2021 discount The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes wholesale outlet sale Back sale

2021 discount The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes wholesale outlet sale Back sale

2021 discount The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes wholesale outlet sale Back sale
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In this lavish fortieth-anniversary tribute to the blockbuster film Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, New York Times bestselling author J. W. Rinzler draws back the curtain to reveal the intense drama and magnificent wizardry behind the hit movie—arguably the fan favorite of the Star Wars Saga.
 

Following his The Making of Star Wars, the author has once again made use of his unlimited access to the Lucasfilm Archives and its hidden treasures of previously unpublished interviews, photos, artwork, and production mementos. The result is a comprehensive behind-the-scenes, up-close-and-personal look at the trials and triumphs, risks and close calls, inspiration, perspiration, and imagination that went into every facet of this cinematic masterpiece. Here’s the inside scoop on:
 
• the evolution of the script, from story conference and treatment to fifth draft, as conceived, written, and rewritten by George Lucas, famed science-fiction author Leigh Brackett, and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan

• the development of new key characters, including roguish hero Lando Calrissian, sinister bounty hunter Boba Fett, and iconic Jedi Master Yoda

• the challenges of shooting the epic ice planet battle in the frozen reaches of Norway and of conjuring up convincing creatures and craft—from tauntauns and snowspeeders to Imperial walkers

• the construction of a life-sized Millennium Falcon and the swamp planet Dagobah inside a specially built soundstage in Elstree Studios

• the technique behind master Muppeteer Frank Oz’s breathing life into the breakthrough character Yoda

• the creation of the new, improved Industrial Light & Magic visual effects facility and the founding of the now-legendary Skywalker Ranch
 
In addition, of course, are rare on-the-scene interviews with all the major players: actors Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and David Prowse; director Irvin Kershner; producer Gary Kurtz; effects specialists Richard Edlund, Dennis Muren, Ken Ralston, and Phil Tippett; composer John Williams; and many others. Punctuating the epic account is a bounty of drawings, storyboards, and paintings by Ralph McQuarrie, Joe Johnston, and Ivor Beddoes, along with classic and rare production photos. An added bonus is a Foreword by acclaimed director Ridley Scott.
 
The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is a fittingly glorious celebration of an undisputed space-fantasy movie milestone. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* For Star Wars fans looking for a way to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the release of The Empire Strikes Back, this book will seem heaven sent. Rinzler follows up his magnificent The Making of Star Wars (2007) with this in-depth account of the production of the second act in George Lucas'' original three-act epic. The author distills information gathered from a variety of sources: interviews with the actors and filmmakers recorded while the movie was in production; archival records; newspaper and magazine articles; new interviews; and books (including the now-rare Once upon a Galaxy, Alan Arnold''s 1980 making-of book). Rinzler explores every aspect of the production, from the writing of the screenplay to casting to location filming to special effects to composing the score and designing print ads. The book is profusely illustrated with preproduction sketches, on-set photos, excerpts from various script drafts, reproductions of Lucas'' handwritten notes, and more. Even fans who consider themselves quite knowledgeable about the movie might be surprised at some of the information here (Jeremy Bulloch, who played bounty hunter Boba Fett, was the half-brother of associate producer Robert Watts; the design of one of Empire''s classic posters was modeled on a poster for a rerelease of Gone with the Wind). A splendid, comprehensive, and utterly indispensable book. --David Pitt

Review

Advance praise for The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

“These books are the acid flashback they’ve been promising us without the mess and fuss of dropping acid . . . again. A trip worth taking.”—Carrie Fisher, actress/author
 
Praise for The Making of Star Wars

“Rinzler’s books sort of freak me out—because I feel when I’m reading them that I’m right back there!”—Robert Watts, Star Wars production supervisor
 
The Making of Star Wars is perhaps the most insightful account of what it’s really like to make this kind of movie. The untainted perspective from the pre-release interviews offered inspiration when I found myself in the uncertainty brought upon by the chaos of day-to-day filmmaking.”—Jon Favreau, director of Iron Man, Zathura, and Elf

About the Author

J. W. Rinzler, executive editor at Lucasfilm Ltd., is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Making of Star Wars, as well as the London Times bestseller The Complete Making of Indiana Jones.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

THE SUMMER OF STAR WARS

MAY TO DECEMBER 1977

Chapter One

Star Wars was a hit. It had opened in 32 theaters on May 25, 1977, and then expanded, slowly, into several hundred more. By the end of July, it was playing in packed houses scattered throughout the United States.

"To set the scene for this journal and to establish its point of view, I must go back to the summer of 1977," writes Alan Arnold in Once Upon a Galaxy. "I was with a film unit in Greece when reports began to reach us of an extraordinary movie that had taken America by storm. Some of the technicians on location had worked on the film the previous year and were surprised, even puzzled, by these reports. They could not explain the fever developing around what was being called, for want of a better term, a space fantasy, nor the fact that in American cities people were lining the streets for blocks to see it-and going back again."

