Star Wars Unfolds: The Original Trilogy

We read a review copy provided by the publisher.
Sam, Dash, and Alex reviewed this book!

Star Wars Unfolds: The Original Trilogy is a unique new way to experience the Star Wars films. Part pop-up book and part greatest-hits compilation, Star Wars Unfolds takes the artwork from the recent Galaxy of Adventures animated shorts and gives young readers a different way to experience the story.

The mechanics behind this book are super cool and I’ve struggled to figure out how to describe them. Since I can’t seem to do it justice, I pulled this quote from the publisher’s website: “As you turn the pages, one epic and seamlessly captivating illustration, printed on an accordion fold, moves forward with you—each section transitioning into the next…”

It looks amazing.

Essentially, you have an illustrated timeline that moves along with you as you read. Each individual pop-up includes a compilation of images that then moves into the next one. So the last image on the first page becomes the first image on the second and so on. The illustrations are great and the book almost feels animated in that way. Each page is then accompanied by a couple of quotes from the film that give context to the images.

The biggest downside to Star Wars Unfolds was that it oversimplifies the second two movies in the original trilogy. It feels like almost a full of this book focuses on A New Hope which means that The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi get very rushed. The end doesn’t even make it clear that the Emperor was even defeated. It ends with Luke and Vader fighting in front of him with the fate of the galaxy unknown. That just seems like in an odd spot to end the whole book.

As cool as this book looks it becomes a little difficult to determine the actual target reader. If you give this book to too young of a reader I suspect it may get damaged though the pop-ups and pages feel surprisingly durable. Younger readers, too, may not care too much for the quotes. But I suspect it’ll be a great book for Star Wars fans to flip through with their children (though maybe not actually read) and remember some of the films’ great scenes without having to rewatch them over a good six hour stretch.

Alex LIKED this book!
Despite not having the patience to sit through the films usually, Alex loves Star Wars. She loves the bad guys and likes that the good guys fight them with their powers. She wasn’t interested in the quotes in Star Wars Unfolds but she really enjoyed the illustrations and flipping through the book. She liked that the book had “shapes inside it” which was her way of describing the pop-up features. The book held up to her rough handling which was nice. She likes flipping through the book and it’s a nice way for her to experience Star Wars on her own without needing to be able to read which I think she likes, too.

Dash LIKED this book!
“I liked the book. I liked how the images were blended all together and I liked how it gives quotes instead of the actual story. Normally it would just tell you the story and that’s how every regular book does [things]. But when you have the quotes you can get something from the actual movie. You can use [the quotes] to building upon what’s actually happening [in the pictures]. And I loved the artwork.”

Title: Star Wars Unfolds: The Original Trilogy
Artwork: Titmouse Animation
Release Date: March 31, 2020
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
Review Spoilers: N/A
GoodReads | Amazon | BN

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