Tuesday, December 08, 2015

From A Galaxy Far, Far Away

The saga of Star Wars continues.  Not just with the new movie opening in a couple weeks, but with the whole phenomenon continuing since the original.  And the best book out there looking at this world may just be Chris Taylor's How Star Wars Conquered The Universe, published in 2014 and now out in paperback.

Other books have gone into more depth about the making of the films, or the life of George Lucas, but no book I'm aware of is better at describing the entire story.  While it follows the plot of Lucas going from a kid in Modesto with a dream to a successful filmmaker changing Hollywood forever (even as he hates Hollywood), there are plenty of stops along the way looking at how various fans have created their own world of Star Wars.

There's the 501st Legion, that makes their own uniforms according to specifications and dresses up as storm troopers at major events (along with various Darth Vaders).  There are collectors with displays comparable to museums.  Then there are the people in front of the camera, like Jeremy Bulloch, who just happened to wear the Boba Fett outfit--didn't even speak the character's few lines--and is now immortalized.  There are the novelists who made their own world of Star Wars and helped create a new canon--which could change on Lucas's whim.  Of course, there are the countless people behind the scenes who worked on the films and the cartoons and whatever else to make the magic happen.

The prequels tested the faith of Star Wars fans.  This book ends with Lucas selling his company to Disney for billions.  For years he said there'll be no more films, but it's not the first time he was wrong about that.  Let's hope the new stuff--for the first time not under the control of Lucas--keeps the franchise alive.  If it does, time for Taylor to do an update.


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