"I was making a film in northern Afghanistan," says Robert Watts, production supervisor on Star Wars. "I used to buy Time magazine and Newsweek as it was the only way to keep in touch. I bought my copy of Time one week and opened it straight onto a bunch of color pictures from Star Wars. I thought, Bloody hell! I had no idea it had taken off to such a huge extent."

"I was walking down Hollywood Boulevard after the film came out," says production illustrator Ralph McQuarrie. "It was still playing at Grauman''s Chinese Theatre. The sun was setting and there was a little piece of paper blowing along the sidewalk. I picked it up and saw that it was a bubblegum wrapper with Darth Vader on it. I thought, Gee, now I''m one of those people who make those things. It''s part of life now."

An astronaut at a party told special effects photography supervisor Richard Edlund, "that he believed it all and was glued to his seat."

"It was a darn good story dashingly told and beyond that I can''t explain it," says Alec Guinness, who had played Ben Kenobi. "Failure has a thousand explanations. Success doesn''t need one."

"Star Wars tumbled out in the summer of 1977 and just went cuckoo," says Mark Hamill, who had portrayed Luke Skywalker. "It was like the hula-hoop or Beatles rages. After the film came out, I broke up with my girlfriend for a while. I was like a kid in a candy store. Gee! All these groupies. I don''t feel I dealt with that very successfully."

"When the film came out, I seemed to do publicity for ages, which meant a lot of travel," says Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia). "It was great. But I only get a sense of Star Wars'' importance when a child recognizes me and becomes speechless. Kids don''t think I''m on this planet. Very little children even believe Princess Leia is a real human being who lives in outer space."

"What Star Wars has accomplished is really not possible," says Harrson Ford, who had played Han Solo. "But it has done it anyway. Nobody rational would have believed that there is still a place for fairy tales. There is no place in our culture for this kind of stuff. But the need was there; the human need to have the human condition expressed in mythic terms."

"Millions of people go to the cinema," says composer John Williams. "It''s stimulating to hear people whistling your tunes."

The writer and director of Star Wars, George Lucas, had returned that June from Hawaii, where he''d retreated to escape the work that had dominated his life since 1973. He, too, had been surprised by the film''s initial success and was relieved by its perseverance. It seemed more than likely that Star Wars was going to make its money back and then some. While on the island, he hadn''t neglected his passion for film and had enticed his friend and fellow director Steven Spielberg to work on another project of his-Raiders of the Lost Ark-which would feature an adventurer-archaeologist named Indiana Jones.

"I took Francis Ford Coppola to see Star Wars in a regular theater in San Francisco," says Lucas. "That was probably the first time I saw it with a real audience. It was enjoyable, but the thing of it is, by the time you get that far down on a movie, you''re so numb and so tired and so emotionally involved that it''s very hard to jump up and down and get excited. You feel good, but it''s a very quiet kind of thing."

"When it became a phenomenal success, it was amazing," says Bunny Alsup, assistant to the producer of Star Wars. "I don''t think anybody in the world expected it and it was astonishing. Back in the preview days, I remember we were trying to fill a theater with all age groups, so I was personally calling college campuses and asking, ''Would anyone like to go see this movie?''_"

BADLANDS

After giving a few interviews, George Lucas stopped doing publicity for the film. It was bringing too many people with scripts to his door asking for money or, occasionally, making threats. The success of Star Wars was already different from the success of his previous film, American Graffiti (1973), inspiring massive emotional reactions domestically and around the world as it opened in foreign markets. It had enormous licensing possibilities and warranted a sequel.

A follow-up, however, was going to take an enormous amount of work from someone who was in the middle of recharging his batteries. Lucasfilm wasn''t a big studio, or even a small studio. It had a makeshift office called Park House, just north of San Francisco in San Anselmo, and-on a parcel owned by the company-a single trailer sitting in a parking lot across the street from Universal Studios in Los Angeles.

The triumph of Star Wars was a mixed blessing. Making that movie had been a four-year horrific seat-of-the-pants experience-one Lucas never wanted to live through again. But he had always envisioned a grander, very different film from what he''d ended up with, so a sequel would allow him to finish the saga-and to tempt the fates once more.

"It took so much effort just to get up to speed in order to make the first film and create this great world that I didn''t have the time to have any fun, to run around in it," says Lucas. "Now that I know the world and I can see it, it brings up all kinds of ideas and funny moments and adventures. In the first one, you are in a foreign environment-you just don''t know what''s going on-and it was the same for the author as it was for the audience. So I always felt if I went back to those environments using the same characters, I could make a helluva better movie."

