Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Making of Star Wars (Star Wars: The Making of, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Making of Star Wars (Star Wars:  The Making of, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Making of Star Wars (Star Wars: The Making of #1)

by
4.53  ·  Rating Details ·  1,104 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
After the 1973 success of American Graffiti, filmmaker George Lucas made the fateful decision to pursue a longtime dream project: a space fantasy movie unlike any ever produced. Lucas envisioned a swashbuckling SF saga inspired by the Flash Gordon serials classic American westerns, the epic cinema of Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa, and mythological heroes. Its original tit ...more
Hardcover, 362 pages
Published April 24th 2007 by Del Rey (first published 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Making of Star Wars, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Making of Star Wars

The Making of Star Wars by J.W. RinzlerRebecca by Jennifer Leigh WellsAll About All About Eve by Sam StaggsJAWS by Matt  TaylorThe Sound of Music by Julia Antopol Hirsch
Legendary Pics Revisited
1st out of 15 books — 6 voters
Harry Potter by Jody RevensonHarry Potter by Brian SibleyHarry Potter Page to Screen by Bob McCabeHarry Potter by Jody RevensonHarry Potter by Jody Revenson
Top Movie Art/Making Books
54th out of 102 books — 11 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,410)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kelly Lynn Thomas
Feb 05, 2014 Kelly Lynn Thomas rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, star-wars
J.W. Rinzler is an excellent, meticulous researcher who is able to present his information in a clear, interesting manner. He has the talent to do this for both books like this one, that are "out of universe" and for "in universe" books like the Star Wars blue prints series. For die hard fans, he's a real treasure. This is a fantastic book, filled with wonderful details about the making of my favorite movie, ever. It's fun to read, and has great photographs, but it also makes a great reference b ...more
Andrew
Jul 11, 2014 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
This is the book that would have changed my life had I read it as a 14-20 year old, causing me to pursue a career in film.

Having just completed it as a 37-year-old, I'm still highly inspired by the persistence, creativity, leadership, teamwork, and raw determination displayed by so many who collaborated on this film. Simply the making of this movie is as dramatic as the story itself, and highly worth the reading.

This is for fans of Star Wars, movie buffs, film historians, and - for the right per
...more
Jack Gattanella
Jan 23, 2016 Jack Gattanella rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
"This film has been murder." - George Lucas

"I told George, 'You can't say that stuff, you can only type it.' But I was wrong. It worked." - Harrison Ford

If you're a major Star Wars fan (more than I am, and I like the films quite a bit on the whole, yes even the prequels to greater or certainly lessor degrees), you've likely already read this, and probably own it as well since it's been out for over ten years. The people I'd like to recommend this book t0 are those who like movie books and have a
...more
Paul
Review written: 10th January, 2016

Making of Star Wars by JW Rinzler

Why I read it: Due to The Force Awakens being a thing now I figured it was worth pulling this old book out and reading it again.

Rating: 4/5

What I thought: I didn’t like this as much as I did the first time I read it, and I’m not sure why. In hindsight a bit of it could be that there was a little too much filmmaking minutiae thrown around in there that I couldn’t quite excavate properly. In certain respects though I’m happier with
...more
Revan97
Nov 15, 2014 Revan97 rated it it was amazing
I am a member of The Star Wars Action Team or SWAT (http://fcrps.me/Revan97) and I was very exited when our community manager added the entire Star Wars "Making of" trilogy to the SWAT Rewards Store. Not only was I able to purchase all three of these great books with credits I earned for creating pieces of Star Wars art, building Star Wars dioramas, posting reviews of Del-Rey SW books ect., but all three of the books where signed by J.W. Rinzler himself! After reading books like "George Lucas: C ...more
Todd Bauerle
Mar 08, 2014 Todd Bauerle rated it it was amazing
While the name says it all, we have had a few of "these" already. More accurately, this should be titled The Definitive Making of Star Wars, because that is what this book is.

Rinzler has done a masterful job of combing through antique articles, insightful interviews and detailed documents to piece this grand work of another together. Packed with rare photos, candid conversations and script revisions, this book covers all the subtle nuance and monument that was poured into and created by, Star Wa
...more
Andy
Feb 15, 2014 Andy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I had to call it I would say I'm a bigger film fan generally than a Star Wars fan specifically but this was in the library and I'd heard good things about it.

