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View Full Version : "Making of Star Wars" comes out tomorrow!



JediTricks
04-23-2007, 10:39 PM
How the heck did this stay off my radar? The Making of Star Wars hits store shelves tomorrow, April 24th. I just posted it in the news:

If you're anything like me, you had no idea this book was coming out so soon, heck, I just found out by accident. But it is true, J.W. Rinzler's 372-page The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind The Original Film is being released tomorrow, April 24th, in both paperback and hardcover versions. The tome is the first authorized making-of for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, the film that started it all. Filled with long-lost, behind-the-scenes photos and interviews that shed new light on the first Star Wars film, the material's release is long overdue and just in time on the eve of Star Wars' 30th anniversary. So if you're like me and didn't realize the book was almost upon us, get to your local book seller tomorrow and pick up a copy of The Making of Star Wars.

Bel-Cam Jos
04-24-2007, 08:37 AM
I've had it on my calendar for a few weeks, and with an extra 15% off coupon (maybe, if I think greedily, it'll also be 20% off, too :greedy: ), I plan to score this'n today! Reports to follow.

JEDIpartner
04-24-2007, 09:56 AM
I purchased the paperback edition from Amazon.com for $23

DarthQuack
04-24-2007, 11:04 AM
My brother works at Borders so he's gonna pick this up for me today!

Bel-Cam Jos
04-24-2007, 07:45 PM
I gots it now. With my coupons, it set me back $26 and change. Some of the pics are nice and really never-before-seen, although most are black and white. Love the close-ups of handwritten drafts, contracts, paintings, etc. It's mainly about BEFORE the film was released, too, so there's a lot (300+ pages) of info to get through.

JediTricks
04-25-2007, 04:33 PM
I purchased the paperback edition from Amazon.com for $23Yeah, I ended up doing the same, I hit a couple big bookstores in my area and they weren't in stock yet and they wanted full price, so I just went with Amazon.


My brother works at Borders so he's gonna pick this up for me today!I hit the Borders in Hollywood, it was listed as "reserve" and was selling full price, apparently they never got them in - you would think a book about a movie that reshaped Hollywood would at least be in stock at the Hollywood Borders book store.

2-1B
04-25-2007, 11:19 PM
I don't have it yet but this is right up my alley...I'll be ordering this for sure.

Thanks for the heads up !!!

bobafrett
04-25-2007, 11:22 PM
Awesome, my girlfriends daughter works at a bookstore and is picking me up a copy for letting her crash on my couch for the past several weeks.

JEDIpartner
04-30-2007, 02:20 PM
Wow... it's a pretty substantial book!! Not disappointed that I got the paperback edition. It's still got the same content.

JediTricks
04-30-2007, 03:14 PM
Wow... it's a pretty substantial book!! Not disappointed that I got the paperback edition. It's still got the same content.
Yeah, same here, I'm happy that I was able to save money because I'm pretty broke right now, if it had been the hardcover only I wouldn't have bought it. I'm barely 25 pages in and it's already got some really good stuff, some names that have come and gone that we'll see again (Princess Leia got thrown out for Princess Zara :p) and it's surprising to see how political Lucas got in there, there's a handwritten page that is somewhat prophetic to the current political scene.

JEDIpartner
05-01-2007, 10:56 AM
I know!!! I like a lot of the weirdness of the original plot ideas as well. I laughed out loud when I read the part where Han punches the princess in the face ('cos she's a "tough broad" and doesn't like the idea of being rescued) and Chewie carries her back to the ship.

JediTricks
05-01-2007, 03:03 PM
That seemed really classic Hollywood, it's been done to death, and somehow I don't see our Princess Leia taking that kind of thing, she'd probably dodge it and knock him on his ***. :p

I loved the explanation of girl Luke, I'm only 70 pages in but that really cleared that mess up.