Several rumors were already extant in the media concerning follow- ups. One source said that two Star Wars sequels had been shot while the first film was being made. The second movie, reportedly, would decide who gets the girl and feature a new battle against Darth Vader and his followers. The third movie would have Ben Kenobi return and try to restore the Jedi Knights so they could combat evil throughout the galaxies.

Twentieth Century-Fox, the studio that had financed and distributed the film, responded officially that no work had been done on the sequels. Sources also stated that George Lucas wanted only to "supervise" future projects. That part was true. Lucas stated publicly several times that he was retiring from the director''s chair. "You end up not being happy anymore and working yourself to death," he says. "Star Wars became a priority; it was one of those things that had to be done: ''But what if something happens to one of the actors? We can''t afford to keep the sets around any longer because it costs a lot of money.'' It put me in a bad place personally."

DISAPPEARING MAGIC

During the summer of 1977, Lucas used the law office of Tom Pollock, Andy Rigrod, and Jake Bloom to begin negotiations with Fox, which had the right of first negotiation and first refusal. Back in 1976, the trio had succeeded in procuring the sequel rights and a 50-50 licensing split for Star Wars. At the time, the studio thought it had given up worthless items, because executives had no faith in the film. Nevertheless, those negotiations had taken more than a year. While Lucas anticipated a much shorter wait this time, he used the bartering period to start organizing his nearly nonexistent company.

Many potential problems loomed, not least of which was that his visual effects company, Industrial Light & Magic, had ceased to be upon the release of Star Wars. Not a single employee of ILM was on the payroll as of June 1977. Those men and women had of course sought work elsewhere. Many former key members had simply reorganized in the facility''s original warehouse in Van Nuys, forming Apogee, whose founding members were: John Dykstra, Grant McCune, Bob Shepherd, Richard Alexander, Alvah Miller, Lorne Peterson, and Richard Edlund.

"Right after Star Wars came out, there was a period where George didn''t know what to do," model maker Steve Gawley says. "He owned the equipment. But in the meantime, he didn''t need it, as far as I understand. And so the same group of folks got back together and rented the equipment, and we made a television miniseries for Universal called Galactica."

"They rented the equipment back to John Dykstra," says model maker Lorne Peterson of the effects supervisor on Star Wars. "And so we were doing Galactica. Dykstra and Apogee ran their group as a cooperative. They all shared in responsibility and shared in profits equally. At least, I think it was equally. I also had my own really small company. We were struggling and then we were also working on Galactica."

"We got hornswoggled into doing this project with Glen Larson for Universal, the Galactica," says Edlund.

"Glen Larson came in to ILM, the old ILM in Van Nuys, after George had moved out," says art director Joe Johnston. "But all the people were still there and he hired the entire group, including me, to design, build, and photograph all these visual effects."

"I left ILM and then it turned into Apogee and they were doing Galactica," says Ken Ralston, assistant cameraman. "I got on two smaller films that never saw the light of day. But I learned a lot during that time, six months on one, that was a disaster! But you have to learn those things."

While not everyone at the former ILM stayed at Van Nuys-special effects photographer Dennis Muren had departed in March 1977 to work on Steven Spielberg''s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which was released in November-the reality was that Lucas was going to have to start a visual effects company for a second time if he wanted to make a second Star Wars. And the Galactica project was going to be a thorn in his side for some time to come.

BUILDING THE EMPIRE BENIGN

Before Lucas could even begin to reconsecrate his visual effects team, he would have to form up his corporate headquarters.

"I was in private practice in San Francisco," says attorney Douglas Ferguson, "and my secretary told me that a fellow named George Lucas wanted to talk to me for business advice. I said, ''I don''t know any George Lucas.'' And she said, ''You must not be reading the newspapers because he''s got a movie out called Star Wars that''s a big, big hit.'' And that led to a meeting where George came to my office. We got along famously, so we began sketching out the corporate empire that George had envisioned for his company, now that he had the wherewithal to do something."

Ferguson had been the lawyer for John Korty, another Bay Area filmmaker and Lucas''s friend. "Doug did a lot of my personal legal work," says Lucas. "Tom Pollock was my production lawyer. He''d done the legal work and set up a lot of my movies, Star Wars and Graffiti, and the incorporations of my first companies."

Ferguson would also handle, primarily, the corporate interactions between Lucasfilm and its eventual subsidiaries. One of those, Black Falcon, would eventually take over merchandising and licensing; others would handle movie productions, such as the sequel to American Graffiti, another film already in the pipeline, and Radioland Murders, an ongoing project.

"The business side of the film industry I don''t much like or want to get involved in," Lucas says. "I set down parameters that I want my company to maintain and they reflect my philosophies, my beliefs from when I grew up, which I feel are fairly practical but still basically right. But the corporate environment in Hollywood isn''t any different from the corporate environment in the energy business. It''s all about making money and it''s all about making deals and it''s all about screwing this person or that person. It doesn''t have anything to do with making movies."

