I mentioned The Making of Star Wars book by J.W. Rinzler, who also did The Making of Episode III, yesterday. Well I dug up both an Interview with J.W. Rinzler as well as the making of The Making of Star Wars, from which I took this quote:
[...] Rinzler opens The Making of Star Wars in 1971 with the disastrous screening of THX 1138 for Warner Bros executives. According to the book, Warner executives essentially took the film away from Lucas after viewing the film’s first cut. “It starts there because, even though it could’ve been the end of Lucas’s career, it led to his meeting a series of people who helped get Star Wars made,” says Rinzler. “And in a circuitous route, the THX debacle forced Lucas’s friend Francis Ford Coppola to make The Godfather, which later enabled Lucas to make American Graffiti. George was also trying to get Apocalypse Now made during this time, and his failure to do so had a huge impact on Star Wars.”
That whole era of film making is my well of inspiration, which makes me even more giddy to get my hands on this book. In fact, I just finished reading The Apocalypse Now Book and went through all the extras on the Apocalypse Now Complete Dossier DVD (which isn’t quite as complete as it sounds, since Hearts of Darkness isn’t included, and that surely is an essential component in the Apocalypse Now puzzle!).
Anyway, with that, the upcoming Star Wars anniversary, the Ralph McQuarrie book on the cusp of release and me going to watch Apocalypse Now Redux in the cinema with my brother on thursday, my head is securely immersed in the 70’s era of film.
Be aware though, if you’re interested in picking up this little treasure trove, that there is a 50 page difference between the paperback and the hardcover editions!
“Thankfully, Del Rey allowed us to up the page count from around 250 to 324 pages. And the deluxe hard cover has 372 pages, featuring all the early storyboards — and George Lucas’s first recorded thoughts on the Expanded Universe. I didn’t know if he’d want us to print those, as they differ from what came after, but he said it was okay!”
PS: J.W. Rinzler by the way, has his own blog at StarWars.com.
PPS: And of course, if you’re interested in the history of Lucas, Star Wars and the technology that followed both, you simply have to check out the amazing Droidmaker. One of the best books I read last year.