Been dreaming of hiring a celestial crew to build your very own fully armed and operational battle station? You're going to need this. Star Wars: The Blueprints ($450) brings together for the first time more than 500 photographs and illustrations that show how the Star Wars galaxy was designed, from R2-D2 and the Cantina to the Millennium Falcon and the Death Star, accompanied by commentary by J. W. Rinzler and many of the original draftsmen who worked on the designs themselves. More than a simple book, this deluxe 15" x 18" tome weighs in at 35 pounds, and is limited to just 5,000 English-language copies, each of which will be hand-numbered. Technically, it's sorta like owning the MacGuffin from Episode IV.
Part history lesson, part photo book, all bad-ass. That pretty much sums up The Guitar Collection ($1,500-$3,000) , a journey through the most important guitars in music, curated by dozens of guitar experts from public and private collections around the world, and lovingly photographed so you can see every scratch, crack, and oily knob in all its glory, including axes used by Buddy Holly, Kurt Cobain, Jeff Beck, and many more. It comes in a custom-made guitar case, along with a certificate of authenticity, the companion book Stories, and one of three signed museum-quality prints from photographer John Peden. Available in three editions — one for each of the prints — and limited to just 1,500 copies each.
It's not always easy to find a rock n' roll wife who had a blooming career before her star struck hookup, but that's certainly the case with this one. Linda McCartney: Life in Photographs ($43) celebrates the work of Paul's late wife, who used her undeniable photographic skill and unprecedented access to the world's most notable people to create a collection of photos that stands on its own as a body of work that's nearly as impressive as her hubby's.
As expectant parents ourselves, we can attest to the proliferation of fear-inducing how-to — and don't-do — books for Moms and Dads. Let's Panic About Babies ($10) is a different take on the genre, making light of the typical parenting guide while sharing hilarious, sage-like wisdom through anecdotes, lists, charts, and pictures, leaving you prepared to face the challenges of raising a child with a smile on your face.
Whether you have plans on one day becoming a car designer or would simply like to improve your car sketching skills for your own enjoyment, the I Draw Cars Sketchbook & Reference Guide ($25 and up) is here to help. Created by two designers from the Detroit area, this unique book will include tons of templates, reference information, and, yes, even blank pages, all of which are there to help you hone your automotive sketching skills to near perfection.