This is not a plug for the books but rather i wanted to show you what these books are about. Any die hard Star Wars fan will want to put his mitts on these two books and will feel enlightened after the reading experience. These are worth the price of admission. And a similar Book for Return of the Jedi is slated for fall 2013 release apparently.
Review: Making of Star Wars
I am writting a review of this book and it will be written in several sessions.
The book itself is big. It is oversized and just a tad over an inch thick.
Product specs from Amazon:
Paperback: 324 pages
Publisher: LucasBooks (April 24, 2007)
Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 1 x 10.4 inches
Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
I got the paperback version.
The book is full of photos, concept drawings, paintings etc....
The book will leave you with a impression of how it was hard to make the film and will clarify a lot of the urban myths that have been circulating in amateur documentary and professional documentaries on the makign of the film.
It was not as easy as it might have been reported in documentaries as " empire of dreams " once you have read the book. you will find that empire of dreams is a very diluted and romanticized version of the making of ANH.
The books pics up when George was at American Zoetrope and then when he went on to make american graffiti and then really picks up soon after Graffiti and how George had to go against unsurmountable odds in order to get his movie done.
The book is divided into some sort of time line.
example: Boundary Busters: january 1975 to august 1975
The author explains what happened within that timeframe. The entirety of the book is based on that timeline format.
Within that timeframe the author delivers facts, anecdotes, pictures, concept drawings and other relevant info related to the film.
Strenghts of the book: The format. It is done in a timeline fashion which makes the concept and the filming process make sense.
another strength is the photos and drawings. The book is full of them.
You will discover thru the book of lot of interesting details that you rarely see or hear about.
Weakness of the book: The book lacked a lot on the props and costuming aspect of the film. The author while explaining who did what as far as costume go did not dedicated any book pages to how the costumes were really made or how many of the props came into being. Just a few lines. So the people who are avid about those details will be left hanging dry with this book which is a shame.
This book is big, almost too big, it is not easy to just sit in a chair and enjoy reading this book as you have to continually shift around the reposition yourself to read the book. You get tired quick and then have to read the book in several sessions. Some people like this some people don't.
There is no real modern view of the story. It would have been nice to have people reflect on their work and have that inserted in the book to see how they feel now versus back then. The book is built around interviews of that time, nothing recent.
The book could use a re edit with more pages or some sort of companion book to show more about the logistic aspects of the film.
Topics covered in the book at a glance:
Pre-Star Wars and George Luca's financial difficulties
Lucas shopping Star Wars around after script writing
Foundation of ILM and the special effects of the film
The contract and financing of the film
Casting and what happened
Choosing locations to shoot the movie
Choosing a director of photography
Aftermath of the movie release.
Making of Star Wars book video review
Sorry for bad sound on this particular video
Making of Empire Strikes Back Review Book:
Hardcover: 372 pages
Publisher: LucasBooks (Oct 12 2010)
Product Dimensions: 30 x 3.5 x 27.9 cm
Shipping Weight: 2.3 Kg
no paperback ( as far as i know ) Kindle edition coming in fall of 2013????
Is it worth it?
a big Hell yeah it is!
Once again you are being transported behind the scenes of the making of the movie. The flow of the book is better and more fun and more intimate.
There are tons of anecdotes on how a lot of things worked out wile making the movie. This time around you are very closed to the experience that the director had during filming. His high, his downs, his successes and struggles to make everyone happy while making the film.
The books follows more of less the format of the previous book, but it better laid out and you can jump in and out of the book easily which makes the reading experience more fun.
here are a few themes from the book:
How the script came to be and how it was fine tuned.
Going to Finse to shoot the Hoth scenes.
How the director worked
How the creative artists worked to make the sets.
George Lucas' involvement during the film.
Financial woes during filming.
Stages used or built to make the film.
How Yoda came into being.
How Dagobah was made.
How the special effect were made.
Sound effect process
Release and aftermath
Making of Empire Strike Back book video review