Like most geeks who grew up in the 80’s, we can owe a huge portion of our childhood imagination and fandom to the work of this man, who for better or worse, created and shaped Star Wars for close to 40 years.
In this fascinating biography, written by Brian Jay Jones, we see his life unfold, from hot rod crazy teenager in Modesto, California, to artsy aspiring filmmaker to upstart director to legend.
It’s a very well written book, showing the many sides of this complicated man. He’s a perfectionist in his work to a fault, which may have driven his first wife from him, herself a talented film editor who cut the famous Death Star battle from Star Wars that helped make that sequence so exciting, including having the shot of Han come in the Millennium Falcon
to save Luke.
Other fascinating facts-
1. The myth of Harrison Ford having the stomach flu on the day of shooting the sword battle in Raiders is dispelled, and that being the reason why he just shoots the guy. In actuality, Spielberg wanted the shorter version and Lucas wanted the longer battle, but Spielberg won that round.
2. Pixar was actually founded at Lucasfilm, but George Lucas didn’t see the potential in it and was later sold to Steve Jobs and Apple, where most people know the story of Pixar starting at.
3. Michael Jackson wanted to play Jar Jar Binks in The Phantom Menace, but George Lucas turned him down, as he felt he’d be a distraction to the story.
4. Upon initial release Labyrinth, which George Lucas worked on the script for, was a box office bomb. This is crazy to me considering how amazing this movie is, like how could anybody not like Labyrinth?!
5. The decision to kill Boba Fett in the Sarlacc pit in Jedi was one borne of frustration on his part. Not liking how this scene was turning out he shrugged and told Lawrence Kasdan, the writer, “just throw him in the pit.”
That’s only scratching the surface of this man’s life story, covering up until last year, so it’s the most comprehensive biography of the man out there, and it’s a must read for any Star Wars or film buff out there.
George Lucas: A Life -A +