Nothing makes me happier than seeing a simple picture clarify a complex issue. This is especially true if the issue is one critical to the cohesion of society. Like understanding health care. Or like finding a good bar in the Dagobah System.
Authors Dan Wallace and Jason Fry have taken three years to help us with that second, and it looks like it was worth the wait. Their brand new masterwork is called STAR WARS: THE ESSENTIAL ATLAS and it looks spectacular.
The best part for me isn't necessarily the beautifully rendered color maps (although they do look like something we could pour over for hours); what I'm most excited to see are the original "back of the napkin" sketches.
In the words of author Jason Fry:
In December 2006 I sat down at my desk, pulled a sheet of paper out of my printer, and started to draw. Using a blue ballpoint pen, I roughed out the approximate borders of Hutt Space, then added dots for the region's star systems that had appeared on maps: Here were Sriluur and Klatooine, there were Kessel and Honoghr, farther down were Toydaria, Nal Hutta, and Ylesia. There were eleven in all. Hutt Space looked awfully empty.
I put down the pen and picked up a pencil.
Here is a detail of Jason's original drawing of "Hutt space":
Why do I like the hand-drawn versions so much? Because I love to see someone's thinking made visible. Like grandma said, "It's the thought that counts."