The first draft of the story was, IMHO, ridiculously overwrought - people going this way and that constantly, the story seemed to be all about getting from place to place, hopscotching story, a lot of "going" and only incidental "doing". The second draft, although still very far from what we know, had a much more centered story and I think it's clear that's where the whole thing came together.

bobafrett
05-01-2007, 07:46 PM
My girlfriends daughter came through! I got this and it's a wonderful addition to my bookcase!

Droid
05-01-2007, 09:55 PM
The first draft of the story was, IMHO, ridiculously overwrought - people going this way and that constantly, the story seemed to be all about getting from place to place, hopscotching story, a lot of "going" and only incidental "doing". The second draft, although still very far from what we know, had a much more centered story and I think it's clear that's where the whole thing came together.

I'm reading this too and to me that early draft seemed like he was borrowing heavily from the Lord of the Rings. And I'm glad he dumped all of it because to me the problem with that story is people walk over here and it takes a long time and then they stay there for a long time and then they go over here and it takes a long time to get there (and here is the song they sang while they went there...)

I also get a kick out of how everybody in the early drafts keeps getting cut in half.

I am still not convinced Lucas always thought of Luke and Leia as twins.

I also think while many of us go, "neat, he thought of Valorum and Windu, etc." so long ago, you could also say that rather than doing what he always intended in the prequels he went back to his old notes and put the ideas he originally discarded as not good enough into the prequels.

Anyone who reads this book and still thinks that he had the prequels written or had the whole saga in place when he started filming Star Wars is nutty. It is clear he was making the best stand alone film he could, everything was a big success, and then he turned on the money machine.

JEDIpartner
05-02-2007, 09:45 AM
It really was a bit too much. I think the reason I don't like the Lord of the Rings series is because there is too much happening in too many places. Then again, I had a hard time getting past Tolkein's need to have five pages describing the side of a cliff or the texture of tree bark.

JediTricks
05-02-2007, 08:07 PM
I also get a kick out of how everybody in the early drafts keeps getting cut in half.Lucas is obsessed with that and one human character being all mechanical except for their head and right arms. :p


I am still not convinced Lucas always thought of Luke and Leia as twins.Agreed, but you have to admit, the book makes a fair case for it, and Leia even has feelings for Luke in the 2nd draft when they're cousins.


I also think while many of us go, "neat, he thought of Valorum and Windu, etc." so long ago, you could also say that rather than doing what he always intended in the prequels he went back to his old notes and put the ideas he originally discarded as not good enough into the prequels.It was cute to see some names out there, the word "padawan" showing up, but there's so little connection to some of what the prequels became beyond the made-up name here and there that it's sad. I feel bad for Utapau, Lucas had a real yen for that planet name and when he finally uses it 25 years later, it's nothing but a hole in the ground.


Anyone who reads this book and still thinks that he had the prequels written or had the whole saga in place when he started filming Star Wars is nutty. It is clear he was making the best stand alone film he could, everything was a big success, and then he turned on the money machine.That's a good point, we can look to the first draft again for confirmation on how little the prequels have to do with SW. The first draft has the unbearably-dull and heavily uncinematic political intrigue that constipated the prequels, but nothing else; while the second draft is so much of the adventure that would become ANH and ESB that it feels like a different story from the first draft.

Droid
05-03-2007, 02:39 PM
I finished the book. It was a great read and really made you realize how, like the Original Star Trek Seris, he was catching lightning in a bottle. He was a genius, but it really was circumstances that led to a great movie. It would have been so easy for the whole thing to never happen if Fox had bailed; cut the budget on key things like the Blockade Runner hallway, banthas, or cantina pickups; if he hadn't had John Williams do the score; if they had NEVER been able to deliver good effect shots; if he hadn't had someone polish the dialogue; if he hadn't asked so many others like DePalma and others for advice and help. Lucas put a lot of key elements in place and LUCKILY everyone came through for him in the end. To hear him whine and complain about how horrible Star Wars was makes you realize that he still doesn't get less is more and doesn't realize that MOST of his "original vision" is much better than ALL of his original vision. He must have really hurt some people's feelings who had worked so hard for him on the film with all of us moaning about how badly everything had turned out.

