From Star Wars to Indiana Jones: The Best of the Lucasfilm Archives

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9780811809726: From Star Wars to Indiana Jones: The Best of the Lucasfilm Archives

George Lucas has produced some of the most popular movies ever, including the classic Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies. Thanks to Lucas's foresight and the dedication of Lucasfilm archivists, the artifacts used in the making of his films have been painstakingly preserved. From Star Wars to Indiana Jones presents some of the best of Lucasfilm's enduring creations, from Yoda and R2-D2 to the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail. Now readers everywhere can take a tour of the marvelous world of the Lucasfilm Archives, with its incredible collection of costumes, props, puppets, models, and matte paintings used in the making of both the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies. Veterans of the legendary first Industrial Light & Magic effects team that created Star Wars share their secrets, along with an astonishing array of behind-the-scenes production illustrations, storyboards, and prototypes—many appearing for the first time in book form—all accompanied by a lively text that tells the fascinating stories behind the art of movie-making. Lavishly illustrated with hundreds of full-color photographs and illustrations, this treasury captures the remarkable imagery, as well as the wonder, of the Lucasfilm universe in an essential acquisition for countless fans the world over.?

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Review:

The director of the Lucasfilm Archives says that before Return of the Jedi, it just never occurred to anyone to formally store and catalog the accumulated "stuff" associated with the Star Wars films. Stormtrooper helmets and lightsabers were crammed next to models of tauntauns and sandcrawlers in closets and cubbyholes. Only when George Lucas was surrounded by all this junk for a Jedi publicity shot did the Lucasfilm folks realize what an amazing collection they had.

That collection only grew when Lucas scored with the popular Indiana Jones trilogy, which added all manner of whips, swords, and idols to the archive. This photo-packed book chronologically surveys the collection's highlights: props, models, storyboards, backdrops, and sketches, spanning all six films. Fans of either (or both) series will be gratified by a glimpse at these oh-so-cool artifacts. Unfortunately, the text isn't quite as edifying as the pictures. Behind-the-scenes insights, such as the fact that Imperial Walkers were a late substitution for Norwegian army tanks and that Indy's shooting of the swordmaster in the market was a fatigue-induced ad lib, often take a back seat to unnecessary plot recaps and equally superfluous explanations (for example, that the Force is sort of like chi). Of course, the artifacts from the archive are the real attraction, and they don't disappoint. --Paul Hughes

About the Author:

Mark Cotta Vaz recently completed his 19th book, a biography of Merian C. Cooper, creator of King Kong which is scheduled to be published by Random House in 2005. Vaz's books on movie history include Industrial Light + Magic: Into the Digital Realm , which

Shinji Hata is an award-winning author who organized the successful 1993 George Lucas Exhibition. He lives in Osaka, Japan.

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