Should we be worried? A Storm Trooper takes a break in DK's booth at BEA
with a copy of
Planet Earth (hopefully
not in preparation for a surprise visit
from the Death Star).

DK Publishing, along with Lucasfilm and LEGO, is planning a one-day in-store launch event for its October release LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary by Simon Beecroft. The book is based on LEGO’s 10-year-old line of toys tied to George Lucas’s Star Wars saga; the characters also have been featured in a series of videogames.

DK is offering participating stores an activity kit with game and trivia contests; giveaways including posters, pins, and tote bags; raffle prizes in the form of limited-edition LEGO Star Wars Chrome Darth Vader figures; and appearances from members of a volunteer group of Star Wars costume enthusiasts called the 501st Legion. DK also plans to donate books in the name of the 501st, which is involved in many charitable activities.

“We’ve never done anything on this scale at all, and neither has the 501st,” says Rachel Kempster, DK’s associate director of publicity. “We didn’t plan this along with the marketing of the book, but when we saw some of the spreads, we realized this needs to be an event.”

According to Kempster, the LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary, which will have a 125,000-copy printing, was DK’s hottest title at BEA. When she mentioned the event opportunity to booksellers at the show, it received a very positive reception; she expected 20 to 30 stores to participate, but 64 stores signed on in just three weeks and she predicts the total will be close to 100. Most will be bookstores, but other outlets, including LEGO stores, toy stores and gift shops, also plan to host events. Publicity for the launch will kick in at Comic Con in July, where DK also will reveal the identity of the exclusive minifigure to be embedded in the book’s jacket, as well as introduce its LEGO Star Wars mini-site.

This is DK’s first LEGO Star Wars title, although it has been a longtime partner on Star Wars, and published LEGO books years ago. This fall it is introducing a new range of LEGO-branded formats, in addition to the Visual Dictionary.