In addition to his big-picture plans, Lucas was looking for someone who could help run his day-to-day business. "I''d had about 12 years'' experience in the film industry in a lot of various capacities," says Jane Bay. "But I wasn''t sure that I wanted to continue to work in the film industry because I didn''t like what was happening. Basically, the suits were taking over. It was after the decline of the studio system, and the businesspeople were starting to run the industry and I just didn''t like the way that it was going. So on the Fourth of July, I called Tom Pollock, a very close personal friend, and said I''m going to be moving to San Francisco. And he said, ''Oh, Jane, I just talked to George Lucas yesterday and he needs somebody to be the office manager for Lucasfilm.''_"

"Nobody wants to invest in the esoteric craft of visual effects," Lucas says. "You know, just for the sake of doing it. I started a lot of other companies, but that was by accident. I needed to have a sound facility up here. You have to have a place to pre-mix your movies. You don''t want to go to Los Angeles to do it, so you start a little sound company. We had to create it all. We were basically carving an industry out of the wilderness here."

Four days later, Bay went over to Universal Studios. There George had a "little satellite office" not far from Spielberg''s where they talked about the state of the film business. "George was telling me that he didn''t know if I''d be happy moving to Marin County because he wasn''t part of Hollywood and I had this long history in Hollywood in the studios and with independent filmmakers. He said, ''I''m just afraid that you''re gonna be bored.'' But I just kept saying, ''I left the film industry two months ago to get away from all of it.'' So he said, ''Okay, well, you come up to Marin County and see how you like it.'' I didn''t realize that he had hired me on the spot."

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Top reviews from the United States

Daf
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
What was it like making ''Empire''? A baffling ordeal apparently!
Reviewed in the United States on June 7, 2020
This book is everything that everyone says it is, so if you''re a fan and behind-the-scenes stuff interests you in general, go ahead and pick it up. Watch out for it being a little bit of a bummer, though, because the picture it paints is that everyone had a pretty terrible... See more
This book is everything that everyone says it is, so if you''re a fan and behind-the-scenes stuff interests you in general, go ahead and pick it up. Watch out for it being a little bit of a bummer, though, because the picture it paints is that everyone had a pretty terrible time making the movie.

The film crew was exhausted and miserable; George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, and Gary Kurtz (who were under tremendous pressure because Lucas bet the whole farm on the movie) eventually burned their bridges with one another; screenwriter Leigh Brackett and 2nd unit director John Barry both died during production; Mark Hamill is depressed, insecure and lonely (there''s a fleeting but telling mention of him being in therapy) and Carrie Fisher is constantly getting sick (going by her later admissions, it''s hard not to suspect that "sick" was code for "coked out of her gourd"). Harrison Ford is his typically cynical self and while that probably helped keep himself sane living in the world of Hollywood, it''s not exactly feel-good reading.

The book is put together nearly entirely from contemporaneous sources from the studio archives that lend it a fantastic fly-on-the-wall perspective, but that also means a lack of introspection and hindsight, especially on the one subject I was most interested in specifically:

** When, why and how did Lucas come up with the greatest plot twist in all of history? **

Because it was the utmost secret at the time, all the book can tell us is that the plot turn simply first appears in some of Lucas''s early plot outlines. As far as I know, since the movie came out all Lucas has said about the matter was some vague notion that he had "always" planned the story this way (which is at the very least a massive exaggeration). It remains a mystery.

''The Making of ''The Empire...'''' makes it plain that at its heart the movie was mostly a business move by Lucas (who point-blank states that he hates writing and hates directing) so he could make enough money to build his ranch, retire there and make little films for himself and his old film school buddies to enjoy as a hobby like building model trains. Deep down I think we all kind of knew this was the case but staring the truth in the face like this still feels a little like a kid learning Santa Claus isn''t real (or that Darth-You-Know-Who is our You-Know-What). The book is a treasure of rewards, but prepare yourself for the disillusionment.

>>>EDIT: I decided to upgrade from 4 to 5 stars. While in some ways not as enjoyable as I might have hoped, I do appreciate the book being completely honest about the whole affair. I also missed that the ''Darth Vader'' twist appeared earlier than the second script draft and corrected that.
11 people found this helpful
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Alan
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An excellent, informative book, but a word of warning for non-iOS users...
Reviewed in the United States on July 11, 2014
If there''s more information to be made available about the making of this film, I''d be shocked. This is an exhaustive account of the pre-production, production, and post-production of The Empire Strikes Back. Everything you ever wanted to know about the film is most likely... See more
If there''s more information to be made available about the making of this film, I''d be shocked. This is an exhaustive account of the pre-production, production, and post-production of The Empire Strikes Back. Everything you ever wanted to know about the film is most likely here...and then some.

