How Star Wars Conquered The Universe
This is the book you’re looking for
Release Date: OUT NOW! 488 pages | Hardback/ paperback Author: Chris Taylor Publisher: Head Of Zeus “Another galaxy, another time.” So begins the novelisation of Star Wars, released early to build buzz. It doesn’t have the same ring as “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” but back then, no one knew how significant the little details would be to George Lucas’s creation. It became a bestseller, and made its own contribution to the film’s success. Now, months from a new chapter in the legend, this book has a similar potential to increase excitement, and remind people of why they love Luke and co. But does it succeed?
It’s split into two parts, with one main narrative – Lucas’s hero’s journey to get his vision onto the screen – interrupted by mini- stories focusing on significant fans ( the creator of the unit of Stormtrooper cosplayers known as the 501st; Ghyslain Raza, aka Star Wars Kid; and many more) or contributors to the legacy ( kids working out how much a Death Star would cost, leading to a petition to the White House; the effects artist taken to court for selling his own copyrighted creations…). They’re stories you probably half- know already, but it’s fascinating to read about them in depth. The same goes for the making- of segments, but Chris Taylor expands these oft- repeated tales. You probably know that R2- D2 stems from Reel 2 Dialogue 2, but did you know it came from an in- joke by Lucas and editor Walter Murch? That’s right, George Lucas made jokes! The stand- out setpiece is the section detailing the multiple drafts the first script went through, and Lucas’s frustration as he tried to express the images in his head.
Does the book work as marketing for The Force Awakens? To a certain extent, yes. But its most significant impact is to peel away Lucas’s reputation as an unemotional and distant figure, revealing the human underneath. Sam Ashurst Chris Taylor is the deputy editor of Mashable, which may explain the book’s partial focus on memes and viral videos.