It's an immense but thoroughly readable chronicle of Star Wars from inception to release. The level of detail is enough to satisfy most people, certainly a casual fan and there's a lot of fine print detail, far deeper than the usual anecdotes most people are aware of. I found it fascinating for the most part, occasionally a bit too much
...more
Brad Wheeler
Jun 10, 2014 Brad Wheeler rated it really liked it
I'm adding this to my "history" shelf for a reason. It's not just a movie tie-in with EXCLUSIVE, 100% UNOFFICIAL secrets or something that you'd ever find advertised in TMZ. Instead, it surprised me by being and exhaustively detailed and comprehensive look at the four-year process of getting Star Wars made.

A lot of the broad info I already knew, but this book is worthy of calling itself "definitive." Lots of primary sources from Fox and Lucasfilm make their first appearance in this book, most of
...more
Robert McGovern
Feb 09, 2014 Robert McGovern rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks
I read the enhanced edition (iBooks) and this book from Rinzler was throughly fascinating, particularly as it covers a bit more of the struggles behind the scenes at ILM than I was previously aware off.

The scary thing about the book is that there could have been so much more content. I'd love to see the raw complete unfiltered interviews that form part of the basis of this book, like the B5 "Echoes of all our Conversations" books.

I never say the print version of the books, but the enhanced editi
...more
Geoff Gresh
Jan 14, 2010 Geoff Gresh rated it it was amazing
One of the few Star Wars books that avoids staring through the rose-colored glasses and shows Lucas & Co as what they were: a bunch of 20-something prodigies who could have just as well made a huge sci-fi flop as they could a media empire. Most of the interviews were culled from the time of actual production, so there's not much revisionist history. An excellent read with lots of awesome photos of people in 70s dress.
Nick Nguyen
Sep 18, 2014 Nick Nguyen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

Superior account of a game-changing American film that provides a detailed narrative of the painful process of the project from idea to release. The presentation of the oral histories by the major players, rare materials from the production archives, and the evolution of the film through its multiple screenplay drafts offers a fascinating look at the challenges faced by Lucas and his team at every level, including the never-ending struggles to gain the confidence of 20th Century Fox. Th
...more
ANDREW R PRUNIER
Jan 15, 2014 ANDREW R PRUNIER rated it it was amazing
I read the enhanced Kindle edition. The journey that this movie took from George Lucas's mind to the screen is a pretty crazy and unlikely one, and every detail you could possibly want to know is in here. I especially like the neat anecdotes, particularly the stories about how the special effects were made. The founding of ILM is probably the best part. They spent six months and close to half a million dollars (out of an $8 million budget for the whole film) to produce four shots, which Lucas th ...more
Brad Abraham
Oct 08, 2015 Brad Abraham rated it it was amazing
I'm "It's Star Wars, not 'Episode IV', not 'A New Hope', and certainly not 'The Special Edition'". Star. Wars.

This exhaustive look at the making of Star Wars is a treasure trove for fans, but probably a greater gift for film enthusiasts. This book covers everything, from the kernel of an idea through many successive screenplay drafts, through casting and development, to the big kahuna - a day-by-day log of every moment on set. And that doesn't even cover the hundreds of photos you'll find in its
...more
David
Jun 10, 2014 David rated it it was amazing
The most fantastic book on Star Wars I've ever read. I've been a life long Star Wars fan, and was obsessed with the films and universe as a kid. I devoured all the technical manuals, making of featurettes, and Star Wars Insiders that I could, but nothing was so comprehensive as this book. Now I'm a film student, and reading the grueling process that Lucas went through to make his vision the reality that stands on the screen today was incredibly illuminating. You begin to understand how precise o ...more
Brent Fulgham
Nov 08, 2014 Brent Fulgham rated it it was amazing
I bought this book in my iPad, because it was considerably cheaper than the giant coffee-table book version and I'm very glad I did.

The multimedia additions to the book are great, including clips of on-set tests, crew interviews, and glimpses of pre-effects footage.

I have watched this movie dozens of times, and watched shows about the creation of the special effects, but I had never learned about the process of crating the script, casting the characters, designing the worlds, and so forth.

If you
...more
Jef Blocker
Feb 12, 2016 Jef Blocker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is probably one of the best overviews of the film-making process from idea conception to the premier.

