#RRScifiMonth Spotlight & Review: Star Wars: Stormtroopers: Beyond the Armor by Ryder Windham & Adam Bray + GIVEAWAY!

***The giveaway is now over, thanks to everyone who entered!*** 

Star Wars: Stormtroopers: Beyond the Armor by Ryder Windham and Adam Bray
Nonfiction, Media Tie-In
Publisher: Harper Design (October 24, 2017)
Length: 176 pages

Just in time for the next blockbuster, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, this unique and beautifully designed compendium with removable features traces one of the franchise’s most iconic characters—the stormtrooper—from initial development through all nine Star Wars movies to their many iterations in TV, comics, videogames, novels, and pop-culture.

Star Wars: A New Hope, the very first installment in the beloved science-fiction series, introduced the Imperial stormtroopers—the army of the fearsome and tyrannical Galactic Empire. Charged with establishing Imperial authority and suppressing resistance, these terrifying, faceless, well-disciplined soldiers in white have become a universal symbol of oppression.

Star Wars Stormtroopers explores these striking warriors and their evolution in depth for the first time. Ryder Windham and Adam Bray trace the roots of their creation and design, and explore how these elite troops from a galaxy far, far away have been depicted in movies, cartoons, comics, novels, and merchandizing.

Filled with photographs, illustrations, story boards, and other artwork, this lavish officially licensed book comes complete with removable features, including posters, stickers, replica memorabilia and more, making it an essential keepsake for every Star Wars fan, as well as military, design, and film aficionados.


Ryder Windham has written more than seventy Star Wars books, including The Complete Vader with co-author Pete Vilmur, The Bounty Hunter Code with Daniel Wallace, and Millennium Falcon Owner’s Manual. An avid blood donor, he has worked with members of the Star Wars costumer clubs—the 501st Legion, Rebel Legion, and Mandalorian Mercs—to help promote voluntary blood donations all over the world.

Adam Bray is the author of guides to Star Wars Rebels and a coauthor of numerous books about Star Wars, LEGO Star Wars, and Marvel. He has written for CNN.com and National Geographic News, and contributed to around forty guides to travel in Southeast Asia. His talents have extended to other spheres, including illustration, music, archaeology, spelunking, and working with chimpanzees. Follow Adam Bray on Twitter and Facebook: @AuthorAdamBray, at StarWars.com, and at AdamBray.com.

***With thanks to the publisher and Wunderkind PR for providing me with a review copy!***

Today, in celebration of Sci-Fi Month as well as my rabid love of Star Wars, I’m shining the spotlight on the galaxy’s favorite faceless baddies. That’s right, w’re talking Stormtroopers!

From authors Ryder Windham (who has written more than 70 Star Wars books, including novels, comics, and reference books) and Adam Bray (author of Star Wars: What Makes a Monster, Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide, and co-author of Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know and more) comes this gorgeous hardcover featuring a comprehensive look at the Empire’s most ubiquitous enforcer. Who were they? Where did they come from? Why were they so willing to kill and die for the Empire? Any topic or theme you can think of about iconic Stormtrooper, from their countless appearances across all forms of Star Wars media to the many fandoms that have sprung up around them, this book covers them all. History, creation, design, and even merchandising – you name it, it’s in here.

“Sandtroopers from Star Wars: A New Hope Special Edition (1997)” – pg.82

The book begins appropriately with a foreword by John Boyega, who portrays Finn in the new movies. Through his character, Star wars fans got their first opportunity to know a Stormtrooper deeply as an individual – someone with a unique personality and a complex past, more than just an anonymous, indistinguishable armored soldier. It’s the perfect introduction to a book that is all about going beneath the mask to explore the wonderful and fascinating world beyond.

“Finn in The Force Awakens” – pg.128

From the result of what must have been hundreds or even thousand of hours of research, the authors present to readers the full history of the Stormtrooper, from the roots of their inception to the evolution of their depiction through the many iterations of the Star Wars movies, cartoons, comics, books, games, and even toys and collectibles. The book’s pages are also chock-full of colorful images ranging from behind-the-scenes photographs and concept art to movie scenes and illustrations.

“Concept art for Zuke by Marvel artist Jorge Molina” – pg.137

“A frame from Marvel’s Star Wars #21 (July 20, 2016) featuring Task Force 99” – pg.137

Some of my favorite sections, however, were the ones dedicated to fandom, examining how Stormtroopers have gone beyond background roles in the original movies to become an instantly recognizable symbol of the Star Wars franchise. They have invaded popular culture, and are here to stay. One can hardly walk down a toy aisle in any store these days without seeing some form of the iconic helmet, but as we all know, the phenomenon has become more than just about action figures and lunch boxes. This book also goes into how “premium collecting” has become a huge area of interest for hardcore fans (and as someone who has invested not a small amount of money into Star Wars stuff over the years, I can relate!) And of course, no book about Stormtroopers would be complete without a nod to the cosplayers and other fan groups who take pride in costuming as well as volunteering for community service, like the famous 501st Legion.


“Funko POP! Star Wars bobbleheads” – pg.136

In short, Stormtroopers: Beyond the Armor will definitely be a worthy addition to any Star Wars bookshelf and is a must have for any fan. If you’re looking forward to the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie as much as I am, it’s also a great way to drum up even more excitement, and everything about this book made my geek heart sing with joy. The back of the book even includes a sleeve with extras like reproductions of action figure backer cards, comic strips, storyboards, and a whole bunch of other cool goodies enclosed.

Overall, this super informative reference volume (which also contains enough visuals to pull double duty as an art/photography book, in my opinion) features a wealth of detail and stunning images, making for a compelling read. Whether you’re a die-hard follower of the franchise or just a sci-fi film and art enthusiast, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Star Wars: Stormtroopers Giveaway

And now time for the giveaway! Up for grabs is one copy of Star Wars: Stormtroopers: Beyond the Armor. With apologies to our international followers, due to the publisher’s specifications this giveaway is open to residents of the US only. To enter, all you have to do is send an email to bibliosanctum@gmail.com with your Name and valid Mailing Address using the subject line “STORMTROOPERS” by 11:59pm Eastern time on Wednesday, November 15, 2017.

Only one entry per household, please. The winner will be randomly selected when the giveaway ends and then be notified by email. All information will only be used for the purposes of contacting the winner and sending them their prize. Once the giveaway ends all entry emails will be deleted.

So what are you waiting for? Enter to win! Good luck and may the force be with you!

13 Comments on “#RRScifiMonth Spotlight & Review: Star Wars: Stormtroopers: Beyond the Armor by Ryder Windham & Adam Bray + GIVEAWAY!”

  1. If I had not already been eagerly waiting for the next movie, seeing all these shiny books would have worked as a wake-up call 😀
    The countdown has already started…
    And I love those tiny action figures – they are SO CUTE!!!! 🙂


  2. Pingback: SciFi Month Round-up: the story so far – x+1

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