While travel – whether it be domestic, international, or even intergalactic – might not have been on many Star Wars fans’ agendas over the last year, one gnomelike Jedi Master has visited 25 different worlds in a brick-built galaxy far, far away and after spending the last year socially distancing himself from Earth, he has finally returned to share his experiences and knowledge of what’s beyond the stars – in the new Yoda’s Galaxy Atlas from DK.
It’s a fair assumption that the main draw is Backpacking Yoda, the exclusive minifigure that comes with the book, but that shouldn’t mean the book itself should be ignored. Being a kid’s book, most AFOLs will only see it as a delivery system for a niche minifigure, rather than what it truly is – a simple, but well-illustrated travel guide to the planets and locations of the Star Wars galaxy.
Within the two hardback covers of the book, which measures two LEGO bricks high (75% of which is the empty spacer that holds the minifigure clamshell), are 82 pages of glossy content.
As explained by Yoda in the introduction, “A big place the galaxy is”, and this book is a great way for kids to learn about a bunch of the different worlds in the Skywalker Saga during a time when many are stuck in their homes.
Yoda’s gran tourismo starts in the Core, before heading through the Inner and Mid Rims, then the Outer Rim before covering the uncharted worlds. Each location includes an alluring array of illustrations (mostly images of recent or currently available sets), suggestions on places to go and people to meet, how to get around, and Trip Advisor-type reviews. Scattered throughout are subtle gags and hat tips to esoteric Star Wars trivia that’ll pass over the heads of most readers, but long-in-the-tooth Star Wars fans will get a kick out of them.
Visible in a clear plastic window on the front cover, and contained within a sealed clamshell accessed from within the book, are the seven elements that make up the exclusive minifigure – Backpacking Yoda.
Complete with gimer stick (aka a brown 3L bar), camera, backpack, and a map of the galaxy, the included Yoda minifigure has a new torso print. Accompanying his brown undershirt and dun robes, this new design has texturing, a more detailed flute and a belt, plus shoulder straps for his backpack. Instead of a flag of nationality, as most backpackers wear, Yoda opted for a Starbird, the emblem of the Rebel Alliance, which is a nice touch to a very neat minifigure.
Ensuring that he doesn’t get lost while on his travels, Backpacking Yoda has a datapad displaying a map of The Galaxy. Though lacking in any kind of detail, the printed 2 x 2 tile does have the Deep Core, Inner, Mid and Outer Rims, Wild Space and Unknown Region illustrated and a number of important hyperspace lanes marked.
This book represents two overlaps in the Star War franchise. The first being the long-standing involvement that Yoda has with early readers because, as far back as the 1980s, Yoda was an ambassador for librarians and a promoter of reading skills. Secondly, this book (likely due to coincidence than contrivance) is a handy primer – at least for very young gamers – for the upcoming LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga video game, which promises to include 23 planets – just two short of the world’s covered by Yoda’s Galaxy Atlas.
Buy it, you must because our’s might be a lonely planet right now, but the Star Wars galaxy has much to offer.
Fervent documentarian, effusive AFOL and founding partner, Jeremy manages the daily news content and set reviews.
Having enjoyed playing with LEGO from his earliest years, Jeremy started collecting LEGO Star Wars in 1999 when the theme was first released. He has shared his thoughts and opinions on LEGO via a number of websites – including starwars.com, rebelscum.com and brickset.com – contributed to the LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary series and served the LEGO Ambassador Network as a Recognised LEGO Fan Media representative.