It sounds like the making of this film was arduous, and, as such, the book can be an arduous read at times. Every time it got back to the topic of developing the character of Yoda, I thought, "Oh no, not Yoda again." That having been said, the book does what it sets out to do, and gives the reader what I can only assume is the complete story of the making of this film. It''s a well-written book and definitely worth your time if you''re a fan of the film.

A warning about the embedded video and audio clips: they''re a worthy addition to the book, but did not work for me on anything other than my iPhone -- not my Android tablet, and not my PC. At the time I purchased the book, the description stated it would work on Android (and I think PC as well), but this was not the case.
15 people found this helpful
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Richard H. Strobel
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Must have GORGEOUS table top ref book
Reviewed in the United States on August 19, 2018
If you want/need one photo book with the back ground of the filming of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, it is this book. Gorgeous presentation, filled with hundreds of well known to never before seen photos from the production and in depth stories making the film . Well... See more
If you want/need one photo book with the back ground of the filming of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, it is this book. Gorgeous presentation, filled with hundreds of well known to never before seen photos from the production and in depth stories making the film .

Well made and printed on high quality paper.
4 people found this helpful
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Jeanette
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
NOT BRAND NEW/arrived DAMAGED
Reviewed in the United States on June 14, 2021
Product was supposed to be BRAND NEW. It arrived severely damaged!!! The dust cover, binding and pages were torn badly. First few pages were coming completely detached from the binding itself. Book was loosely packaged in a cardboard box that was too big for the book... See more
Product was supposed to be BRAND NEW. It arrived severely damaged!!! The dust cover, binding and pages were torn badly. First few pages were coming completely detached from the binding itself. Book was loosely packaged in a cardboard box that was too big for the book itself. I am extremely upset and disappointed as this was a Fathers Day present for my husband.
One person found this helpful
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K. F.Top Contributor: Star Wars
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Fascinating and addicting
Reviewed in the United States on April 29, 2015
Not surprisingly, Ritter has done it again. Fascinating and detailed coverage of the production of The Empire Strikes Back, with plenty of concept drawings, production photos, and other material. My only complaint is that Rinzler''s comprehensive coverage of everything means... See more
Not surprisingly, Ritter has done it again. Fascinating and detailed coverage of the production of The Empire Strikes Back, with plenty of concept drawings, production photos, and other material. My only complaint is that Rinzler''s comprehensive coverage of everything means there are parts here and there that get overwhelmed with the names of staff, lawyers, studio executives, associates, etc, but it''s easy to gloss over these parts if you wish to.

Warning: this book, like all of his "making of" books and the blueprints book, is cocaine for Star Wars enthusiasts. Make sure you have enough money to buy the whole set, because you won''t be able to stop after the first one...
4 people found this helpful
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TT
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent book and price!
Reviewed in the United States on October 2, 2020
Book is awesome, was well packed for once too. If you are a fan of the greatest movie EVER made, I cannot suggest this enough for your library!
One person found this helpful
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Rafael B
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
enhanced video segments DO NOT WORK ON KINDLE HD 10
Reviewed in the United States on August 11, 2020
Excellent book, but the enhanced video segments on the kindle version DO NOT WORK ON MY KINDLE, even though my model is listed as one of the available tablets. It DOES work on iOS though. Not worth the hassle. But the hardcover. It’s simply beautiful.
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Robert Yordan
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Reviewed in the United States on October 9, 2020
It’s a coffee-table book of behind the scenes information, conceptual art, illustrations, storyboards, matte paintings, models and photos written by J. W. Rinzler. The making of the best original Star Wars movie sequel 1980. The one and only George Lucas creator... See more
It’s a coffee-table book of behind the scenes information, conceptual art, illustrations, storyboards, matte paintings, models and photos written by J. W. Rinzler. The making
of the best original Star Wars movie sequel 1980. The one and only George Lucas creator
of Star Wars the Original Trilogy.
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Top reviews from other countries

