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Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas [Paperback]

Dale Pollock
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

1 April 1990
Filled with revelations about the origins and making of American Graffiti, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Return of the Jedi, this only full-length biography of filmmaker and cinematic visionary George Lucas has been updated with a substantial new chapter that discusses the revamped Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition, the Star Wars prequels, the filming of the first installment, and the controversial ways in which Lucas's approach and success continue to alter the landscape of the film industry.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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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 (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,112,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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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First Sentence
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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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ok 4 Feb 2013
By m. dosa
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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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The reluctant director 28 Dec 2000
By Jerry Jancarik Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, just needs to be updated 27 April 2002
By josh_the_k - Published on Amazon.com
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Two thumbs way up! :) 3 Feb 1998
By Megarra@aol.com - Published on Amazon.com
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 18 Sep 2002
By K. Norton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Haven't read a bigraphy so interesting since I browsed through richard branson's 3 years ago. it's always great to read about a rollercoaster life, especially one as up and down and then up up up as george Lucas...
Really Well Written... top marks
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb account of George Lucas's film career 15 Jan 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
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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