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That's no moon! Star Wars pop-up book allows you to explore the Death Star (and all its thermal exhaust ports)

By Josh Weiss
Rogue One A Star Wars Story

In the prolific history of sci-fi weaponry, the Death Star (of Star Wars fame) stands out as one of the most lethal and threatening pieces of destruction the forces of evil have ever conceived. After all, there's nothing more terrifying than a space station that's capable of blowing up an entire planet (RIP Alderaan). With Star Wars: The Ultimate Pop-Up Galaxy from Insight Editions, you can explore the Empire's most infamous WMD in a way that combines the Death Star's "greatest hits" — from A New Hope to Rogue One and everything in between.

"Building that spread was PARTICULARLY difficult ... It's a totally new pop-up mechanism specifically created for this book," the book's author/paper engineer, Matthew Reinhart, tells SYFY WIRE. "My design for the Death Star in this book actually makes the upper hemisphere of that theoretical basketball invert into its lower half before folding flat. Then I needed to add in miniature peek-a-boo windows along the Death Star's equator and an interactive pull-tab re-enacting an X-Wing versus TIE Fighter dogfight at its base. I think I rebuilt and reworked the pop-up over 20 times to make it work right in production — I was obsessed with getting it right!"

In the exclusive video below, Reinhart will walk you through the gargantuan Death Star spread, which sits at the very center of the The Ultimate Pop-Up Galaxy.

"We’ve all seen the Death Star countless times, and I’ve even drawn it on occasions, but to have to approach it in three dimensions was an entirely new challenge," adds the book's illustrator Kevin M. Wilson. "I’ve never before explored the texture of the Death Star in so much detail. What essentially looks like a big grey ball is surprisingly complex, and getting that texture right was vital."

"The actual concepts for the pop-ups were easy to come up with, but making them into reality was like fitting a bantha through a sandcrawler droid chute," says Reinhart. "I want to create something spectacular for the readers, for the fans."

Star Wars: The Ultimate Pop-Up Galaxy goes on sale Tuesday, Oct. 22, and even contains a small section on Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. "The Episode 9 mini-pop was particularly tricky. While Lucasfilm was very helpful in providing reference images to work from, the lack of information in the public domain meant I really had to dissect the reference material with a fine-toothed comb," says Wilson.