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How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise Hardcover – September 30, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 173 ratings

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Hardcover, September 30, 2014
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"Devoted" by Dean Koontz
For the first time in paperback, from Dean Koontz, the master of suspense, comes an epic thriller about a terrifying killer and the singular compassion it will take to defeat him. | Learn more
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  • How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise
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Editorial Reviews


“It's impossible to overstate the cultural, social and even political impact of Star Wars. It started as a balm for a people racked by moral confusion, a juvenile bolt hole for a nation with shattered self-esteem, but the blast wave of enthusiasm and love it inspired was to engulf the planet. Culturally speaking it is, quite simply, the Force. Chris Taylor's affectionate and hugely entertaining book tracks the phenomenon from inception to dominance and with a wry smile, asks us to ‘look at the size of that thing!'”
—Simon Pegg, actor and Star Wars fan

“George Lucas didn't only create an iconic film franchise, but also a mind-virus that's infected the imaginations of billions of people around the world. Chris Taylor delivers an exuberant forensic analysis of the phenomenon in How Star Wars Conquered the Universe—a must-read for any fan, film buff, or student of modern culture.”
—Brad Stone, author of The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

“Every Star Wars fan should pick up a copy of How Star Wars Conquered the Universe.... Taylor's extensive exploration of the history of Star Wars and the impact it has had on popular culture makes for an eye-opening and entertaining read.... This book remains a necessary item for any bookshelf.”
—The Wookiee Gunner

“An excellent look at the genesis of Star Wars.... The book is loaded with tidbits about the creation of the films, worth the price of admission alone…[Taylor's] put together a volume that's honest and interesting — and one that's completely reignited my passion for Star Wars.”

“[A] tour de force.... Taylor's research is staggering, and even fans who believe they know all there is to know about the film franchise will find much to learn—and savor.”
Associated Press

“An unconventional approach that serves to bring a spark of life that might otherwise go missing from a straightforward commercial or cinematic look at Star Wars.”
Washington Post

“Even obsessives will likely find much that's news to them ... worthy of being savored ... amusing ... reveals what a huge role serendipity played in Star Wars.”
New York Post

“Delivers a payload of information... you will find intense emotions in its observations of a battle for autonomy within corporate cinema, and to the public that swoons for Lucas' products.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“This is the best nonfiction Star Wars book I've read and it will appeal to more than just the Star Wars super fan.”

“Chris Taylor not only manages to put a fresh spin on an old story, but also takes readers on a memorable trip through the past, present, and future of Star Wars fandom… I don't know of any other book that takes such a comprehensive and in-depth look at fandom.”
—Far Far Away Radio

“Even if you're a Star Wars savant, it's a fun read.... Hell, give it to your friends and family who are casual fans – they'll be sure to get a kick out of it as well.”

“Chris Taylor's How Star Wars Conquered the Universe is the definitive guide to the first forty years of the Star Wars galaxy. Part biography, part history, part fanboy gossip, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe is an accessible, fun read for any lover of Star Wars.”
—Ian Doescher, author of the William Shakespeare's Star Wars trilogy

“This is a wildly entertaining book, and if it's not the definitive history of the making of Star Wars, I don't know what is. But it's more than that: it tells a rollicking good story about storytelling itself, about the intersection between art and commerce, and paints surely the most complete and deeply felt portrait of George Lucas to date.”
—Dave Eggers, author of The Circle and A Hologram for the King

“Chris Taylor's colorful biography of Star Wars, the franchise that shaped modern culture, is more than just a geek's delight. It is a creativity manual—and shows how the relationship between films and fans can stimulate innovation.”
—Walter Isaacson, author of The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution and Steve Jobs

“Smart. Eloquent. Definitive. This is the book you're looking for.”
—Lev Grossman, author of the New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy

“Taylor brings a genuine love of pop and nerd culture to this comprehensive retrospective on one of the 20th century's most popular film series.... Taylor has compiled an impressive collection of background research and insider info that any fan would be glad to own.”
Publishers Weekly

“Taylor's fan-boy enthusiasm coupled with his inviting narrative style make this a fun and informative read for sf enthusiasts, media studies and marketing students, film industry professionals, and aspiring Jedi Knights.”
Library Journal

“It's impossible to imagine a Star Wars fan who wouldn't love this book…It really is hard to imagine a book about Star Wars being any more comprehensive than this one. It's full of information and insight and analysis, and it's so engagingly written that it's a pure joy to read.... There are plenty of books about Star Wars, but very few of them are essential reading. This one goes directly to the top of the pile.”
Booklist (starred review)

“A smart, engaging book...welcome reading for fans of Star Wars—or, for that matter, of THX 1138.”
Kirkus Reviews

“[A] terrific new book…”
—Huffington Post

“Here, finally, is a book that, in its very title, separates the tough from the wusses when it comes to exactly the kind of pop-culture consumption, digestion, regurgitation and entrail-reading that behan with George Lucas's space fairy tale. The amusingly hyperbolic (but serious) title, with its cheerily fevered (but serious) assumption of agreement with the premise and delightfully blinkered (but serious) conviction in the importance of the topic, distills everything one needs to know about the kind of insanely microresearched and breezily written book this is.”
New York Times Book Review

“Exhaustive... [a] thorough account... those of us more casually in tune with the Force will find more than a few tasty nuggets.”
Wall Street Journal

“At its heart, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe is a love letter to a franchise that has become entrenched in contemporary culture in more ways than we could possibly count.... A history of the Star Wars franchise packed with trivia and anecdotes that will delight any fan.”
—Shelf Awareness for Readers

“An immensely readable look at the worldwide impact of the Star Wars saga over the decades.”

About the Author

Chris Taylor is the deputy editor of Mashable, one of the world's largest independent news websites. He has covered the intersection of business and culture for two decades as a writer and editor for Time, Business 2.0, Fortune Small Business, and Fast Company. A graduate of Merton College, Oxford and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, he lives in Berkeley, California.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.6 pounds
  • Hardcover : 488 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0465089984
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0465089987
  • Product Dimensions : 6.5 x 1.25 x 9.5 inches
  • Publisher : Basic Books; 0th Edition (September 30, 2014)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 173 ratings

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
173 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries

P. Borrington
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read but where's the music?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 12, 2016
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Rosie Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars I've got a good feeling about this!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 3, 2016
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3.0 out of 5 stars One for the real nerd
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 16, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, interesting, fun.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 8, 2015
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars. Two Suns
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 8, 2017
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