Steve Bell
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
AT-AT''s on Hoth, Yoda on Dagobah and much much more!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 28, 2017
This is a wonderful book about the making of "The Empire Strikes Back", arguably one of the best movie sequels ever made. It is overflowing with information about all aspects of the movie making process, and has photos, diagrams, drawings, storyboards, scripts,...See more
This is a wonderful book about the making of "The Empire Strikes Back", arguably one of the best movie sequels ever made. It is overflowing with information about all aspects of the movie making process, and has photos, diagrams, drawings, storyboards, scripts, interviews, analysis and much more. Covering 362 pages and divided into eleven chapters, it starts with "The Summer Of Star Wars - May 1977", describing the incredible global impact of the first Star Wars movie. Also, it contains drawings and early ideas for the ice vehicles for the planet Hoth scenes, and the development of costumes for Imperial Troopers which was taken from ancient Japanese Samurai warrior costumes. "The Gathering Force" has detailed drawings of the iconic All Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT) four-legged combat walker. Early ideas for the defining battle between Luke and Darth Vader are drawn and discussed. Bobba Fett''s distinctive costume draws inspiration from Clint Eastwood''s character in "A Fistful Of Dollars", and early artwork designs for Cloud City are very atmospheric. "The Art Of Doing" has ideas for the central character of Yoda. The storyboards for the AT-AT battle scenes on Hoth are fantastic and photos of the scary tauntaun creatures is very revealing. Amusing photos of Kenny Baker inside a new and lighter design of R2D2 shows just how little space he had inside the robot! "Luke Of The Tundra" describes in detail the challenges and problems of filming the Hoth scenes in a blisteringly cold and inhospitable remote Norway location. A fantastic photo of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill with a tauntaun is very memorable. "Studio Clouds" has detailed photo stills of Han Solo kissing Princess Leia. And there is a lot of artwork for the Wampa cave where Luke was suspended upside down from the roof. "Shadows In The Light" has detailed images and analysis of the filming inside the Millennium Falcon. An extended on-set discussion between director Irvin Kershner, cinematographer Peter Suschitzky, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and others shows the level of thought and creativity that went into every decision - no matter how small. Everyone seemed to overflow with ideas. Mark Hamill described the Ford - Fisher double act as similar to the iconic partnership between Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy - full of drive and energy. "Fall From Space" has detailed storyboards of the Luke versus Vader duel. Intriguing photos of the fight show that the actors were using plain sticks or rods as lightsabers - the "glow" effect was added later in post production. "Yoda Lives" has a detailed review of Dagobah - the planet where Yoda died and transformed into the Force. It is surprising just how small Yoda''s house is - the actors and camera crew can hardly fit inside it due to the very low ceiling! "Film Dance" has detailed models of the AT-AT''s. Much work was done throughout the whole movie making process to perfect the images of these incredible vehicles which involved combining real models, special effects and artwork. And, still photo frames from the asteroid chase with the Millennium Falcon are dramatic. "Wonderful Empire" has extensive artwork for the backgrounds of the ice planet of Hoth and the swampy Dagobah where Yoda met Luke. Finally, "Voyage To Victory" has many posters, magazine covers, toys, promotional material and photos of the film premiers from across the world. Overall, this is a sensational book from J.W. Rinzler - reaching the same high standards as the other two books he produced for the movies in this trilogy. Every Star Wars fan should own all three of these books!
6 people found this helpful
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Mark West
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Another superb entry in the series
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 18, 2014
Having read Rinzler’s excellent “The Making of Return Of The Jedi” earlier this year, I decided I wanted to go back into the wonderfully informative environment he created and asked for this for my birthday. Luckily for me, since I’m so difficult to buy for (apparently), it...See more
Having read Rinzler’s excellent “The Making of Return Of The Jedi” earlier this year, I decided I wanted to go back into the wonderfully informative environment he created and asked for this for my birthday. Luckily for me, since I’m so difficult to buy for (apparently), it was gratefully bought. Using mainly contemporary interviews (from late 1977 through to 1980), with a few conducted in the 90s and 00s, this covers the whole of the production from the opening of “Star Wars” (which took everyone by complete surprise) to the opening of “Empire Strikes Back” and touches on pretty much every aspect of the production in between. As with the Jedi book, the research is thorough and extensive, which even extends to captioning pictures and identifying people way in the background. The success of “Star Wars” does help the cause a bit here, since “Empire” benefited from an accomplished unit publicist in Alan Arnold, who later published “Once Upon A Galaxy: A Journal of the making of The Empire Strikes Back”, which I read a couple of years ago. A thick paperback, it was the official making of (there was also a magazine too) and Rinzler quotes from it extensively, whilst also drawing on other interviews Mr Arnold made at the time but which have previously been unpublished. At first I thought this overlap of information might be too repetitive but it isn’t at all, with the longest lift (where Irvin Kershner was miked up on the Carbon Freezing set) being interspersed with later comments made by the principals concerned. By the end of 1977, George Lucas was already at work on the sequel and brought in Leigh Brackett to shape the screenplay. The script conference transcripts published here only have his contributions (no