The Imperial Handbook was released last year as part of a deluxe boxed edition for a whopping list price of $99 ($78.00 on Amazon Prime). This week, as the newest entry in a popular series of guides including The Bounty Hunter Code, The Jedi Path, and The Book of Sith, the book by itself was released at a much more wallet-friendly list price of $19.95 (discounted to $9.54 on Amazon).
The Handbook is an Imperial publication stolen by Rebel forces for intel purposes. Famous characters such as Leia, Luke, Mon Mothma, and numerous others have scribbled humorous notes in the margins at some of the more outrageous propaganda-laden passages. Wedge and Han often provide perspective on sections that relate to military strategy and organization.
The book is divided into five parts: The Imperial Military, The Imperial Navy, The Imperial Army, The Stormtrooper Corps, and the Imperial Doctrine. The military and doctrine parts focus mainly on propaganda and the political philosophy of the Empire, while the three specific branches of the military focus on things like uniforms, chain of command, and so on.
The value of this book to the consumer is likely somewhat proportional to how many Star Wars reference books one already owns. While enjoyable and containing some truly beautiful art, much of this information is likely covered in the existing Star Wars guides to vehicles, fauna, and planets.
However, the commentary from the Rebels does make the book a pleasant read even if you do know much of the information already. Its small size also makes it an easy reference to keep handy, unlike some of the more cumbersome large-format books.