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Skywalking: The Life And Films Of George Lucas, Updated Edition Paperback – May 31, 1999
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The book is peppered with many quotes from Lucas himself as well as Spielberg, Coppola, Milius and others which lends it a feeling of legitimacy which I believe is probably lacking from other, less sympathetic biographies. Lucas himself is quite forthcoming about his feelings on his own work and what he sees as his limitations as a director. His comments on Hollywood were amusing if understandably bitter, especially for someone who has worked there in the past.
If one omits his earliest film shorts such as the student version of THX 1138 and the documentary Filmmaker, Lucas has only directed three films in his career, THX 1138, American Grafitti and Star Wars. His function since that last mega-smash has primarily been as producer and head of the state-of-the-art Skywalker Ranch production facilities up in scenic Northern California. He has also helped finance a number of less "mainstream" works such as Kurosawa's Kagemusha. It's unfortunately probably true that Lucas has never been taken seriously by many critics ever since Star Wars because that film was so consciously intended as a "kids movie".Read more ›
Pollock's narrative of Lucas's life begins with George's childhood, then proceeds into his rebellious teen years--which was the inspiration for American Graffiti--then straight onto Lucas' student filmmaker years and finally to his highly successful movie career. The latter of which is when Star Wars and its sequels were produced and established Lucas as one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of the medium.
The book offers a balanced, journalistic account of Lucas' life, with very little opinion injected into the book. Some places Pollock seems to praise Lucas too much, but it's nothing too extreme.
The only real problem is that the book was written during the production of Return of the Jedi, when Skywalker Ranch wasn't finished, George was still married to first wife Marcia, and before the flops Willow and Howard the Duck. I read the revised edition which has an intro mentioning these things, but the book's main narrative is about what's happened to Lucas up to 1983.
I'd recommend this book to any fan of Star Wars, and anyone else curious about Lucas himself.
The most packed sections deal with American Graffiti and A New Hope, and again, the information is fantastic - especially the details on the two years of drafts for ANH. Raiders and Empire definitely could have been given more, but at that point, Lucas was more of a hands off producer, and in many ways, they don't add to the story.
So why four stars? As you hit the 3/4 mark, you suddenly begin to wonder how the book is going to fill up its remaining quarter, since you're up to Jedi in the history. What follows is a really painful to read character analysis of George Lucas that literally tries to analyze him down to an atomic level. It's wildly bipolar - you'll regularly come across sentences like "Lucas is one of the greatest producers in the world - but many think him a subpar director, and a bad husband." Also, it gets REALLY, REALLY gossipy, with just about everyone coming out of the woodwork to criticize him over anything, and then letting Lucas respond. I'm all for the behind the scenes stuff, especially when it's revealing, but this just feels exploitative. And it goes on, and on, and on, and on...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was really well written, but almost all of the book was written in the early '80s and then the author added a section right before episode 1 was released in the late... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jonathan Joseph Wales
I read this in anticipation of the 7th Star Wars film. It's amazing how much detail has gone into this book and I cannot recommend it enough for Star Wars fans. Read morePublished 14 months ago by ReadingForFun
A great look at one of the greatest filmmakers of all time! An easy and interesting read.Published 21 months ago by kdramaclub
Best book ever so cool and swags omg fav lol your so funny hahaha manomana blob boo scared you boobsPublished 22 months ago by Melissa Alexander
This book has great details. It is really detailed in telling stories that happened to Lucas. Best biography read until now.Published on April 21, 2014 by Christian Emanuel
My son used this for one of his monthly genre reports. It was a biography and since he loves Star Wars, why not learn about the master behind it all. Read morePublished on March 4, 2013 by NicoleRob02
This is a good book, but it could be updated. The book is fairly thorough in detailing the early career, ambitions, problems and plights of George Lucas from the time of his birth... Read morePublished on September 1, 2011 by Will Jerom