editors note: even though the book was published in 2001, right after Episode I and during the Yuuzhan Vong War, we felt it was important that we cover it.
First, I must commend anyone who sits down, consults, researches, writes, consults again, and puts together an essential guide on a universe that continues to grow. Even when it was published, I am sure it was outdated the first day it arrived at the bookstore. So much has gone on since then, that Del Rey is bound to update this one. So, this book will fall in value when the new one is announced. Still for any SW fan, this book is a must.
Did you know that the Bith (we all remember one during the Mos Eisley Cantina scene in Ep IV) have lost the ability to reproduce and do it via artificial insemination? Or that the Falleen (remember Xisor from Shadows of the Empire?) rarely travel outside of their home system? Did you know that Hutts are amongst the longest living species in the galaxy living up to 1,000 years? How about the idea that Toydarians (remember Watto from Eps I & II) fly at birth? All these little tidbits of information are found here.
What makes the book work is that they are tied into histories that transpired before Ep I. So you learn how it all ties together. There are species that are shown in the movies, comic books, RPG (role playing games), video games, and books. So everyone gets a chance to see the connections.
Its amazing how these authors come up with these stories. This is what makes the SW universe wonderful. It is books like this one that bring that out. The book is highly recommended and can help those SW buffs build up their trivia knowledge.