In times past the function of biographies was generally to elevate their subjects to noble heights and focus on the individuals accomplishments. In modern times the function of biographies often seems to be to tear down their subjects, ruthlessly exposing every flaw and possible past transgression of the person under examination. This biography of film director/producer George Lucas is an evenhanded look at his life and work, even if some of the conclusions it's author arrives at are necessarily personal rather than certifiably factual in nature.
The book is peppered with many quotes from Lucas himself as well as Spielberg, Coppola, Milius and others which lends it a feeling of legitimacy which I believe is probably lacking from other, less sympathetic biographies. Lucas himself is quite forthcoming about his feelings on his own work and what he sees as his limitations as a director. His comments on Hollywood were amusing if understandably bitter, especially for someone who has worked there in the past.
If one omits his earliest film shorts such as the student version of THX 1138 and the documentary Filmmaker, Lucas has only directed three films in his career, THX 1138, American Grafitti and Star Wars. His function since that last mega-smash has primarily been as producer and head of the state-of-the-art Skywalker Ranch production facilities up in scenic Northern California. He has also helped finance a number of less "mainstream" works such as Kurosawa's Kagemusha. It's unfortunately probably true that Lucas has never been taken seriously by many critics ever since Star Wars because that film was so consciously intended as a "kids movie". Despite the fact that it was embraced by popular culture around the world due to its quality and mythic resonance it does tend to overwhelm his early, more adult-oriented films. Lucas himself is quite skeptical of some of the intellectual critical analysis that has been produced on what was intended to be an innocent hommage to 30's style action movie serials and not a "think piece". It's also surprising that so many people continue to consider the Star Wars films science-fiction when they really fall much more into the fantasy genre despite all the high-tech trappings.
Of course this book includes reams of trivia on the films, from the origin of all of the characters names in Star Wars to the details behind preview screenings and loads of very funny anecdotes that could only have been provided by an industry as crazy and high-stakes as Hollywood. Mostly however this is the story of a man from modest origins who managed to beat Hollywood at it's own game and achieve financial independence from "the system" through a combination of very savvy business choices, luck and a personal vision that happened to coincide with what a large number of the paying public wanted to see on screen.
This review refers to the original 1983 hardcover release of this book.