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Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas Paperback – 1 Apr 1990

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Paperback, 1 Apr 1990
£5.82 £0.99
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Samuel French Trade; New Ed edition (1 April 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0573606064
  • ISBN-13: 978-0573606069
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,844,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Dale Pollock is president of Peak Productions and a successful producer of twelve feature films (which have received four Academy Award nominations). A former film critic for "Daily Variety "and chief film reporter for the" Los Angeles Times, " he lives in Los Angeles. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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George Lucas has accomplished more in his thirty-nine years than most people do in a lifetime. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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By dregj on 7 July 2014
Format: Paperback
Updated edition really?
actually ends in 83
with an extra chapter shoe horned on the end full of erroneous information
about the prequels that was either inaccurate or changed.
The rest of the text is definitely not updated.The author and Lucas talk about a distant far off day when film-makers will be able to use computers to create landscapes and images cheaper than actually building a set.
if you dont mind how dated most of the information is then this is a OK book for any star wars fan
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By m. dosa on 4 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover
for a book about i quote, one of the most creative visionaries in all film history its a bit staged yes star wars big blockbuster and then a franchise,of course the quote above refers to the U.S.A film industry imagine if the french or german industry made star wars.but if you want to know lots about the visionary this is the book for you
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 25 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The reluctant director 28 Dec. 2000
By Jerry Jancarik Jr. - Published on
Format: Paperback
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.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Excellent, just needs to be updated 27 April 2002
By josh_the_k - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'm a Star Wars fan, and always wondered what kind of person George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, was. This book pretty much answered any and all questions I had about the Master Jedi himself.
Pollock's narrative of Lucas's life begins with George's childhood, then proceeds into his rebellious teen years--which was the inspiration for American Graffiti--then straight onto Lucas' student filmmaker years and finally to his highly successful movie career. The latter of which is when Star Wars and its sequels were produced and established Lucas as one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of the medium.
The book offers a balanced, journalistic account of Lucas' life, with very little opinion injected into the book. Some places Pollock seems to praise Lucas too much, but it's nothing too extreme.
The only real problem is that the book was written during the production of Return of the Jedi, when Skywalker Ranch wasn't finished, George was still married to first wife Marcia, and before the flops Willow and Howard the Duck. I read the revised edition which has an intro mentioning these things, but the book's main narrative is about what's happened to Lucas up to 1983.
I'd recommend this book to any fan of Star Wars, and anyone else curious about Lucas himself.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Two thumbs way up! :) 3 Feb. 1998
By - Published on
Format: Paperback
A long time ago in a galaxy far,far away George Lucas revolutionized modern movie making, and captivated a nation with his spectacular movie Star Wars. Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi became one of the worlds most beloved trilogys. After Star Wars, George Lucas contintued to dazzle the public with his unique story-telling by bringing us another wonderful trilogy-The Indiana Jones trilogy. This book is an excellent read on how these and other movies from George Lucas made it to the big screen. With excellent background history on Lucas himself, this book is a must for anyone who admires Mr.Lucas. A well-researched book,it gives a detailed account of how some the most famous movies in cynematic history made it to the big screen. Overall I thought it was great and urge anyone who loves Star Wars, or just wants a good book to read to get this book. :) May the force be with you!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Almost knocked it down to three, but... 21 Feb. 2013
By Stantz - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For the first 3/4ths of this book, the information is gold. Author Dale Pollock details Lucas's life from birth through the beginning of Return of the Jedi and, having been given access to the man himself, you get a wealth of quotes and personal insights. Even better, this is a warts-and-all sort of look. No criticisms are held back, but rather than coming off in negative light, it just makes everyone look human - and I find that far more refreshing than the sugar-coated bios most filmmakers manipulate for themselves.

The most packed sections deal with American Graffiti and A New Hope, and again, the information is fantastic - especially the details on the two years of drafts for ANH. Raiders and Empire definitely could have been given more, but at that point, Lucas was more of a hands off producer, and in many ways, they don't add to the story.

So why four stars? As you hit the 3/4 mark, you suddenly begin to wonder how the book is going to fill up its remaining quarter, since you're up to Jedi in the history. What follows is a really painful to read character analysis of George Lucas that literally tries to analyze him down to an atomic level. It's wildly bipolar - you'll regularly come across sentences like "Lucas is one of the greatest producers in the world - but many think him a subpar director, and a bad husband." Also, it gets REALLY, REALLY gossipy, with just about everyone coming out of the woodwork to criticize him over anything, and then letting Lucas respond. I'm all for the behind the scenes stuff, especially when it's revealing, but this just feels exploitative. And it goes on, and on, and on, and on...

Then you hit the last chapter, cobbled together from what the author has read about the Phantom Menace's production (he clearly wasn't allowed within ten miles of George Lucas after the first publication), and it's laughable. These last two chapters, about 1/4th of the book, are terrible.

BUT! It's absolutely worth reading for the first 3/4ths for a great portrait of Lucas. Just stop reading when it starts getting stupid.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Superb account of George Lucas's film career 15 Jan. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This isn't one of those "authorised" biographies which give rose coloured accounts of a person. Instead, Dale Pollock provides an excellent account of Lucas's childhood, his involvement with Zoetrope Films and of course, his creation of the Star Wars series. Pollock provides details of the troubles Lucas encountered in filming Star Wars: his health, conflicts with the British film crew, lack of faith by 20th Century Fox in the film. We didn't see it in the television pogram "Making of Star Wars"!
The book is a must for all fans of George Lucas.
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