I'd forgotten what a huge impact Star Wars made on my life when I was a kid, and this book brought back memories of reading the Marvel comic book adaptation first and having to wait until it was re-released in the Summer of '78 to finally see the movie. (This was before Netflix, Red Box, and HBO, kids!)

I enjoyed the interviews--from crew, actors, and other film-maker friends of George Luca
...more
Eric
Aug 28, 2015 Eric rated it it was amazing
Excellent not only for Star Wars fans, but for anyone interested in how films get made. There's real drama and suspense here: Lucas' difficulty to obtain backing for what was an ambitious kids' movie; putting together a crew that would attempt to do groundbreaking work, and actually getting it done and in the process changing cinema history.
The book is gorgeous: great attention to detail, loads of never-seen-before sketches and photos, and sections that chronicle the evolution of the story, sho
...more
James
Oct 16, 2014 James rated it really liked it
I was six years old in 1977. Which means Star Wars was my favorite drug as a kid.

Reading this book was a major fix.

The main thing that struck me was how this movie pretty much ushered in the modern age of entertainment. From ancillary marketing to special effects to the size of the audience. It's the blueprint for what everyone wants to do these days. Which affects everything. Before Star Wars, what was there to match it? Everything that orbits the beating star at the center of the nerdy enterta
...more
Jeff Lanter
Mar 26, 2014 Jeff Lanter rated it really liked it
This is a very impressive book in many respects. The physical copy is very hefty and retails for $80. That is probably more than a casual fan would spend on a Star Wars book, but if you can get your hands on this one, it is well worth it. I've read all of the prequel making of books and I find that this one is much stronger than any of those and not just because the original movies are a lot better than the prequels either.

What is impressive is how detailed and well-researched the Making of Star
...more
Bookworm1858
Mar 13, 2011 Bookworm1858 rated it it was amazing
The Making of Star Wars by J.W. Rinzler
Ballantine Books, 2007
353 pages
Non-fiction; Hollywood
5/5 stars

Source: Library

This is a massive coffee-table book but it is covering a big topic: the genesis and making of Star Wars (A New Hope). There are so many pictures, excerpts from early scripts, quotes from many of the principal figures, both on and off screen talent. The best part is that those quotes are culled from interviews from about 1975-79, right as the instances happened and not as involved i
...more
Stephen Foster
Apr 16, 2011 Stephen Foster rated it really liked it
I like Star Wars. It is pretty cool. Thus this book was enjoyable to me.

Seriously though, this book is just an incredibly in-depth look at the making of Star Wars. It follows the movie starting from its genesis as an idea in Lucas's head for a "space-opera fantasy film", through to its eventual triumphant release as it became a worldwide phenomenon. Along the way it details the many rewrites and story changes the script saw, and covers the constant problems and setbacks that plagued production.
...more
Mike Smith
Dec 24, 2013 Mike Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For long-time fans of Star Wars, this enhanced e-book will contain much that is familiar. It discusses the evolution of the movie's plot, George Lucas's innovative approach to movie-making, the reluctance of 20th Century Fox to back the film's production (which led to many compromises), the stress of the production process, and nearly everyone's inability to understand what this ground-breaking move was all about. But where this book shines above others I've read, such as Garry Jenkins's Empire ...more
Matti Karjalainen
Sep 25, 2014 Matti Karjalainen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Star Wars -faneille. Leffafriikeille.
J.W. Rinzlerin "Making of Star Wars" (Ebury & Vermilion, 2008) on kiinnostava tietokirja, joka kertoo ensimmäisen Tähtien sota -elokuvan syntyprosessia aina ensimmäisistä luonnoksista ensi-iltaviikon menestykseen saakka. Elokuva ei syntynyt ongelmitta, budjetti paisui alituisesti ja elokuvastudio pelkäsi menettävänsä sijoittamansa rahat.

George Lucasin lisäksi Tähtien sodan syntyä valottavat muun muassa näyttelijät, kuvaajat, erikoistehosteista ja äänistä vastanneet ihmiset ja monet muut pros
...more
Greg Pettit
This book was a really interesting look at all the difficulties George Lucas went through in creating Star Wars. It's strange to think about how different that movie and the times were, especially now in a post-Star Wars world.