42 extras on the set for the first cantina shoot before the pickups; neat statistic.

It said Tusken Raiders were on the streets of Mos Eisley. Is that visible in the film?

It was funny to read how he wouldn't show all of the sets in shots because it wasn't about showing everything and how much work went into it. He really abandoned that philosophy in the prequels.

The prequels were bloated because he didn't have any restraints.

Some of the pictures were just great. Seeing the bantha in a partial costume and some of the stills from the cantina shoot were neat.

I actually enjoy Empire and Jedi more, but reading this book you could almost wish Star Wars had just existed as a truly perfect stand alone film, though I am sure it wouldn't have been as big a part of my life, I wouldn't have all these neat toys, and I probably wouldn't be posting on this web site if it had just been one film.

Does anyone know what he said about the Expanded Universe in the hardback book?

In summary, reading the book made me realize how easily the film could have been a disaster. Like John Lennon and Paul McCartney meeting each other and forming a band, sometimes circumstances just fall together for something wonderful to happen.

Interesting that the book didn't tell about the fight we allegedy heard about him wanting to call it Episode IV and Fox not letting him. I wonder if he made up that he always wanted to call it Episode IV or if he just stuck it in there one it was a huge hit.

And I am still not sure he thought Vader was Luke's father when he wrote the script. There are some comments in interviews in there where he really seems to think of them as two different people from any point of view.

JediTricks
05-04-2007, 10:35 PM
Yeah, the guy has such a sense of what should be there, but I guess he just didn't see enough of what he wanted and can't see why it DOES work as well as it does (which explains why ROTJ and the prequels all fail). I'm not even sure it's "genius" he has that made this work so much as an ability to be unwaveringly confident on what it SHOULD be - someone comes to him and says "what should this look like?" and instead of fudging around, he just says "wider there, needs more detail, keep working" until it's something he likes, when a lot of helmers might settle or let the studio or a producer make decisions like that for him.

Challenges are so important too, that's part of what makes the prequels not work I think - no challenges for Lucas. Example from the book about challenges improving things: Lucas is told the budget is cut down to $6.9mil so he has to take out some elements - out come the Kiber crystal nonsense scenes and the side-trip to the Imperial prison, instead tightening up the adventure so it all takes place on the Death Star.


I've never noticed Tuskens there before, I'll check again though, that'd be really interesting.



Does anyone know what he said about the Expanded Universe in the hardback book?Oh man, there's more content in the hardcover?!?


Interesting that the book didn't tell about the fight we allegedy heard about him wanting to call it Episode IV and Fox not letting him. I wonder if he made up that he always wanted to call it Episode IV or if he just stuck it in there one it was a huge hit.I haven't gotten that far in yet, but I assume you're correct and it's not there. It's weird too because you can clearly see that he does have a consistent outlook on WHY the movie was supposed to be called Ep 4 (the "thrown into the mix" aspect), and he does have the episode numbers in mind early on, and he even had a wish to make a movie about the early days of Ben Kenobi.

Droid
05-05-2007, 11:18 PM
After finishing the book I went back and rewatched the pre-Special Edition Star Wars.

Anyone notice that on the DVD it doesn't include the line where 3P0 explains that knocking out the power at one of the stations will take down the tractor beam?

Also, I noticed that they show R5 next to R2 at the droid sale even after R5 is over by Luke and has blown its motivator.

And I never noticed before reading the book that when they show Tarkin at the very end it is a replay of the shot from the blowing up Alderaan scene. When Tarkin says, "You may fire when ready" about the rebel base it is reusing what he said to blow up Alderaan. The book pointed out they reused footage and I had never noticed before.

Bel-Cam Jos
05-12-2007, 10:19 AM
I'm only 50 pages in or so, so I'm behind, Marge (way behind). I now have some more book sources that Lucas used (so's I can expand my list of reference names :evil: LISTS! ), and I'm not even up to filming the movie in the book. Little bits at a time... slower, more intense.

