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A Galaxy Not So Far Away: Writers and Artists on Twenty-five Years of Star Wars Paperback – Bargain Price, September 6, 2002


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Paperback, Bargain Price, September 6, 2002
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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0805070745
  • ASIN: B000H2N094
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,097,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A Galaxy Not So Far Away is a collection of essays that set out to seriously explore the vast landscape of the Star Wars cultural phenomenon. Premiere magazine editor Glenn Kenny has complied 18 well-crafted pieces from a wide array of pop culture aficionados, including ribald filmmaker Kevin Smith and Onion satirist Todd Hanson.

The pieces range from serious scholarship to self-deprecating geek confessionals. Some--such as "Pale Starship, Pale Rider: The Ambiguous Appeal of Boba Fett" by Tom Bissell--tend toward the esoteric minutiae of fandom, and are sure to please the rabid devotee. But most are kindly universal and range far beyond the spacey subject matter into more human territory. Thankfully, most of the writers don't take themselves too seriously as they make the jump to hyperspace. Thus, the collection is a pleasure to read and an interesting foray into the passionate media culture surrounding the Star Wars universe. Overall, an excellent intellectual exercise for anyone who has ever found escape in a galaxy far, far away. --Jeremy Pugh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The mention of Star Wars inspires fervor among many writers. For some, their viewing of the films was life-changing. Premiere magazine senior editor Kenny gathers essays that explore various takes on Star Wars from hip-hop activists, novelists, critics and others. Director Kevin Smith writes, "A brother just can't escape being a Star Wars dork sometimes"; writer Neal Pollack offers a parody that involves Osama bin Kenobi and Puke Skybarfer; Jonathan Lethem (Motherless Brooklyn) admits to seeing the original Star Wars 21 times in the summer of 1977; and book editor Webster Younce confesses that watching the Star Wars Holiday Special is "an agonizing experience."
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "roguestool" on September 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
Don't listen to disgruntled Star Wars fans on this book. There are only a few out and out negative pieces here (one, "Jedi Uber Alles" by Tom Carson, is actually pretty good); most are fond, respectful, but above all they're *interesting.* No, this isn't a licensed love fest. Nor does it claim to be. It's about how the movies have affected our culture and our minds, and it's done so in good and bad ways. Star Wars, as this book's editor Glenn Kenny points out, did not at all kill movies. But it seems pretty inarguable that it made them louder and dumber, which (again as Kenny points out) is weird because George Lucas is the world's biggest independent filmmaker who controls with an auteur's pickiness his own product. But anyway: The really good essays here are Jonathan Lethem's (about seeing Star Wars 21 times in one summer), Tom Bissell's (about Boba Fett), Todd Hanson's (about The Phantom Menance), Lydia Millet's (about Darth Vader), Elvis Mitchell's (about Lando), and the above-mentioned Carson essay which I hate as a fan but admit makes some good points. There are also some really quite dreadful essays (say nothing but good of the dead) which I won't stoop to name. All Star Wars fans should get this book; it's important, and it's funny, and it has smart, tough things to say.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By tvtv3 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
A GALAXY NOT SO FAR AWAY is a collection of essays that attempt to illustrate just how far reaching STAR WARS has impacted and influenced our society and culture. Most of the essays are positive, many are humorous, and several are nostaligiac in their reflections. Some, however are negative and a few are quite thought provoking. I especially enjoyed reading Kevin Smith's "Married to the Force" and Todd Hansen's "A Big Dumb Movie About Space Wizards". The two essays that paint the STAR WARS phenomenon in the most negative light "Jedi Uber Alles" and "Anakin, Get Your Gun" are also the two essays that made me pause and think the most. I also enjoyed the essay that illustrated just how STAR WARS has influenced hip-hop music, suggesting that hip-hop wouldn't exist (at least not in it's current form) without STAR WARS.
This book is not a collection of essays about "What STAR WARS means to me" (though there are a few of those in here). Instead, it is a book illustrating just how huge and powerful the little space opera that could has influenced our society. This is a great book for most STAR WAR fans or for anyone interested in popular culture.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
One of the funniest books I have ever read. You think the pieces are cute, and they are, but then they're serious, and you're stunned. What a weird, wonderful project and what a perfect gift for movie-lovers. Lydia Millet's piece on Darth Vader is a must-read whether you like Star Wars or not. This book should sell for a long, long time.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
I was just out of graduate school and working in my first professional position when the first Star Wars movie (now known as "Episode 4") came out. I loved it. I had been a confirmed pulp-sf addict since the mid-1950s, and I was predisposed to enjoy the film for what it was, not for what the critics thought it was (and what they apparently wanted me, as a card-carrying intellectual, to believe it was). But I'm not too proud to admit that I also loved "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" when they came out. I mean, this stuff is great fun, right? The stuffier film critics, though, decided that George Lucas had killed the movies -- just as there were cries of anguish back in the late '20s, when the movies began to talk. Yes, the Star Wars universe has had a great influence on culture, and not just "pop" culture, but so have Gucci and Ronald Reagan and McDonald's. Most of the contributors to this anthology are of an age to have grown up on Star Wars, and the distinction can easily be made between those who don't take it, or themselves, too seriously (Jonathem Lethem, Neal Pollack, Erika Krouse, and Elwood Reed), and those for whom Lucas is Evil incarnate (notably Arion Berger and Tom Carson). The book is an interesting read for those, like me, with an interest in film-making and screenwriting that goes beyond just sitting there with a bag of popcorn, but I could only shake my head at some of the breast-beating Jeremiads.
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9 of 25 people found the following review helpful By John Chanaud on September 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
I bought this book, imagining it was filled with fans doting on about my favourite movie series. But in fact, it was filled with that awful self-important ranting that so many annoying critics favour. Some of the chapters were ammusing trips down memory lane, a trip I can certainly share. But most were simply attacks on the Star Wars saga (a more and more common stance these days, since George has now decided that Greedo fired first, and since he introduced us to Jar Jar Binks, it has become cool to rag on the series). I began skipping chapter after chapter, constantly muttering under my breath, "Why did I waste my money on this opinionated gobbledygook!?"
Save your time and your money. Unless of course you enjoy listening to critics whine about how stupid things are.
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