I don’t know about you, but I walked out of Star Wars: The Force Awakens with dozens of questions swirling around in my head. I loved the movie (as you can read in my review), but there was so much more I didn’t know about the Star Wars universe 30 years after Return of the Jedi that I wanted to find out.
Thankfully, there is no shortage of novels, comic books and reference guides on store shelves following the release of the movie, but one of the most illuminating pieces of extraneous merchandise might be The Force Awakens Visual Guide.
“The definitive guide to the characters, droids, aliens, and creatures of Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” reads the description for the book. “Beautiful photography and clear, authoritative text by Lucasfilm insider Pablo Hidalgo names and explains all the details of costumes, weapons, and accessories.”
Between a few of the preview pages on Amazon and some photos from Imgur user mindsuckr, we’ve managed to put together a short list of fun facts from the Visual Guide that you wouldn’t have known from just watching the movie:
- The reason that the First Order stormtroopers appear to be far more efficient than their Galactic Empire counterparts is because the First Order “enforces a far more regimented approach to training to ensure excellence.”
- There are several stormtrooper specialist units, including megablaster heavy assault troopers, riot control troopers and flametroopers (which you might remember from the opening scene of the movie).
- Kylo Ren’s odd lightsaber is actually an “ancient design, dating back thousands of years.” They are called crossguard blades or quillions, and their “ragged, unstable appearance” is the result of a cracked kyber crystal within.
- Although we see the terrible conditions Rey lives in on Jakku in the opening minutes of the movie, junk dealer Unkar Plutt has actually forbidden thugs from stealing her wares because of her abilities as a scavenger.
- In case you were wondering why Rey was able to wield a lightsaber so effectively, the Visual Guide explains that her skill with the staff translates well to other melee weapons.
- The outpost on Jakku where Rey trades in her scrap is called Niima Outpost, and it was actually established by an “enterprising scoundrel” by the name of Niima the Hutt. Niima was killed by a bounty hunter.
- That X-Wing pilot helmet that Rey dons near the beginning of the film actually belonged to Captain Dosmit Ræh, a female pilot who flew with the Teirfon Yellow Aces of the Rebel Alliance.
- This might not come as much of a surprise, but apparently the Resistance has very little knowledge of the First Order’s fleet. They are worried that the Star Destroyer-class ships might not even be the largest of the bunch.
- Much like the Rebels before them, the Resistance base has two squadrons of X-Wing pilots on D’Qar: Red and Blue. Blue Squadron is the primary defense for the base while Red Squadron flies in support of them. Commander Poe Dameron is the leader of both squadrons, referred to as Black Leader by the other pilots.
Those are just a few details from the 80-page book, so if you want to know more, you can pick up Star Wars: The Force Awakens Visual Guide on Amazon today.