JediTricks
05-15-2007, 11:39 PM
My favorite part of the actual production aspect of the book comes in the last 60 pages or so when everything starts going right and there's some funny stuff. Lucas trading his points to Spielberg was a damn jaw-dropper, and working when his movie was opening was a shocker. The pic they have of that Hamburger Hamlet btw is from a recent redesign, it didn't look a damn thing like that 30 years ago.

They left out a lot, but they included a lot. I was surprised to learn after all these years that Lucas' big heart-scare during filming was a night at the hospital and nothing more.

I was a tad disappointed how negatively Lucas views the film there, he can't see beyond his personal experiences to its quality and it's almost tragic.

Bel-Cam Jos
05-16-2007, 09:50 PM
My favorite part of the actual production aspect of the book comes in the last 60 pages or so when everything starts going right and there's some funny stuff. Lucas trading his points to Spielberg was a damn jaw-dropper, and working when his movie was opening was a shocker. The pic they have of that Hamburger Hamlet btw is from a recent redesign, it didn't look a damn thing like that 30 years ago.

I was a tad disappointed how negatively Lucas views the film there, he can't see beyond his personal experiences to its quality and it's almost tragic.Nice spoiler notice! Now I can't read the book at all, and I just got to the special FX start-up part. :rolleyes: I want to go back and change the past, because they're my memories. I call them Bel-Cam's Episode Too: Special Addition. :confused:

JediTricks
05-18-2007, 10:33 PM
Nice spoiler notice! Now I can't read the book at all, and I just got to the special FX start-up part. :rolleyes: I want to go back and change the past, because they're my memories. I call them Bel-Cam's Episode Too: Special Addition. :confused:
Sorry about that. But at the same time, c'mon, what did you expect this thread to be? That's like going into the Spider-man 3 thread and complaining of the spoilers in there.

Bel-Cam Jos
05-19-2007, 06:58 PM
Wait a minute... they made a Spiderman movie? THREE of them?!? Whoa... :pleased:

Still only up to the "Purgatory" chapter... just pluggin' along... insightful reading, though.

OC47150
05-29-2007, 04:03 PM
Several of my fellow collectors were raving about this book, and I put it on my list to buy.

I was at a sci-fi/movie monster convention this weekend, and a vendor was selling the paperback version at a very reasonable price, making it hard to pass up. Glad I bought it.

It's fantastic! The pictures are great. Can't wait to make the time to sit down and actually read it.

Bel-Cam Jos
05-29-2007, 08:01 PM
Oh man, there's more content in the hardcover?!?According to Mr. Rinzler at CIV, there are about 60 pages, mainly dealing with... a memory lapse. He said what the differences were, but I forget. I seem to recall that it wasn't too big. Maybe?

I'm now around halfway: they're done filming in Tunisia. This is a great book, pictures and stories.

General_Grievous
05-30-2007, 04:28 PM
I got this book last week. I have to say I'm in love with it. Part of me wishes they'll have similar books released for "Empire" and "Jedi", but I think that's only in my dreams.

Bel-Cam Jos
05-31-2007, 08:19 PM
Part of me wishes they'll have similar books released for "Empire" and "Jedi", but I think that's only in my dreams.At CIV, Rinzler answered a question about that, and he said he was interested, but the fact that only SW was without a "Making of" book might not make it a priority for the publishers.

Sith Lord 0498
06-03-2007, 07:24 PM
At CIV, Rinzler answered a question about that, and he said he was interested, but the fact that only SW was without a "Making of" book might not make it a priority for the publishers.

Considering Rinzler is a higher-up at Lucasbooks (if I remember correctly) and his books are extremely popular with fans, perhaps he has enough clout to push those projects into reality.

