The book collects mainly character designs, environment art, and some spaceship designs. It's also a making-of book that explains at length on the production of a game with scope this big. I like reading insightful productions stories. The remaining text serve as commentary on the concept art.
The art is sci-fi art, of course, for the Star Wars universe. For the character designs, you can see some design clues that are distinctly Star Wars, such as armor and helmet. Sometimes they are also quite different. What you can see are the eight character classes with their few costumes and sometimes weapons. Creature and spaceship designs aren't a lot.
The main draw of the book would be the environment art for the different locations and planets. They are beautiful and gives a nice idea of the place, although I'm not sure if they are the actual place the game characters can run on.
The downside of the book is layout. There are pockets of space on pages which can really be used to pack more art. Text represents a substantial portion of the book, but is interesting to read so it's alright. As a MMORPG, I was expecting a lot more character designs, a whole lot more. There's a nice amount but somehow I don't feel like the universe is very populated. I'm comparing this to the other video game art book The Art and Making of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed which feels packed in every sense.
I've checked out the website for Star Wars: The Old Republic and there are lots of concept art there. Last time I check, it's over 160 pieces. There many on the website that's not even in the book. Maybe that's why the book can feel sparse at times. Some of the artwork in the book, especially the ones on spaceships are the more detailed pieces but they are printed too small. If you download the high resolution artwork from the website, they are several times bigger than the ones in the book!
This book is mixed bag. It's has good production stories but ruined by bad layout and seemingly incomplete selection of artwork.
(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
Having gone through multiple times to find a reason to actually keep this book, i just couldnt. Its a waste of money (compared to what other art books offer).
You'll say, "but its star wars", which is true; but as much as i am a fan of it, i like the art, not the text about star wars. This book contains way too much text and they literally have page to page text walls with a 2 inch picture in the middle of 2 pages. Are you kidding me?
To make it worse, 99% of the art in the book are images that can be found on their main website from when they started showing game concepts in order to market the game. These are 2 years old and have been over used in posters and advertising media. Is this all you've got? Disappointing.
Save yourself the money and get other star wars books. Whoever put this book together clearly never picked up "The Art of Force Unleashed". That thing is a masterpiece by comparison.