If you can afford this book, buy it.
Since STARS WARS first came out, it's produced an avalanche of licensed product taller than Jabba the Hut, including sumptuous art books. But this book, in size, towers above them all. A first-class example of book production, from its gorgeous tray case to the oversized book amply illustrated with blueprints and supportive text and photographs, this is the kind of book you'll show off to your friends and neighbors, and leaf through with a look of amazement.
In every possible way -- the oversized format, the printing on coated paper stock, the sturdy sewn signatures, the flawless reproduction, and the handsome tray case that protects the book -- this is a work of art, and for the author, a labor of love.
Limited to 5000 copies, mine was numbered in the 2000's, so based on that, the book is half sold out. (It may be that other vendors got copies with higher numbers, which suggests that readers with Jedi-like wisdom should buy sooner than later.)
At $500, it's admittedly a luxury. You can live without this, but why would your want to? At a time when trade publishers are cheapening books in every possible way, with crappy printing, glue binding, tiny type, printed on paper with the consistently of toilet paper, this book is its own best argument: Books can be, in themselves, works of art.
You don't have to be a STAR WARS fan to appreciative this massive tome. I imagine every mechanical engineer with a taste for fantasy and science fiction will find this book compulsively readable and viewable.
I should add that it comes boxed with an ingenious buffer-like cardboard insert that protects the fragile corners of the tray case from damage. On all heavy books, this should be the preferred method of cushioning to prevent damage, but it's the exception, not the rule. In this case, such packaging insured my copy arrived in mint condition.
This book goes on TOP of the shelf -- it's too large for any ordinary bookcase shelf -- and it gets handed down to the next generation. The Padawan who gets this will love it ... and may the Force be with you.