Wookie. Jedi. Droid. Star Wars is a global phenomenon that transcends sci-fi fan culture to the collective consciousness of all. Yet, even as a geek, it amazes me how universal this low-budget 70’s space fantasy became.

“There was a time between the trilogies when Star Wars lived on the geeky fringes of society. No longer.”

As revealed in the cold open of How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, finding someone with no knowledge of the Star Wars movies is a near-impossible task.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

I love the original Star Wars movies. I also love Star Trek. I spent an entire day marathon watching Battlestar Galactica on Netflix. Between seasons of Doctor Who I ordered my sonic screwdriver to make up for the lack of new episodes.

Point is, I love sci-fi movies and shows, but outside of my geeky friends, quotes and obscure references make no sense. Unless it’s Star Wars.

Case in point, everyone knows what an Ewok is… but the word ewok was never said during any of the original movies.

Charting the rise of Star Wars on its path to world domination, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe is set to explain how Star Wars became the world’s most beloved sci-fi franchise.

Rating (5 stars)

From attending an event dressed as Boba Fett to learning to spin a lightsaber, Author Chris Taylor understands that the history of Star Wars isn’t just about movie-making. If that were true, no one would have cared past Return of the Jedi.

Although it would have been easy to fall into the trap of writing a book about How George Lucas Conquered the Universe, Taylor opts for the entire picture, from actors who are devoted to their characters, to fans who set records waiting in line for Episode I to the authors who contributed to the Expanded Universe.

Drawing on interviews with everyone from actors to super fans, this story of Star Wars starts with Flash Gordon and takes us through the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney and the announcement of new Star Wars movies.

Equally as important as the in-depth exploration of the creation of the Star Wars tale, the exploration of the Star Wars phenomenon takes us from the founding of the 501st Legion, to the dedicated R2-Builders, to the five stages of Star Wars prequel grief.

This is the best nonfiction Star Wars book I’ve read and it will appeal to more than just the Star Wars super fan.