Women of the Galaxy is a new, stunningly illustrated Star Wars book that introduces us to the women of the galaxy far, far away through 75 character profiles and illustrations by female and non-binary artists from around the world.
Featuring heroes and villains, mercenaries and mothers, senators and scoundrels, Women of the Galaxy shows us that the women of the Star Wars galaxy fill every type of role: good, bad and somewhere in between. With 75 women included here, you’ll come across lots of familiar faces and plenty of new ones too. The book features characters from all eight movies so far as well as Rogue One, Solo, all three animated series (Clone Wars, Rebels, and the brand new Resistance) and also characters from the novels, comics and video games. All parts of the increasingly extensive Star Wars canon are to be found here.
Of course, the largest profiles are given over to exactly the characters you would expect. Leia, Padme, and Rey easily wield the most pages, with other big names like Ahsoka, Jyn, and Hera hot on their heels. But while it was fun to read their profiles, it wasn’t these obvious choices I was most interested in. I was far more excited to read more about characters like Aurra Sing, Padme’s Handmaidens, and Sy Snootles, the latter becoming far more interesting than you would ever guess from watching her few seconds on screen in Return of the Jedi. The book is peppered throughout with quotations from the actors, voice actors, and writers who brought these women to life which helps you to understand more about them, and behind the scenes information is also included which often uncovers some of the choices that never came to be for these women.
I was also very keen to see the artwork contained in this book. Some characters from the Star Wars novels were visualized for the first time in Women of the Galaxy including Everi Chalis from Battlefront: Twilight Company and Kyrsta Agate from the Aftermath series, while others were shown in a brand new light. One image that particularly stood out for me was of Captain Phasma as a young woman on Parnassos looking unrecognizable from the shining warrior we’ve seen in the films. Having read Phasma earlier this year, I was thrilled to see Phasma’s teenage years brought to life so beautifully by Annie Stoll.
Naturally, with such a wide range of artists working on the book, there were some illustrations I didn’t personally care for, but these were easily outweighed by pieces I fell in love with instantly. There are some artists featured whose names will be familiar to those in the fan and comic art communities such as Alice X. Zhang (one of my favorite artists for many years now), Karen Hallion and Annie Wu while other art comes from sources closely linked with Star Wars like Amy Beth Christenson who is the art director for Star Wars Resistance. A guide at the back tells you which artist created each of the book’s many illustrations, although it would have been nice to have a note on the profile page itself instead of having to repeatedly flick to the back and locate the page number to figure out which artist’s work you’re currently admiring.
Naturally, not every female character could be included or this book would be so thick it would become an encyclopedia (hint to publishers – I would absolutely read a thorough encyclopedia on this subject. Cover. To. Cover.) so there are some faces missing. Rhyssa Graf wasn’t included although her daughter Lina was, and neither are Merei Spanjaf or Dhara Leonis – both from the Servants of The Empire series. While many could be forgiven, I admit myself disappointed at Merei’s exclusion as she was a truly brilliant and unique character. Of course, with the Star Wars galaxy constantly expanding, there’s always room for a volume two and I’m sure fans of the original Expanded Universe (now renamed Legends) would love to see a similar volume just for the women of those books.
In addition to the book, a Women of the Galaxy notebook set has also been released to coincide with it. This set contains three 64-page notebooks featuring three of the galaxy’s most iconic women: Leia, Ahsoka, and Rey. Each notebook contains high-quality lined paper, artwork from the book on the front, back, and inside front covers, and notable quotations from the characters at the bottom of some pages. This would be a great additional gift to go alongside the main book or could be gifted separately for a teacher or colleague this holiday season.
Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy is a beautiful anthology that is reminiscent of Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls and that will inspire you again and again with stories of courage, daring, and love from the women whose stories influenced your childhood and those who continue to do so through new additions to the canon. Star Wars fans will love this book and it will especially resonate with women and girls looking to find their own place in the galaxy.
GeekMom received this book and notebook set for review purposes.