The essential biography of the influential and beloved filmmaker 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 is now 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 create 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.
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.
Biographer Jones (Jim Henson) exhaustively chronicles the life and movies of George Lucas, arguably America's most successful filmmaker. The creator of two enduring franchises, Star Wars and Indiana Jones, he sold his company, Lucasfilm, to Disney for $4 billion in 2012. The author chronicles Lucas's story, from his upbringing as the son of a prosperous stationery store owner in Modesto, Calif., to his career as a filmmaker who took on the Hollywood studio system and won. From the beginning, Lucas's goals were independence and control. Jones cites this obsession in seemingly every major decision Lucas made, to the point of repetitiveness. The greater part of the book tells in granular detail how his films were produced: from initial concept and scriptwriting, to casting and location selections, to the filming and, most importantly for Lucas's process, the editing. This minutiae may lose the casual reader, but Jones is more successful at explaining Lucas's many contradictions: an aspiring avant-garde filmmaker who made blockbusters, a pessimist who loved fairy tale endings, an introvert in the most collaborative of arts, a man with a professed uninterest in money who became a billionaire. Jones also proves Lucas's singular legacy is well deserved. He revolutionized all aspects of filmmaking, particularly visual effects, sound, and merchandising. Photos.