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on 28 April 2017
This is the first of three "The Making Of..." books which J. W. Rinzler has compiled - the other two being "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return Of The Jedi". Put simply, these are must have books for any serious fan of the original Star Wars movies.

"The Making Of Star Wars" is a galactic size book, with 362 pages, dimensions of 263 x 289 x 35mm and weighing over 2.3kg. Almost everything is covered in detail, with colour and black and white photographs, diagrams, drawings, sketches, and a detailed narrative describing every step of the movie-making process.

There are twelve overflowing chapters. The opening one "Two Visions" starts in 1968, where early ideas for plots, themes, characters and weapons are described. Interestingly, George Lucas gained inspiration from the ongoing Vietnam War for plot and character ideas. And, his original name for a lightsaber was a "lazer sword".

The next chapter "Fighting Words" details rough drafts of the early scripts. "Flash Gordon" cartoon strips and the Errol Flynn movie "Captain Blood" were used as inspirations, especially the fighting scenes. At this point, the movie was called "Adventures Of The Starkiller".

Next, "Boundary Busters" contains detailed artwork of Darth Vader, C3PO, planets, the Death Star and many vehicles. And, early storyboards show plot outlines developing, with some being retained unchanged in the final movie.

"Frenzy" shows the model creation process for many vehicles, including the iconic Sandcrawler, Star Destroyer and Tie Fighters.

"Purgatory" has an early design of an overweight and bulky Chewbacca - luckily he was slimmed down for the final movie! Colourful location shots from Tunisia representing Tatooine are very atmospheric. And photographs from auditions for Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker show that Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill may not have been cast in these roles - how different things could have been!

"Rise Of The Poetic State" has brilliant images of Chewbacca's face mask, designs for R2D2, the design process of Luke's Landspeeder and a large model of the Millennium Falcon.

"Mindstorms In The Sand" covers the sometimes difficult filming in the Tunisian desert, with fantastic colour photographs of Luke, Obi-Wan, C3PO and R2D2.

"Faster Than A Speeding Freight Train" describes that Princess Leia's memorable ear-muff hairstyle was inspired by photographs of traditional Native American women.

"Vanishing Point" has a wonderful large image of Han Solo, Chewbacca, Luke and Leia in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon - possibly the best photo in the entire book.

"Ace-People And The Wizards" describes the ground-breaking special effects, sound and editing processes which were used after filming.

"Celluloid Transfiguration" shows how a real elephant was dressed up in a costume to portray a Bantha - amazing that this is how they did it!

Finally, "Fairy-Tale And Cinema" has loads of posters, press releases and media reaction from the unbelievable opening of the movie.

Overall, this is a truly incredible book which gives a detailed insight into the making of one the most memorable and ground-breaking movies of all-time.
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on 9 November 2017
Love the original book, bought this for the extras - unfortunately despite Amazon saying the bonus video and audio content is viewable without a Kindle, (just by installing an app on my PC) this isn't the case. None of the content format's appear to be supported even though my players of choice handle EVERY file tupe out there. The written content is nice, but I was only interested in the additional media. Super dissapointing. :(
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on 5 July 2007
My fascination with the Star Wars series has always been with the craft and skill with which it was made, so I have devoured the various "making of", ""Art of" and "Chronicles" books that have been published over the last 30 years or so. None of these prepare you for this mighty volume. It really is an awesome achievement and offers so much for it's relatively tiny price (at least compared to those Chronicles" books). There are tons of previously unseen photos, fascinating insights from people who were barely mentioned in other books and wonderful storyboard illustrations from a variety of artists who helped out Lucas at various stages of the story's development. What really sets it apart is the heavy use of interview material carried out at the time, you really do feel that this film has only just been released, so fresh and unsullied by its subsequent success are the thoughts and insights of those interviewed.

I really cannot think of anything that should make you think twice about purchasing this excellent book. One thought that does stick with me however - if Star Wars was never expected to be such a success how come its making was so heavily documented at the time?
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on 9 March 2017
This is a comprehensive book covering the whole process of the creation of star wars. It's brilliant I would highly recommend. There are a whole host of pictures, audio and video clips (audio and video with enhanced digital edition) that really bring the process of creating the film to life. The interviews and quotes used are from before the release of the film so it's really interesting to read George Lucas and the crew talk about the movie with no idea about how successful it will really be. There are soo many different aspects that the book covers, one of particular interest was the special effects which are spoken about in great detail. This is a must for any star wars fan!
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on 14 August 2017
Brilliant behind the scenes look at the production behind Star Wars. Lovely concept art. Book large and heavy.
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on 23 September 2017
Amazing book, such a great read for StarWars fans and contains a stupendous amount of detail from the time of filming. Highly recommended :)
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on 12 April 2016
Fans will absolutely love this book.
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on 5 July 2017
Awesome book! Love it! Thanks!!!
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on 15 May 2017
Fascinating insights. A must for Star Wars OT fans.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 13 February 2009
While this book was published in 2007, it's actually about the making and the history of the first Star Wars movie released in 1977. Considering how much time has passed, it's amazing the amount of material that has been collected for this book.

There are twelve chapters documenting the journey from the scripting stage, casting, set building, location shooting, all the way up to the movie release.

This book is written before anyone knew it was going to be a major hit. What that means is, they are writing it on the spot at that point in time -- in 1977. There's nothing closer to understanding what's going on during production and on their minds while the shooting the movie.

Included in the books are hundreds of behind-the-scenes photos, scanned scripts, sketches of sets and ships, several film stills and immensely valuable and insightful interviews. It's essentially a very well documented production diary.

There are lots of details included. Read about how George Lucas was a compulsive writer who doesn't and cannot stop working. Find out how they overcome crisis like when one of their robots caught fire. Share their euphoria when they first received reactions from movie goers. And I can go on and on.

This is the definitive volume. It's well worth the money for any Star Wars fan or movie maker.

There are two covers for this book, a hardcover and the paperback. It's highly recommended to get the hardcover, more expensive, version. This book is big and thick at 314 pages. The spine of the softcover will most definitely wear off in the future.

There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.
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