How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise

by Chris Taylor

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In 1973, a young filmmaker named George Lucas scribbled some notes for a far-fetched space-fantasy epic. Some forty years and 37 billion later, Star Wars -- related products outnumber human beings, a growing stormtrooper army spans the globe, and "Jediism" has become a religion in its own right. Lucas's creation has grown into far more than a cinematic classic; it is, quite simply, one of the most lucrative, influential, and interactive franchises of all time. Yet incredibly, until now the complete history of Star Wars -- its influences and impact, the controversies it has spawned, its financial growth and long-term prospects -- has never been told.

In How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, veteran journalist Chris Taylor traces the series from the difficult birth of the original film through its sequels, the franchise's death and rebirth, the prequels, and the preparations for a new trilogy. Providing portraits of the friends, writers, artists, producers, and marketers who labored behind the scenes to turn Lucas's idea into a legend, Taylor also jousts with modern-day Jedi, tinkers with droid builders, and gets inside Boba Fett's helmet, all to find out how Star Wars has attracted and inspired so many fans for so long.

Since the first film's release in 1977, Taylor shows, Star Wars has conquered our culture with a sense of lightness and exuberance, while remaining serious enough to influence politics in far-flung countries and spread a spirituality that appeals to religious groups and atheists alike. Controversial digital upgrades and poorly received prequels have actually made the franchise stronger than ever. Now, with a savvy new set of bosses holding the reins and Episode VII on the horizon, it looks like Star Wars is just getting started.

An energetic, fast-moving account of this creative and commercial phenomenon, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe explains how a young filmmaker's fragile dream beat out a surprising number of rivals to gain a diehard, multigenerational fan base -- and why it will be galvanizing our imaginations and minting money for generations to come.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465097517
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 10/06/2015
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 616,118
File size: 8 MB

About the Author

Chris Taylor is the deputy editor of Mashable, one of the world's largest independent news websites. He has covered the intersection of business and culture for two decades as a writer and editor for Time, Business 2.0, Fortune Small Business, and Fast Company. He is a graduate of Merton College, Oxford and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Navajo Hope vii

1 Mars Wars 1

2 The Land of Zoom 13

3 Plastic Spacemen 27

4 Hyperspace Drive 40

5 How to Be a Jedi 57

6 Buck Rogers in the Twentieth Century 73

7 Home Free 93

8 My Little Space Thing 102

9 Spoof Wars 128

10 Stars Wars Has a Posse 142

11 The First Reel 163

12 Release 182

13 The Accidental Empire 196

14 Here Come the Clones! 208

15 How to Exceed in Sequels 227

16 Being Boba 252

17 End of the Jedi? 258

18 Between the Wars 272

19 The Universe Expands 286

20 Return of the Writer 296

21 Special Addition 308

22 The Line 319

23 The Prequels Conquer Star Wars 328

24 Building Character 347

25 How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Prequels 355

26 Using the Universe 370

27 Hello Disney 381

Conclusion: Across the Universe 395

Acknowledgments 415

Notes 417

Index 438

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