The Making of Star Wars by JW Rinzler

“Star Wars” was released in 1977 and went on to earn almost $775 million at the worldwide box office. It would change film making forever. Published for the 30th anniversary of the original “Star Wars” movie, this is a must-have book for all “Star Wars” fans and movie lovers. Lavishly illustrated with hundreds of images spanning the creation of the film, and including previously unpublished interviews and stories, “The Making of Star Wars” is a piece of cinema history; and the story behind the making of this book is almost as intriguing. When author J.W. Rinzler heard that a similar book had been started back in the 1970s – around the time of filming – curiosity got the better of him. He was directed to four boxes within the vast Lucasfilm archive. He discovered that over fifty interviews had been conducted between 1975 and 1978 with key members of the cast and crew. These boxes had sat undisturbed for three decades. Until now. The interviews were fresh, candid and – above all – more accurate than many other reported accounts.

This book was sent to me as a review book, which puts me in a rather unique place. I am a fan of the films, I have them all on DVD, and I remember being fascinated when I watched a documentary concerning the making, the special effects etc. However, this isn’t the sort of book that I would usually buy for myself, and I certainly don’t call myself an expert.

With all this said, my initial reaction upon seeing the book was simply “wow” – it’s a large hardback, with a grand total of 357 pages. That feeling of awe remained as I flicked through the pages.. there are some fantastic photos and drawings, many of which are early versions of characters etc, who never made it to the film. Others, however, are very well known.. seeing an early drawing of Darth Vader had me grinning like a child!

There’s also a wealth of information within the book, most of which I haven’t had a chance to read yet. For some fans, they may wish to sit and read from cover to cover, but for me, the joy of this book is dipping in and out, reading a little at a time. Having not read any other books about the film, I have no idea how much of this is fresh information, but the publisher say that included is information from many previously unseen interviews.

If you’re a casual fan, wishing to take a deeper look at the history of the film, then this book must be highly recommended, it’s certainly something that I will be going back to again and again. Even at full price, as this is a book full of information and photos, and one that you will want to keep, it’s value for money.

If a dedicated fan, you can find more information about the content at the publishers site. Various reviews, however, from those with a deeper knowledge than myself, seem to believe that this is a premium book on the subject.

The cover looks fantastic, the photos inside look fantastic, and the content certainly appears impressive. For anyone with an interest in the film, I would urge you to buy it. :0)

Published by Random House
Version reviewed: Hardback, April 2007 £35.99 (online discount)
Also available in paperback, July 2008 £13.49 (online discount)

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