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Abrams Books' The Cinema of George Lucas
By Lando Da Pimp

George Lucas's career has been chronicled in a number of books including Skywalking by Dale Pollack, Mythmaker by John Baxter, and George Lucas: The Creative Impulse by Charles Champlin. While all of these books were great, none of these books have been produced more beautifully detailing the flannel-one's life and career in film in a visually stunning coffee table-esque book.

The book begins with a wonderful forward by Ron Howard who starred in American Graffiti. A small biography of George's life before making films, focuses on George's love of car racing. This love has influenced scenes from THX-1138 and The Phantom Menace. Lucas's view on life changed when he survived a major car wreck leading him to film school.

Flash forward to film school where George directs his student film THX-1138. This film gave Lucas the attention of fellow directors blown away by a student film. Upon graduation Lucas directs a full theatrical version of THX along with American Graffiti with his partner Francis Ford Coppala. Lucas found displeasure working with film studios. With the success of Star Wars: Episode 4: A New Hope Lucas was able to acquire the marketing rights providing Lucas the ability to finance everything himself.

Through the years after Star Wars, Lucas built multiple companies including Lucas Arts, Skywalker Sound, and of course ILM. These companies now help Lucas direct the Star Wars prequel trilogy, which were some of the most successful films to date.

This is just a basic overview of the career of George Lucas. The making of every Star Wars film (with the exception of Episode III) is overviewed in great details and behind the scene photos along with the shooting schedule. Star Wars fans will find these chapters of the book most fascinating.

This is by far the best book written about Lucas with easily read index, bibliography, and a great volume of Lucas's work to date. My only problem is that I would have been glad to wait for this book later in the year so that it would contain more information on Episode III ROTS. The book contains a few photos from the film but no real information on the making.

The book focuses primarily upon the positive aspects of his life and does not chronicle the negatives, such as his divorce and fan reaction to the latter Star Wars films. This may not be the most comprehensive book of everything Lucas, but is far and away, the best.

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Be sure to check out the rest of our Star Wars coverage.

Review ©2005

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