How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise

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Basic Books, Oct 6, 2015 - Performing Arts - 512 pages
In 1973, a young filmmaker named George Lucas scribbled some notes for a far-fetched space-fantasy epic. Some forty years and 37 billion later, Star Wars -- related products outnumber human beings, a growing stormtrooper army spans the globe, and "Jediism" has become a religion in its own right. Lucas's creation has grown into far more than a cinematic classic; it is, quite simply, one of the most lucrative, influential, and interactive franchises of all time. Yet incredibly, until now the complete history of Star Wars -- its influences and impact, the controversies it has spawned, its financial growth and long-term prospects -- has never been told.

In How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, veteran journalist Chris Taylor traces the series from the difficult birth of the original film through its sequels, the franchise's death and rebirth, the prequels, and the preparations for a new trilogy. Providing portraits of the friends, writers, artists, producers, and marketers who labored behind the scenes to turn Lucas's idea into a legend, Taylor also jousts with modern-day Jedi, tinkers with droid builders, and gets inside Boba Fett's helmet, all to find out how Star Wars has attracted and inspired so many fans for so long.

Since the first film's release in 1977, Taylor shows, Star Wars has conquered our culture with a sense of lightness and exuberance, while remaining serious enough to influence politics in far-flung countries and spread a spirituality that appeals to religious groups and atheists alike. Controversial digital upgrades and poorly received prequels have actually made the franchise stronger than ever. Now, with a savvy new set of bosses holding the reins and Episode VII on the horizon, it looks like Star Wars is just getting started.

An energetic, fast-moving account of this creative and commercial phenomenon, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe explains how a young filmmaker's fragile dream beat out a surprising number of rivals to gain a diehard, multigenerational fan base -- and why it will be galvanizing our imaginations and minting money for generations to come.
 

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User Review  - LisCarey - LibraryThing

In 1973, George Lucas sketched the first notes of what would become his epic space fantasy movie, Star Wars. More than four decades on, Star Wars has become a $37 billion movie franchise and media ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - phoenixcomet - LibraryThing

414 pages of tightly written narrative on the history of Star Wars, covering Lucas' rising star, his backstory, and basically how Star Wars took the world by storm, even the awful prequels (which, for the record, he didn't think were awful). Interesting and informative. Read full review

Contents

Introduction to the Paperback Edition
A Navajo Hope
Mars Wars
The Land of Zoom
Plastic Spacemen
Hyperspace Drive
How to Be a Jedi
Buck Rogers in the Twentieth Century
Being Boba
End of the Jedi?
Between the Wars
The Universe Expands
Return of the Writer
Special Addition
The Line
The Prequels Conquer Star Wars

Home Free
My Little Space Thing
Spoof Wars
Stars Wars Has a Posse
The First Reel
Release
The Accidental Empire
Here Come the Clones
How to Exceed in Sequels
Building Character
How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Prequels
Using the Universe
Hello Disney
Across the Universe
An Awakening
Acknowledgments Notes
Index
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

Chris Taylor is the deputy editor of Mashable, one of the world's largest independent news websites. He has covered the intersection of business and culture for two decades as a writer and editor for Time, Business 2.0, Fortune Small Business, and Fast Company. He is a graduate of Merton College, Oxford and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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