I liked the use of sources contemporary to the time. It's refreshing to read people's doubts about the movie even being finished, let alone as successful as it was. I liked the discussion of the changes to the different drafts, and I really appreciated the appendix that in
...more
Jon
Nov 01, 2008 Jon rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Star Wars fans, people who think it's easy to make movies
I first saw Star Wars at the age of 3, and from my early childhood until today, I have spent countless hours reading about that movie. From the first comic book adaptations, to magazine article and books, I have always wanted to know more about how the movie was made.

I've seen at least a dozen "making of" documentaries and shows, and even attended a 30th anniversary screening of the film after which George Lucas, Carrie Fischer, Mark Hammill, and the special effects, sound and editorial crews r
...more
Jlawrence
Nov 26, 2010 Jlawrence rated it really liked it
It's hard to think of the Star Wars franchise now without summoning up the glitzy mediocrity of the prequels or Lucas' seemingly unending attraction to worse and worse ideas (refusing to allow the original theatrical release to be restored, despite various offers from industry experts; plans to re-do the the original trilogy in 3D, etc). But if you haven't gone *completely* sour on the Star Wars universe, this book, along with The Secret History of Star Wars, can remind you what an unprecedented ...more
Carey Walker
Dec 21, 2013 Carey Walker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Making of Star Wars is a book that all Star Wars fans and enthusiasts should read. This book is incredibly detailed about the making of the movie. It's amazing that it captures the first moment George Lucas brought up the idea and discussed it publicly through the multiple drafts and studio issues all the way through the release and Lucas's "retirement" from directing. While I've always had respect for George Lucas, this open my eyes even more to what he brought, and is probably still bringi ...more
Warren
Feb 24, 2011 Warren rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Star Wars Filmmaking Fans
delivers - by conveying the reality behind the film. A strong sense of being there while it was made.

tons of tiny details that help bring all the creative peeps involved from (from lucas to mirch to coppola, and on and on) down to earth, while pulling back the curtain a weee bit on lucas's little talked about saavy business decisions.

Was blown away to read about the ways in which ILM was sort of a union breaking art-engineering collective/experiment. Very interested in the perspectives of all th
...more
Brian
Jul 12, 2014 Brian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Yes, this volume is extremely comprehensive and thorough. But what impressed me most after reading it, is that I finally understand why Lucas has continued to tinker and make changes to the movies again and again. "The Making of Star Wars" so clearly conveys his utter dissatisfaction with the process and final product of "Star Wars," that I finally understood that while we as fans may love the movie for what it is, warts and all, Lucas only sees a failed attempt at creating what he envisioned. I ...more
Bobby
Apr 08, 2015 Bobby rated it it was amazing
This book is the definition of "definitive". Even die-hard Star Wars fans may be overwhelmed after finishing this. Not only is it the most extensive and detailed behind-the-scenes account of the making of Star Wars, full of previously unseen photos and production documents, but it really makes the historical case for how groundbreaking the struggle and work of George Lucas and his filmmakers was.

Lucas had to create what amounted to a research and development corporation and factory for designing
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 80 81 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Star Wars Vault: Thirty Years of Treasures from the Lucasfilm Archives, With Removable Memorabilia and Two Audio CDs
  • Dressing a Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars
  • The Making of Star Wars, Episode I - The Phantom Menace
  • The Art of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
  • The Art of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi
  • From Star Wars to Indiana Jones: The Best of the Lucasfilm Archives
  • Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide Special Edition
  • Star Wars Year by Year: A Visual Chronicle
  • Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary
  • Star Wars: The Magic of Myth
  • The Illustrated Star Wars Universe
  • The Art of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
  • Star Wars Art: Visions
  • Obsessed with Star Wars
  • Star Wars: The Essential Reader's Companion
J.W. Rinzler is a senior editor at Lucasfilm, and has enjoyed unprecedented access to the creative processes behind the scenes of Star Wars: Episode III, including being on the set in Australia for much of the principal photography and restricted meetings at Skywalker Ranch and ILM. Before joining Lucasfilm, he was an editor and writer in the gaming industry.

More about J.W. Rinzler...

Other Books in the Series

Star Wars: The Making of (3 books)
  • The Making of The Empire Strikes Back (Star Wars:  The Making of, #2)
  • The Making of Return of the Jedi (Star Wars:  The Making of, #3)

Share This Book



“I think Disney would have accepted this movie if Walt Disney were still alive. Walt Disney not only had vision, but he was also an extremely adventurous person. He wasn’t afraid.” 0 likes
More quotes…