual drawing and pull out print of our own Darth Jones' 30th Anniversary SW painting "Redemption". Since it takes many people to put a book like this together, including designers, layout artists, etc., and so some things are decided independent of the author or authors, or they get added later on and with copy deadlines are difficult to change. Efforts to put in images with more color, for instance, might conflict with the flow of the chapter, or things like the placement or sizing of images. Sometimes other people would add artwork and ask Ryder to write about it and he didn't even know where it came from. :lol So it was a challenge. I found it interesting that in the course of writing the book, Ryder, with the help of the LFL image archivist, was able to find some unpublished artwork. For example they found McQuarrie concept drawings of Darth Vader's castle intended for ESB but never used.

I mentioned some of the initial feedback from Probe Droid's RPF thread to Ryder. Any sort of input is greatly appreciated and will be considered for any later editions that may come out. For example, concerns already raised in Probe Droid's thread on the RPF about the lightsaber section I think would be something to target for improvement/elaboration. Keep in mind that the information is presented not for a prop collecting audience but a more general audience. So if for example it is written that the Anakin Ep III lightsaber was made to be an exact replica of the ANH Luke saber, which I think was just a generalization that Ty Teiger's crew made close replicas, it would not be what we as prop aficionados would consider "exact". So there is a bit of artistic license there (or as some critics I expect would say just a lack of research, however you wish to look at it). Also, the photo Probe Droid showed previously of costume patterns was incorrectly referred to by him as "Pattern for ROTJ glove", which led to a bit of confusion. More accurately, they were for the left glove cover, tunic side back, tunic back yoke, and tunic back.

Anyway, here are some more goodies I found in the book...

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As a group we've seen so many rare behind the scenes photos, of course one would have hoped this would have been an opportunity to pack a book full of them, but alas not the case...certainly not like the book "Creating the Worlds of Star Wars, 365 Days" by John Knoll. But, one should appreciate that that wasn't the intent of this particular book. I think this book succeeds in what it was intended for, a comprehensive treatment of the development of Darth Vader as a character and motion picture and cultural icon. If there is a future edition, I'll hopefully be able to push for inclusion of more promotional photographs, or photographs taken by the production photographers.


Last edited by SithLord on Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The complete Vader
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:11 am 
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Probe Droid had also provided his own review on the RPF of an advanced copy he had received:

Just got an advance copy of SW: The Complete Vader, and it's quite a book. Alas, however, there's very little behind the scenes pix that I'm sure most of the hardcore Vader heads were hoping for, so I think this might be a disappointment for them.

There's a section on DV's various sabers although the book says DV had 3 sabers, and we know ther were more. The authors mention that the original props were made from the Graflex and MPP flashes, but, ofcourse, they show the ROTJ Graflex leftover hybrid instead of the MPP, and the text also asserts that the Ep III Anakin is an "exact replica" of the ANH Graflex, which we also to be false.

But that's nerdy prop geek nitpicking. It's a very beautiful book. Lots of cool stuff in it.

Aug 14 Update: Here are some scans. Sorry for the delay

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There are these little filders inside containing stuff like these 1977 instructions for the travelling Vader suit

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Pattern for ROTJ glove

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The only thing close to prequel reveal pix

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Back Cover:

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Last edited by SithLord on Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The complete Vader
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:03 am 
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A few quick scans....

Image

Image


This one killed me....it is so over the top...typical '77 attitude....

Image


Last edited by SithLord on Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:02 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The complete Vader
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:26 am 
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Nice write up Thomas.

A member contacted me to say the play.com issue does not have any print errors so that's another place to buy this book.

On reflection I compared the notes from the other Vader books I had reviewed and as I gave the story of Anakin Skywalker a 4 star review with it's flaw largely down to the lack of visual reference looking through these books just now and comparing one on one I may of been a fraction harsh and have thus given this an extra quarter to 4 stars to reflect by comparison, which I believe is right. This book sets out what it plans to do but in future I hope any book about Vader specifically from LFL really goes the extra mile and delves deeper into each subject and not briefly scan over them using information from well established previous books or popular websites, but for the public I'm sure this would be an interesting book because it shows new images to causual fans and it's strength is in the layout along with some new information for the public.


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 Post subject: Re: The complete Vader
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:23 am 
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Thanks, Paul.... :thumbsup

And don't forget it has vintage Star Wars cards that had Vader on them....as a pull-out with both the original front and back printed. :wink: And original real stickers too... :cool: And....and...... :lol

Ya for the general Vader enthusiast it's a fun book....


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 Post subject: Re: The complete Vader
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:46 pm 
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Do we know when the correctly printed versions will be available in the US?


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 Post subject: Re: The complete Vader
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:10 am 
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October 2011


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 Post subject: Re: The complete Vader
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:04 pm 
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I have yet to pick this one up. Is it worth it? Will I learn anything?


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 Post subject: Re: The complete Vader
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:19 pm 
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Zuka Zamamee wrote:
I have yet to pick this one up. Is it worth it? Will I learn anything?


Well i also have this book ( one of the first edition, with the damaged pages :wtf )
If you are longer arround in differend propboards and have see many pic's and storys , than definitive it's not worth it.
Theres nothing in the book wich you not could read in the RPF or here.
No unknown pic's or unknown storys.
But hey if you are a star wars bookcollector , than you will have fun on these one.


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 Post subject: Re: The complete Vader
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:58 pm 
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Zuka there won't be anything new for you in terms of information, but if you like Vader it's a nice book. I've added the pics I posted before to help you decide.


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 Post subject: Re: The complete Vader
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:06 am 
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Oh nice scans. There are a few cool things there... Hmm... thanks for reposting! :)


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 Post subject: Re: The complete Vader
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:19 pm 
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In the grand Vader Lovin scheme of things, this book, though a nice summary of all things Vader was quite lackluster considering the vast amount of photos that could have been crammed in there. One day I'd love to see something complete in the pictorial history of our beloved Vader. I want to see a lot more things that I have not seen in print. I want to see things I have not ever seen before period. There are new photos brought to our attention each year. I cannot believe that LFL doesn't have so much more in the archives on the most iconic baddie in cinematic history. :)


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 Post subject: Re: The complete Vader
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:48 pm 
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This book is in the discount stores here in the U.K. for ten pounds now. A bargain for the UK members.


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 Post subject: Re: The complete Vader
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:48 am 
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Keep in mind that the book was mainly intended for Star Wars fans and collectors of Star Wars memorabilia or art in relation to Vader. I don't think we'll see a book that goes into great detail about the things our group is most interested in, namely the creation of the costume and how the costumes evolved and changed with the movies. Most books, even books like the Star Wars Chronicles, only touch the surface. I think LFL doesn't realize that even what they would consider bad photos of Vader behind the scenes would be to us like a goldmine. The goal of books like this is to attract a particular audience. Maybe we'll see a change in that approach this year.


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