Thursday, October 27, 2016

George Lucas: A Life by Brian Jay Jones

29775340The definitive biography of one of the most influential filmmakers ever--George Lucas.

On May 25, 1977, a problem-plagued, budget-straining, independent science-fiction film opened in a mere thirty-two American movie theaters. Conceived, written, and directed by a little-known filmmaker named George Lucas, the movie originally called The Star Wars quickly drew blocks-long lines, bursting box office records, and ushering in a new way for movies to be made, marketed, and merchandised. It has become one of the most adored–and successful–movie franchises of all time.

Now, the author of the bestselling biography Jim Henson delivers a long-awaited, revelatory look into the life and times of the man who created Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Indiana Jones.

If Star Wars wasn’t game-changing enough, Lucas went on to establish another blockbuster series with Indiana Jones, and he completely transformed the world of special effects and the way movies sound. His innovation and ambition forged Pixar and Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic, and THX sound.

Here, Lucas’s colleagues and competitors offer tantalizing glimpses into his life. His entire career has been stimulated by innovators including Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola, actors such as Harrison Ford, and the very technologies that enabled the creation of his films–and allowed him to keep tinkering with them long after their original releases. Like his unforgettable characters and stories, his influence is unmatched.


Maestro biographer Jones (Jim Henson, 2013) tackles another brilliant entertainer. The world knows George Lucas as the filmmaker who brought us Star Wars, one of the most iconic Hollywood franchises in history, but as Jones’ in-depth, fascinating, and even gripping exploration reveals, Lucas is much more than a gifted storyteller. In fact, writing has never come easy to the Northern California-raised Lucas, who immersed himself in editing and directing while studying at USC. He started out making such stand-alone films as THX-1138 and American Graffiti before getting caught up in the idea of a grand space epic, an optimistic fairy tale to counter the disappointment and depression bogging down America in the 1970s. But it isn’t just Lucas’ movies that are visionary; so, too, is his business acumen. By retaining the licensing rights for Star Wars, he paved the way for lucrative toy deals and maintained creative and monetary control over the sequels. With Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic, and Pixar, Lucas has created hundreds of jobs, and his friendships with fellow auteurs Francis Ford Coppola and Steven Spielberg led to dynamic collaborations, including the popular Indiana Jones franchise. Jones digs deep to limn the highs and lows of Lucas’ career and life, capturing his drive and innovation in crisp, sparkling prose. Masterful and essential for film and pop culture enthusiasts.
— Kristine Huntley

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