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Sculpting a Galaxy: Inside the Star Wars Model Shop Hardcover – November 14, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Insight Editions (November 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933784032
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933784038
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 1.1 x 13 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This meticulous look at the models, miniatures and sculptures that make up the Star Wars movie universe is sure to make the short list for fans. Model and sculpture designer Peterson takes the reader through a guided tour of the Star Wars series, giving extra attention to fan favorites. Some of the more popular vehicles, such as the AT-AT Walkers and the Millenium Falcon get their own detailed gatefolds. Peterson's tight prose keeps the book on track, offering all sorts of trivia without dwelling on minutiae. While the later movies have certainly benefited from computer-generated special effects, he explains it was more cost-effective and realistic to create many of the sets, backgrounds and vehicles via sculptures and models. Readers will learn that the crowds watching the pod race from The Phantom Menace, for example, were not entirely computer generated-thousands of painted Q-Tips were used to fill out the stadium, "ultimately creating an image that looked very realistic." Peterson covers everything from how to create fake blood for a severed arm (raspberry yogurt mixed with tempera paint) to employing wheelchair motors in order to enable R2-D2 to navigate the gritty Tunisian desert where the first film was shot. Fans will find everything from the holographic chess set from the first film to Darth Vader's mask from Revenge of the Sith lovingly photographed and described in detail. Many of the models regularly tour museums, but this comprehensive examination offers fans a more informed appreciation for the work that went into the series.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lorne Peterson is one of the founding members of Industrial Light & Magic; he was hired by George Lucas to create the models for Star Wars. In 1978, Peterson was invited by Lucas to oversee the entire production of models for The Empire Strikes Back. His signature is evident on nearly every model used in the original trilogy. Peterson’s work is showcased in the entire Star Wars saga, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the Ewok movies, Jurassic Park, Men in Black, Galaxy Quest, and Van Helsing. He was honored with an Academy Award® and a BAFTA Award for the special effects work in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
George Lucas is the creator of the phenomenally successful Star Wars saga and Indiana Jones series. He has been writing and directing for more than twenty-five years.

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Customer Reviews

Large, glossy pages show more detail than you would expect from a "coffee table" book.
J. Waggoner
Sculpting a Galaxy inside the star wars model shop is a must read for all those star wars fans out there.
Charles J. Homolka Jr.
If I had bought this book in a regular bookstore in Europe I would have paid 600 euro's.
Debeer Lies

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By W. Mudron on November 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
To paraphrase animator/creature designer/puppeteer Phil Tippet, this book is about how several dozen people over the course of several decades managed to create an entire make-believe world (and the ships, creatures and environments within them) with their bare hands.

To a life-long Star Wars geek (and ILM/specialmeffects enthusiast in particular) like me, "Sculpting the Galaxy" is practically spaceship-porn, what with 216 pages filled with beautifiul macrophotography exploring every nook and cranny of the models created for the Star Wars universe in almost fetishistic detail. Don't take my word for it, either - the Millenium Falcon gets it's hown centerfold, fer chrissakes.

What's even better is that all of these photos are interspersed with anecdotes from the author and many other veterans of ILM's model shope describing how the design and fabrication of each model came to be (for example, the entry regarding the Death Star model from "A New Hope"s mentions that said model accidentally wound up being accidentally thrown away during ILM's move from San Raphael to Marin County).

Regardless, this book will stand as a testament to the talent and hard work of the craftsmen and artists who laboured so long to bring George Lucas's vision of a 'galaxy far, far way' to life. Kudos to you, fellas - you've definitely earned it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on October 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Length: 0:39 Mins
Fans of Star Wars, particularly model collectors will love this book. This book is however not a book featuring collectibles. This is a compilation of hundreds of photos models of ships and sets that were used throughout the Star Wars movies.

There are four main chapters: 1. Starships, 2. Vehicles, 3. Creatures, droids and sculpts, 4. Environment.

The photos included are extremely high quality and many are close ups for details. The level of detail and workmanship is amazing when you're looking at it close up. I can also touch them.

Fans will find almost everything, from the Imperial Star Destroyer, Padme Amidala's Apartment, Holographic Chess Game, just to name a few.

If you've been to Star Wars exhibitions, you'll know that photography isn't allowed. Well, this book is the next best thing to the exhibition. Wait a minute -- so that's why photography isn't allowed.

This is a well constructed hard covered book with great binding and high quality semi gloss paper.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Darby on July 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I too, own many of the various other books detailing the creation of the Star Wars universe. Like them, this one tells a small part of the story. While some material has been seen before, I don't mind at all seeing it again along side Lorne's insightful commentary.

HOWEVER, as another reviewer mentioned, the binding leaves much to be desired. My copy started to disintegrate as soon as I opened it. A shame, as I would rate the book 5 stars if it had an intact spine. As such, it hardly gets looked at now as every turn of the page could be the last thanks to the inferior binding.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By R. Sardrena on August 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For those who have purchased the series of "Art of Star Wars" books, as well as "Star Wars: Sketchbooks" et cetera, this tome is impressive but not novel. Many photos from those earlier books are reused here. The problem is that they have been blown up for this larger format. Consequently, the blown-up recycled photos are slightly blurry. There are some wonderful photos of star destroyer details that have not been seen before...but is that enough to merit this huge new book? That decision is up to you, but I expected heretofore unseen, crisply focused photographs.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By W. Burnham on September 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed in this book. I was expecting hundreds of images of models and props, and I didn't get it. Most (not all) of the images in this book can be easily found in other, and better better Star Wars reference books. Different book, same stuff.

I returned it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MarkG on October 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The 1 star is for the binding. Despite handling this book with great care as I read it, the binding has practically disintegrated. More than 1/3 of the pages have fallen out of the book. Very disappointing, and apparently not uncommon.

Text and photos are great, but deserve a much better presentation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Enjolras TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 19, 2010
In an age when CGI seems to have taken over movies, Sculpting a Galaxy: Inside the Star Wars Model Shop is a nice tribute to ILM's Model Shop. It has some great close-up shots of the models and creatures. I was surprised to learn that even some of the later movies relied heavily on models. I don't think this book is quite as good as Star Wars Chronicles, which is much more comprehensive. Sculpting a Galaxy leaves out a few key ships and creatures, such as the Tie Bomber. Also, some of the pictures seem a bit fuzzy. However, the main reason I gave this only 3 stars is that its binding is horribly loose. There are gaps between some of the pages, which is especially annoying if the photo is a two-page spread. What a shame. Hopefully not all of the books in print are so poorly manufactured.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steven Kelsall on May 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Like the models depicted in the book itself, the painstaking attention to detail is amazing. As a long time fan of Star Wars and collector of memoribilia from the saga, the Lorne Peterson signed limited edition version is a must have for any fan. Aside from the hardcover book, which is very well presented and detailed, comes a plethora of other unique, such as the case itself, moulded and hand painted pieces from the original scaled model of the Millennium Falcon and Death Star. Then there's the copy of Lorne's original scaled Lanspeeder with Luke, Ben, R2 and 3PO. I thought 'Dressing a Galaxy' was fantastic, well this is even better.
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