Star Wars Icons: Han Solo
Illustrated with a treasure trove of rare and previously unseen imagery, including candid on-set photography and stunning concept art, this deluxe volume also features exclusive new interviews with Harrison Ford, Alden Ehrenreich, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, Peter Mayhew, Ron Howard, J. J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, Jonathan Kasdan, and many more key creatives.
The iconic smuggler turned Rebel hero gets the spotlight in Insight Editions new Icons book. Featuring behind the scenes details and images, this tome highlights everything you need to know about character both on, and off, the screen. Come inside to check out my full review of Star Wars Icons: Han Solo.
It may seem like it’s been a while since you last heard about Star Wars Icons. After all, it was announced back in the Summer of last year and was supposed to arrive during the holiday season. It was hit with a nearly five month delay, so if you’ve been anxiously waiting to get your hands on it, the wait is almost over. Thankfully, I can tell you, the extra wait is more than worth it...
Crazy as it seems, Star Wars reference books are always among my favorite things to pick up. I know, after a couple decades of collecting (and wearing out the VHS tapes even before that), you’d think I’d have already read all there is about the galaxy far, far away. In some regards, that may be true, but with each new release, there seems to be some nugget of information that may have been missed.
Barring new info, sometimes the way it’s presented/structured makes it all feel fresh and new. This is the case with Icons. While much of the information can be found in various other books in some form, this compilation brings EVERYTHING related to Han Solo you could imagine in one excellent place.
There’s no denying the impact Han Solo has had on pop culture and I was eager to see what this new book had to offer. I have to say, my interest was immediately piqued upon finding out that Gina McIntyre was the author of this one. She wrote the Stranger Things: Worlds Turned Upside Down behind the scenes book that arrived last Holiday season and I was thoroughly impressed with that one. Seeing her dive into Star Wars territory had me excited.
While being specifically focused on one character might seem limiting (frankly, this was my initial concern going into the book), McIntyre dives deep into the history of the character and how he’s impacted pop culture all over the place. From behind the scenes anecdotes, to details on his various toy incarnations, and even his continuing adventures in the books (both new canon and Legends), it’s all brought together here.
As a big toy and book collector, seeing these elements included in Icons was a real treat and made the book feel like a definitive resource for everything related to the character. Instead of having to dig through a handful of different books (one for toys, one for books, one for behind the scenes, etc) it’s all compiled into this comprehensive book.
The layout is well planned and easy to understand. So no matter what information you’re looking for, it should be fairly easy to find. Along those same lines, Icons works really well as either a coffee table book, or one you can pick up and read cover-to-cover. The overall structure makes it engaging from the start, and easy to keep reading through in order. However, if you pick it up and flip to a random page you’ll find something super interesting to discover without feeling lost.
Personally speaking this is the aspect I look for the most in these kinds of books, whether it be Star Wars or any other entertainment based reference material. I enjoy reading them, but when I’m looking for specific information, or only have a few minutes of time it’s nice to be able to flip to a random page and still find something interesting.
Aside from being well researched and structured nicely, that’s far from the coolest thing Icons: Han Solo has to offer. Spread throughout the book are a number of extras attached to the pages. From lengthy foldouts, original concept art, and inserts, there’s a plethora of neat goodies for fans and collectors to enjoy.
Some are stickers and bookmarks you can use, while there’s also some full sized prints you can take out and frame if you want to. Some of my favorite things to find, however, were the transparent overlays scattered around the book that showcase original sketches over the top of the fully fleshed out concept paintings. It’s a neat way to show off the various stages of work that went into bringing the iconic designs to the big screen.