The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film

The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film


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The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film by J. W. Rinzler

After the 1973 success of American Graffiti, filmmaker George Lucas made the fateful decision to pursue a longtime dream project: a space fantasy movie unlike any ever produced. Lucas envisioned a swashbuckling SF saga inspired by the Flash Gordon serials classic American westerns, the epic cinema of Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa, and mythological heroes. Its original title: The Star Wars. The rest is history, and how it was made is a story as entertaining and exciting as the movie that has enthralled millions for thirty years–a story that has never been told as it was meant to be. Until now.

Using his unprecedented access to the Lucasfilm Archives and its trove of never-before-published “lost” interviews, photos, production notes, factoids, and anecdotes, Star Wars scholar J. W. Rinzler hurtles readers back in time for a one-of-a-kind behind-the-scenes look at the nearly decade-long quest of George Lucas and his key collaborators to make the “little” movie that became a phenomenon. For the first time, it’s all here:

• the evolution of the now-classic story and characters–including “Annikin Starkiller” and “a huge green-skinned monster with no nose and large gills” named Han Solo
• excerpts from George Lucas’s numerous, ever-morphing script drafts
• the birth of Industrial Light & Magic, the special-effects company that revolutionized Hollywood filmmaking
• the studio-hopping and budget battles that nearly scuttled the entire project
• the director’s early casting saga, which might have led to a film spoken mostly in Japanese–including the intensive auditions that won the cast members their roles and made them legends
• the grueling, nearly catastrophic location shoot in Tunisia and the subsequent breakneck dash at Elstree Studios in London
• the who’s who of young film rebels who pitched in to help–including Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, and Brian DePalma

But perhaps most exciting, and rarest of all, are the interviews conducted before and during production and immediately after the release of Star Wars–in which George Lucas, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Sir Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, composer John Williams, effects masters Dennis Muren, Richard Edlund, and John Dykstra, Phil Tippett, Rick Baker, legendary production designer John Barry, and a host of others share their fascinating tales from the trenches and candid opinions of the film that would ultimately change their lives.

No matter how you view the spectrum of this thirty-year phenomenon, The Making of Star Wars stands as a crucial document–rich in fascination and revelation–of a genuine cinematic and cultural touchstone.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345494764
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/24/2007
Series: Star Wars
Pages: 362
Sales rank: 311,972
Product dimensions: 11.80(w) x 10.60(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

J. W. Rinzler, executive editor at Lucasfilm Ltd., is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Making of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, as well as The Art of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, The Art and Making of Monster House, and Creating the Worlds of Star Wars, which he co-authored with visual-effects supervisor John Knoll. J. W. Rinzler now lives in Petaluma, California.

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Making of Star Wars 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is well written and constructed in a way that seems to squeeze every ounce of information from the first of the classic Star Wars saga. The pictures included are fantastic and really make this book one-of-a-kind. It's great for any collector looking for great photographs capturing the magic on screen and behind the camera or just for someone with an appreciation for ground breaking film making!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I actually bought this product and I'm about halfway thru it. Wanted an ebook version as I had the print edition and am very glad I got it for my Nook HD+ tablet. Layout works fine on my tablet and the audio and video clips are a very nice addition. I also like how I can watch a small thumbnail in the body of the text or enlarge it full screen if I prefer. All in all, a very nice ebook version of a very good movie book. Lots of details in the writing,filming and selling of Star Wars with tons of behind the scenes photos and information, making you feel like you were there at the beginning. A must have for any SW fan interested in ALL aspects of bringing this blockbuster to the silver screen. Can't wait to read the others two books in the trilogy by Rinzler.
Jedivan More than 1 year ago
J.W. Rinzler has done a wonderful job combing though Lucasfilm archives to present the full story of all the obstacles both with the studio and those that arose during filming what has now become one of the most popular films of all time. I also enjoyed the extras that came with the book. However, like some of the other reviewers, I also noticed that my Nook HD froze at the end of some chapters, which became a little annoying.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Seriously? Releasing a book ONLY for nook tablets? How lame.