What did I expect? I expected it to be of the same quality as the Millennium Falcon manual. I expected a lot of images from the movies and the technical/scientific* explanation of what we saw. (* pseudo-scientific of course) The MF manual did all this very well with only a few logical inconsistencies.
The Death Star manual however fails in my eyes completely. To begin: there isn't even one picture of the Death Star's superlaser firing. Not one of a planet being blown up. By the way why do the planets explode? Why aren't they just fried? Why does the laser not just burn a hole through the planet? You will find no answer in this book.
So that book doesn't explain what the DS is about. What does it explain then? It explains very well why it could be destroyed by a single proton torpedo. It explains this a lot. Many times. Over and over. You get the impression that the DS was not built to blow up planets, but simply to blow up.!
A lot of other features are explained too of course. Many of them I find boring. But the really bad thing about it is that they don't make any sense. Typically there are diagrams. First of all, things we see from the outside are just casing. Even if it looks like we see the actual technical parts from the outside, they are just decoration. At least this manual makes us think so. The inside is filled with many fancy named parts. Think of 'flux compensator', magnetic whatever, power amplifier, etc. Even if you try, you cannot read any technical/scientific function out of it. They are just jumbled together and named in technobabble style. The MF manual had this too, but in a much much lesser extent.
Last but not least the quality of the book is awful. The hardware: Some pages of my book were not cut correctly. Some pages were glued together by printing ink. The software: The numbering on some of the diagrams is definitely mixed up. (However, it's hard to tell sometimes. See above) There are a lot of typos. Don't you guys have programs to check it? Doesn't anybody proofread it?
Finally a word to the geeks. Many of you don't like this book, because Wookieepedia and Curtis Saxton tell you a different size fot the DS, "based on measurements of movie stills". Oh how wrong you are in so many ways. First of all it is not possible to determine the size of spherical objects by photos due to perspective. A 'physicist' like Saxton should know that. Second, concept art reveals that the diameter of the death star is intended to be 100 miles (160 km). So if you see something contradictionary in the movies, then this is either a mistake by the makers or an optical illusion. Finally, starship sizes in star wars change a lot over time. Mainly because somebody (like Saxton) thinks too hard about it. First you (the geeks) don't like the new number, then you accept it and then you will defend it like it is 'gospel'. I think you treat star wars too much like a religion. I would never hate a book because of one 'false' number. I don't like this book because it doesn't entertain me. Because that is what it should be about: ENTERTAINMENT.
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