explanation is made as to why) but they’re very interesting, with the bare bones of the film clearly already in place in his mind (though he gets as stuck here with Vader living in a castle as he did the Empire planet during the Jedi conferences). As it was, Brackett died before she could work on the second draft and virtually none of what she wrote was used, though Lucas ensured she retained a screen credit. Instead, Lawrence Kasdan was drafted in - he’d just written the “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” script - and his approach is clearly like a breath of fresh air, as he questions ideas and motives and suggests (on occasion and usually unsuccessfully) that Lucas might not be right. Adamant that he wouldn’t direct, Lucas suggested his old USC film tutor Irvin Kershner for the role with the latter agreeing after several conversations (I imagine the fact that his son was ten-years-old also played a part). Kersh, as he’s affectionately called by everyone, was clearly a different director, keen to take his time on composition and although Lucas had concerns about producer Gary Kurtz’s ability to rein him in, he chose not to air them - a decision he would later come to regret. As well as the pre-production of the film, the book also follows the formation of several Lucasfilm entities, including Black Falcon (the licensing arm, which I only discovered the existence of in the Jedi book), how the various divisions were structured and the plans for Skywalker ranch. Having read “Skywalking” (which is not listed in the bibliography at the back of this), I love that whole late seventies period, as the company sets up and operates out of The Egg Company in LA and ILM hides in plain sight as The Kerner Company in San Anselmo and Rinzler is thorough in his exploration of this period. It’s also interesting to see how the merchandising helped the entire operation, with Black Falcon lending money to both Lucasfilm and ILM to get things moving. Best of all though is the information about the ranch - the plans, the daytrips, the fourth of July picnics - and Rinzler paints a wonderful picture of the era, the atmosphere remembered fondly by all those involved in it, a tight and small close-knit group that felt like a family. But even as the production wore on and the dealings with the banks got more intense and Lucas was pushed into an executive role with his companies (Lucasfilm funded the whole project), things were changing. Lucy Wilson - Kurtz’s assistant and one of the original employees - comments that where once she and Lucas could say hi and chat, she soon had to book appointments to see him. As it is, this seems as troubling to Lucas as anyone else. Production began with the main unit at Finse in Norway and it seems to have been a disaster from the beginning. Weather delayed shooting, Kershner took his time and things got away from Kurtz, leading to his eventual estrangement from the Lucasfilm group, with Howard Kazanjian (who would go on to produce Jedi) getting more involved. Things were more settled at Elstree Studios in London, though Kershner, working with his DoP Peter Suschitzky to produce the best work possible, played havoc with Lucas’ plans. As his pace upset the schedule and pushed the film over budget, issues with cashflow and the banks kicked in, adding further to the stresses that Lucas was trying to hide from his director. Rinzler covers every aspect of the production in equal detail (I loved the discovery that the filming was juggled to fit the sets - since the Falcon was built full-size, it pretty much stayed where it was and new sets were built aruond it) and doesn’t shy away from some of the more candid conversations. Lucas was a large presence on set (but not to the extent that he would be on “Jedi”) and although he takes every opportunity to point out he’s not the director (he didn’t do any of the publicity tours), the very thought of it clearly annoys Kershner, who bristles with journalists who suggest it. For his part, Kershner comes across well, imbuing the material with depth and emotion and working hard with his cast and crew to make things are good as they possibly can be. Working in the moment, having already planned thoroughly, he liked to leave enough room for conversations and discussions with his actors (the Carbon freezing sequence, as mentioned above, shows this brilliantly) that clearly benefit the film. Of the actors, Mark Hamill comes across very well, though he does comment he and Carrie Fisher clashed a few times. In fact, Fisher also clashes with Kershner and Harrison Ford (in the miked-up section) and Billy Dee Williams later tries to be diplomatic, in saying that her mind perhaps wasn’t on the job all the time. In fact, with the production keen to film her scenes and release her, it appears her well-documented foray into addiction was already taking hold. Ford, for his part, comes across as occasionally stroppy but always keen to do a good job. As production released cast members to move into the Dagobah set and the schedule goes ever further over, you can almost hear the rankling in Lucas’ comments as the pressure being put on him - as the financier - must have been incredible. That’s not helped by the whole Yoda situation and it’s worth noting that whilst the world readily accepted the puppet as a living, breathing character, at the time it was an enormous risk. We watch “Empire” now, we see Yoda everywhere and we take him as read but back in 1978/79, nobody had tried anything like it before. I was surprised to read that Frank Oz only worked on the film for 12 days (he was lent out by Jim Henson’s company as they were gearing up for “The Dark Crystal”) and completely agree with Kershner’s observation that the Dagobah sequences are made by the sincerity of Mark Hamill’s acting. Another thing I discovered is something I’ve long wondered, that the second and third films can’t have been as much fun for Hamill since Luke was often split up from the other characters. He’s quoted as saying, “It was almost like two separate films were being made. I got nostalgic for the grand old days on the Death Star, when Harrison, Carrie, Chewie and I were all together in the trash compactor.” Hamill ended up working on the film for 103 days. Production complete, the action moves back to California. ILM was put together again in San Anselmo, moving away from LA and the original