Saturday, April 2, 2011
The Making of Star Wars
Ballantine Books, 2007
This is a massive coffee-table book but it is covering a big topic: the genesis and making of Star Wars (A New Hope). There are so many pictures, excerpts from early scripts, quotes from many of the principal figures, both on and off screen talent. The best part is that those quotes are culled from interviews from about 1975-79, right as the instances happened and not as involved in the success and hype that followed. Nobody anticipated the runaway success Star Wars was!
While I knew about some of the challenges faced during production, I didn't know the half. In general, the technology of the time was not able to cope with the demands of George Lucas for this film, which resulted in a lot of frustration and compromise. I think that helps to explain Episodes I-III, where the technology was so much more advanced. Some of the parts were confusing to me as there are many people and technologies mentioned that were previously unfamiliar to me. However a careful reading helps to sort that out.
My favorite sections were about the actors and John Williams' score, as they were the parts I sort of knew already. It definitely made me want to go rewatch Star Wars and also listen to the soundtrack because it really is such great music.
Looking forward to The Making of The Empire Strikes Back so I can find out how they created Yoda and came up with that spoiler-you know the one ;) because as of the first film, that wasn't part of the plan.