I just got my paperback edition today and will start it once I finish the second half of "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination"

But dang it...reading all your praises makes want to just start the frickin' book now!!! :thumbsup:

Bel-Cam Jos
06-03-2007, 10:35 PM
Considering Rinzler is a higher-up at Lucasbooks (if I remember correctly) and his books are extremely popular with fans, perhaps he has enough clout to push those projects into reality.

I just got my paperback edition today and will start it once I finish the second half of "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination"

But dang it...reading all your praises makes want to just start the frickin' book now!!! :thumbsup:I've been reading TMoS and WSMI concurrently for the last few weeks, too. Both are cool. I'm in the middle of each; 10 minutes here, another half hour there...

JediTricks
06-04-2007, 06:11 PM
According to Mr. Rinzler at CIV, there are about 60 pages, mainly dealing with... a memory lapse. He said what the differences were, but I forget. I seem to recall that it wasn't too big. Maybe?

I'm now around halfway: they're done filming in Tunisia. This is a great book, pictures and stories.
I looked at the hardback for a few moments at CIV, it's got extra material breaking down the characters or something. I feel cheated to be honest.

Bel-Cam Jos
06-09-2007, 10:33 AM
I looked at the hardback for a few moments at CIV, it's got extra material breaking down the characters or something. I feel cheated to be honest.Dang! I was convincing myself that it was no big t'ing. Still, I'll live without buying a second [heavier] copy; maybe the library will get a copy, or I'll check "my" copy at Barnes & Noble. :thumbsup:

JediTricks
06-09-2007, 06:34 PM
Oh, you're the man BCJ! I'm totally going to track down the tome from the LA public library!!! That never occurred to me.

EDIT: Just checked the LA library website, not in stock yet. :ermm:

EDIT 2: Just checked the Santa Monica library website, they have it on order, but strangely it's credited to Charles Lippincott, I guess one of the librarians is taking issue with Rinzler's name as author since he didn't write the interviews.

Bel-Cam Jos
06-20-2007, 11:51 AM
Finally got through this tome. Long, but very good: well written, detailed and informative, historical and funny. Even cuss words at times :soapinmouth: ! I'll have to check a bookstore/library to see where those extra pages are.

JediTricks
06-21-2007, 12:40 AM
Please report in when you do.

Bel-Cam Jos
06-21-2007, 05:48 PM
Please report in when you do.Been tryin' to do so, but all the stores I've been to lately have only had the softcover version. I know how many people are counting on me for this, since Leslie Nielson keeps opening my door to remind me. :shirley:

JediTricks
06-21-2007, 09:18 PM
That "surely/shirley" gag is a lot less funny in text. :p

Exhaust Port
11-06-2007, 05:24 PM
Wanted to dig up this thread and add my praise. I got this for my birthday this summer and have been slowly getting through the book. I'm about halfway through and really am enjoying the read. The background information really helps capture the era that this movie was made in and how really cutting edge it was at the time. The book paints a great picture of the hurdles they had to overcome technically just to get Lucas' vision on the screen. I don't think we'll see another movie that will basically have to reinvent the wheel to get made.

I was suprised how much $$ Sir Alec Guinness got for his roll. 20,000 per week PLUS 2% of the net profits from the movie. Holy cow, how much money did he end up making from SW?

I hope they put together similar books for the rest of the OT.

OC47150
11-06-2007, 09:18 PM
Sir Alec was pretty well set financially after ANH.

2-1B
11-06-2007, 10:52 PM
Nothin' like bitin' the hand that feeds. lol

JediTricks
11-07-2007, 04:08 PM
Artistic integrity can trump money.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
12-21-2007, 08:39 PM
I got this book - the hardcover edition, folks - for my birthday a few weeks ago and I just finished it. Holy nuts, was it awesome from start to finish. The bonus pages feature a ton of storyboards from various drafts and Lucas's thoughts on the expanded universe and background on some characters and events (notably, what happened during the prequel times, nearly all of which came to be). Here are some things I found really interesting:

*Lucas wrote ALL the drafts himself, and only got help on the fourth draft with the dialogue (contrary to what some here have said repeatedly).
*Dice Ibegon was supposed to shoot goo, but when they finally got it to work, it went everywhere. :D
*In the bonus pages, where he talks about background on Han, Leia, C-3PO, and other things, he said that C-3PO had been around a long time before breaking down and being rebuilt by a boy who worked for a junk dealer.