building and leaving John Dykstra and several colleagues there. In between designing shots (far more than the original film) and creating new worlds and ships and creatures, the team also had to design and build new equipment and the schedule very quickly becomes constrictive. Everyone keeps their sense of humour though - especially effects supervisor Ken Ralston - and by the end of the period, they’re even changing original shots (the Wampa monster) because they don’t want anything “crappy” popping up in ‘their film’. Rinzler, as with every other aspect of the production, is exhaustive in his approach to the ILM work, with shots often mapped out by the frame so that they fit into the already fine-edited final cut of the film (which Lucas would add a few shots too, between the initial limited-run 70mm release and the wide 35mm one). Phil Tippett and Jon Berg quite rightly get a lot of attention for their stop-motion work with the AT-AT’s (another risky visual image) and Tauntauns, but it’s clear to see that ILM was a more harmonious place with everyone being given a chance to shine (Lucas later says he was very pleased with the work they did). Hoth seems to have been the hardest work in terms of technical difficulties (not only colour matching snow and hiding matte lines, but also trying to comp stop-motion creatures into it), with a lot of effort put into them - Bruce Nicholson, head of the optical department, shrugs away his successes by saying he used a “Norway filter”. Towards the end of post-production, Alan Ladd jr left Twentieth Century Fox, which didn’t help Lucas with the studio or the banks since Ladd was their key supporter. Lawrence Kasdan was also caught out, since Fox was going to make his noir-thriller “Body Heat” and once Ladd left, the film was put into turnaround. Ladd set the film up at his new Ladd Company and Lucas was sponsor on the film, with the proviso that if it went over budget, the funds should come from his fee. As Kasdan says, “this was a generous, supportive thing to do”. Rinzler examines contemporary interviews and one, from Time magazine in 1978, seems particularly pertinent. When asked about his future directing ambitions, Lucas says “I will go back and direct another [“Star Wars”] film, but it will be toward the end of the cycle, about 20 years from now”. The Phantom Menace was released in 1999. Rinzler also details how perceptive Lucas was with future technology and how it would assist the film-making process, especially with digital images. Sprocket Systems (later renamed Skywalker Sound) had a Computer Research and Development Division set up within it, headed by Ed Catmull, to develop computer aided visual and sounding editing equipment. They also developed the Pixar system, which would later become the Pixar Division and be sold off to Steve Jobs. The post-production part ends with a section on the matte paintings which Harrison Ellenshaw, Ralph McQuarrie and Michael Pangrazio created. Showing them in progress and often against the final frames, these are gloriously reproduced and a real sight to behold. As with Jedi, the final part of the book deals with the release and reception of the film, as Lucas’ risky venture proves a hit with the paying public (he made his money back in three months), if not all of the critics (though some would change their tune over the years) though it did win several awards in 1980 (including a special Academy Award for the visual effects). Reading some of the reviews back - again with the benefit of hindsight, knowing that this sequel is generally considered the best film of the trilogy (I prefer “Star Wars”, as it happens) - it’s interesting to see how people’s perceptions changed. Candid, thorough and superbly researched, this is painstakingly extensive and never less than readable and filled with beautifully reproduced photographs. I thought the Jedi book would be the benchmark but I think Rinzler has excelled himself here. I’m a huge fan of the original trilogy and Making Of Books and this is pretty much perfect, to the extent that I dragged out the last few pages because I didn’t want it to end. Very highly recommended.
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M. T. Smithson
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The must have book for a Star Wars fan
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 27, 2021
Wow! An in depth making of book, with loads of insight culled from countless interviews with the key players involved in the film both Infront and behind the camera. Behind the scenes photographs, some seen before, somr not. The previous books I have bought, barely...See more
Wow! An in depth making of book, with loads of insight culled from countless interviews with the key players involved in the film both Infront and behind the camera. Behind the scenes photographs, some seen before, somr not. The previous books I have bought, barely scratched the surface.
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FilmMan
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The most comprehensive making off book on Empire!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 20, 2021
A fantastic large book covering everything you’d ever want to know about the making of the film. Excellent build quality as well.
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Filippo
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An amazing book that every true Star Wars fan should have in his library
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 16, 2012
This book describes in detail the whole pre-production process behind the release of Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back. The quality of the printed photos is amazing, and the book is filled with high quality pictures, and artworks by Ralph McQuarrie an other artists....See more
This book describes in detail the whole pre-production process behind the release of Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back. The quality of the printed photos is amazing, and the book is filled with high quality pictures, and artworks by Ralph McQuarrie an other artists. Everything in this book is very well explained, and there are quite a lot of curious facts which never stop to amaze. I really suggest to buy this book, if you want to know what''s behing an epic release like Star Wars
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