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George Lucas
Cover of George Lucas
George Lucas
A Life
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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...
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...
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Description-

  • 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.

About the Author-

  • Brian Jay Jones is the author of the New York Times bestseller Jim Henson: The Biography. He worked for nearly two decades as a public policy analyst and speechwriter, and has a degree in English literature from the University of New Mexico. He lives in Maryland with his wife.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 10, 2016
    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. Agent: Jonathan Lyons, Curtis Brown.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from October 1, 2016
    A sweeping, perceptive biography of the influential director. Jones (Jim Henson: The Biography, 2013, etc.) sets the stage for this impressive biography with a short prologue set in 1976. Lucas was in the Tunisian desert starting his 84-day shoot of Star Wars. The weather was terrible, and sand got into everything. The machines, including R2-D2, wouldnt work, and the studio was stingy with funds (at that point, Lucas pledged to always control the money). About a year before the release date, Lucas was certain the movie was going to be terrible. Jones extensively researched, unauthorized biographyhe wasnt able to interview key people, including Lucaslays out in luscious detail the path Lucas took to become one of films most successful directors. Born in Modesto, California, in 1944, he grew up in the 1950s and loved comic books, TV serials, and building things. A mediocre, bored student in high school, he managed to get into the University of Southern California. When he discovered their film school, he fell madly in love with [film], ate it and slept with it 24 hours a day. He also met Francis Ford Coppola, who helped him get his student film, THX 1138, made into a movie. He also helped him make the popular American Graffiti, which provided Lucas with much-needed money. He could now focus on his Flash Gordon thing, Star Wars. Jones wisely eschews unnecessary plot summaries to focus on where the ideas for Lucas films came from and how he wrote them and how he dealt with studios and contract negotiations, funding, casting, filming, and marketing. This in-depth portrait of the modest and audacious Lucas, a brilliant and enigmatic technological wizard, and those who were crucial to his successhis editor wife, Marcia, Stephen Spielberg, Haskell Wexler, Garry Kurtz, John Milius, John Dykstra, Harrison Fordis never less than fascinating. Masterful and engaging: just what Lucas fans and buffs, who love the nitty-gritty of filmmaking, have been waiting for.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    July 1, 2016
    The original "Star Wars" films rank among the greatest and most lucrative films of all time, with sales of "Star Wars"-related merchandise having raked in more than $27 billion. Kicking off J.J. Abrams's reboot, 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" has proved to be one of the highest-grossing films ever. And then there's the Indiana Jones series. So this biography from author Jones, who did a thorough job with the "New York Times" best-sellin"g Jim Henson: The Biography", should have lots of readers. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • One of Amazon's Best Books of December Best Nonfiction Books of December
  • Brad Meltzer Like the famous opening shot of the very first Star Wars, George Lucas: A Life is sweeping, humbling, and instantly transports you into the world of the mad dreamer. Fellow nerds unite! Finally, we get a book that examines the history of a titan who really changed our lives. Beautifully obsessive and relishes every detail. Just like us.
  • Kirkus (starred review) A sweeping, perceptive biography. This in-depth portrait...is never less than fascinating. Masterful and engaging: just what Lucas' fans and buffs, who love the nitty-gritty of filmmaking, have been waiting for.
  • Booklist (starred review) Maestro biographer Jones 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....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.
  • Tom Shone, New York Times The collective double take over Star Was never gets old.... Jones, who comes to Lucas from a celebrated life of Jim Henson, tells a more straightforward story in definitive detail.
  • Publishers Weekly Exhaustively chronicles the life and movies of George Lucas, arguably America's most successful filmmaker. [T]ells 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. [P]roves Lucas's singular legacy is well deserved.
  • Jane Ciabattari, BBC Engaging... Jones captures the bone-crushing work, the frustrations with film studio overlords and the near failures that resulted in ground-breaking films like American Graffiti and Star Wars.
  • David Thomson, San Francisco Chronicle The most compelling part of Brian Jay Jones' very readable book covers the years in which this kid went from a provincial, and nearly rural, childhood to studying illustration and going to film school at the University of Southern California.... [Jones'] narrative of the ordeal [of making Star Wars] and triumph makes wonderful reading.... Jones is a good storyteller... he proves that an American billionaire can be an odd, brilliant but quite ordinary fellow.
  • Charles Matthews, Washington Post Lucas changed not only the way movies are made but even the way they are shown...Jones mines the literature on Lucas's life and work to produce an admirably comprehensive view.
  • G. Clay Whittaker, Rolling Stone A fast-paced portrait of the reclusive and visionary George Lucas. His rise from unknown, budget-stretched writer to film industry legend is all here. And it's told through anecdotes and insights that build out the man behind the creation. The perspectives from colleagues, competitors, mentors and friends are at times brutally honest.... It's the one biography for casual and die-hard fans alike.
  • Ryan Vlastelica, A.V. Club Lucas was in need of a biography's re-appreciation (or reckoning), and Jones-whose previous subject was Jim Henson-was a good candidate for the job....GEORGE LUCAS serves as a reminder for the staggering amount Lucas contributed to culture.
  • Andrew Liptak, The Verge Jones paints a picture of a complicated, intelligent, quiet man who not only knows exactly what he wants, but is determined to get his way....[George Lucas] is well-researched, and full of keen insights into George Lucas as a businessman and artist. As the Star Wars franchise takes its next steps under a new guiding hand, the book helps provide some essential background that suggests where it all came from, if not where it's going next.
  • Paul Taunton, The National Post A revealing, in depth look at the man behind Star Wars
  • Adam Rathe, Town & Country Brian Jay Jones has a talent for capturing the lives of great creative minds. His latest,...

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