And, drumroll . . .

*Lucas mentions in 1977 that people and creatures that use the Force can do so since they have more midi-chlorians in their cells than others. Take from that what you will, but I found this extremely interesting.

JediTricks
12-24-2007, 05:07 AM
How do you know that quote is from '77? There are quotes from modern days as well in there, and none of them are dated unfortunately.

Dang, I really need to get my hands on the hardcover.

Bel-Cam Jos
12-24-2007, 10:55 AM
How do you know that quote is from '77? There are quotes from modern days as well in there, and none of them are dated unfortunately.

Dang, I really need to get my hands on the hardcover.I, too, got the softcover early, not realizing the harder, more expensive one had more stuff! :upset: And Rinzler did integrate current interviews with his "vintage" work.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
12-24-2007, 02:25 PM
How do you know that quote is from '77? There are quotes from modern days as well in there, and none of them are dated unfortunately.

Dang, I really need to get my hands on the hardcover.
The pages with those interviews (just straight-up paragraphs of George talking, separated by subject) are stated as having been made in July and August 1977 and noted as having been his "first" thoughts on the EU/backstory, with nothing later added.

JediTricks
12-25-2007, 03:13 AM
I will have to investigate, I'm very suspicious since this seems an awful lot like revisionism on Lucas' part. The wookieepedia entry has similar claims that all have no sources and were added during the late stages of the book's development.

stillakid
12-25-2007, 07:36 PM
Santa left the hardcover version under the tree for me! :love:

I started reading Peter Jackson's Foreward (and actually got bored... his writing is a lot like his loooooooong movies. That boy needs an Editor :yes:)

Anyhow, I look forward to delving into this, and like anything written, will take it with a grain of salt if it smacks of revisionism. History is told by the victors and so far, a billionaire is winning no matter what anybody else thinks. Hard to argue with :greedy:.

Just flipping through though, I love some of the new pictures I hadn't seen before. It makes me wish that LucasFilm would set up a permanent museum in San Francisco and include everything. I have no doubts that it would more than make back it's money.

JediTricks
12-27-2007, 02:47 AM
Yeah, they absolutely need to make that museum, I would take annual treks to it, no question (provided it wasn't full of post-ROTJ crap).

stillakid
12-27-2007, 02:55 AM
Yeah, they absolutely need to make that museum, I would take annual treks to it, no question (provided it wasn't full of post-ROTJ crap).

I've never minded the "stuff." The Prequel stories blow continent-size chunks, but the stuff looks as cool as ever.

I'd even propose that Sansweet integrate his own collection into this museum so that we'd have the opportunity to see the totality of Star Wars collectibles in one place. To have a singular "Hasbro Room" would be a mecca for so many. Imagine seeing entire collections (Vintage, POTF, POTJ, etc) as well as complete dioramas (Cantina, Death Star, Jabba's Palace, etc.) as created by Kenner/Hasbro.

This hypothetical museum would also be enhanced with material from all the best LucasFilm and ILM projects. Of course an Indiana Jones room or two. I'd also love to see some kind of PIXAR room given that the company began with Lucas. Essentially, a museum of all the coolest stuff to come from or be inspired by Lucas even if the stories themselves left something to be desired.

JediTricks
12-27-2007, 03:26 AM
The science museum exhibit Lucasfilm put on earlier in the year was filled with way too much prequel junk which crowded the OT goodies. The prequel stuff seemed too polished and too much "based on the CGI models", all the most exciting pieces were the original Millennium Falcon prop and the original Tantive IV prop (with the posters in the cockpit) and OT costumes. None of the prequel costumes or props could compare, they were all too polished and lacked gravitas.