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Secrets of the Force: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Wars

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From the authors of The Fifty-Year Mission and So Say We All, comes the first and only comprehensive oral history of the Star Wars movie franchise. For the past four decades, no film saga has touched the world in the way that Star Wars has, capturing the imaginations of filmgoers and filmmakers alike. Now, for the first time ever, Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, the bests From the authors of The Fifty-Year Mission and So Say We All, comes the first and only comprehensive oral history of the Star Wars movie franchise. For the past four decades, no film saga has touched the world in the way that Star Wars has, capturing the imaginations of filmgoers and filmmakers alike. Now, for the first time ever, Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, the bestselling authors of The Fifty-Year Mission, are telling the entire story of this blockbuster franchise from the very beginning in a single exhaustive volume. Featuring the commentaries of hundreds of actors and filmmakers involved with and impacted by Star Wars, as well as writers, commentators, critics, executives, authors, film historians, toy experts and many more, Secrets of the Force, will reveal all in Altman and Gross’s critically acclaimed oral history format from the birth of the original film through the latest sequels and the new televisions series.


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From the authors of The Fifty-Year Mission and So Say We All, comes the first and only comprehensive oral history of the Star Wars movie franchise. For the past four decades, no film saga has touched the world in the way that Star Wars has, capturing the imaginations of filmgoers and filmmakers alike. Now, for the first time ever, Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, the bests From the authors of The Fifty-Year Mission and So Say We All, comes the first and only comprehensive oral history of the Star Wars movie franchise. For the past four decades, no film saga has touched the world in the way that Star Wars has, capturing the imaginations of filmgoers and filmmakers alike. Now, for the first time ever, Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, the bestselling authors of The Fifty-Year Mission, are telling the entire story of this blockbuster franchise from the very beginning in a single exhaustive volume. Featuring the commentaries of hundreds of actors and filmmakers involved with and impacted by Star Wars, as well as writers, commentators, critics, executives, authors, film historians, toy experts and many more, Secrets of the Force, will reveal all in Altman and Gross’s critically acclaimed oral history format from the birth of the original film through the latest sequels and the new televisions series.

30 review for Secrets of the Force: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Wars

  1. 5 out of 5

    Briar's Reviews

    I'm a big Star Wars fan. Maybe not a crazy fanatic who can tell you the full history and background of every single character, but still a fan! I love whisking myself away to a galaxy far, far away. It brings back so much nostalgia and memories from my childhood. Every year when Star Wars comes on as a marathon on television... I'm glued! I grew up with the Prequels coming out, but my parents had me re-watching the original trilogy. Not because they loved it, because it was on television. It was I'm a big Star Wars fan. Maybe not a crazy fanatic who can tell you the full history and background of every single character, but still a fan! I love whisking myself away to a galaxy far, far away. It brings back so much nostalgia and memories from my childhood. Every year when Star Wars comes on as a marathon on television... I'm glued! I grew up with the Prequels coming out, but my parents had me re-watching the original trilogy. Not because they loved it, because it was on television. It was something that easily grabbed my attention and I would sit there and actually watch it. As I grew up, I was thrilled to watch the sequel series (until I actually watched them, but that's another story). I'm still a fan - The Mandalorian is awesome, and I'm slowly making my way through the books and other television series. I like it. It's unique, it's fun and it's different. Then in walks this book. I knew it was meant to be and I was thrilled to get it in my hands. It took a while to read it because it's one big, hunk of a book - but it was worth it! As a giant Star Wars fan, this was the kind of book I wanted to read. It's a collection of interviews from people who worked on the series - ranging from writers to producers to actors to podcasters - and it spans over some time. It will reintroduce you to facts you already knew, and let you know of many behind the scene secrets and new tips you would have never imagined. It's a great book, honestly! Fun fact: Indiana is George Lucas' old dog's name. So the whole dog joke in Indiana Jones... There was some real life giggles behind it! This space opera has spanned many generations and can make or break a family barbecue. It's amazing how big this silly, little movie turned into a giant universe of fandom and freedom. Eventually Disney got involved and might have done something really odd and weird with the series... but it still stands to be one multiverse of insanity. It's big, it's mighty and it's beloved. This book is PERFECT for your Star Wars fandom friends. With almost 600 pages of pure Star Wars content, it will let them know more background facts to win a Movie Trivia Showdown any day of the week. It's just an overall fantastic book with so much packed into it. I was binging this baby for a week! I highly recommend this book. I'm honestly surprised how a non-fiction book that was only full of interviews kept me completely hooked. What a compelling and intriguing book! Five out of five stars. I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    I was 9 years old when I waited in line with my parents and my Weird Old Uncle Bob to see the first Star Wars movie. It was the first time I ever remember there being a line of people halfway around the building all wanting tickets. In 1977 in small town America, theaters had one screen and one showing a night....if the movie sold out you had to come back another day. Star Wars had people lining up, even in middle-of-nowhere Kansas. Luckily we got there early and managed to get seats. My Weird O I was 9 years old when I waited in line with my parents and my Weird Old Uncle Bob to see the first Star Wars movie. It was the first time I ever remember there being a line of people halfway around the building all wanting tickets. In 1977 in small town America, theaters had one screen and one showing a night....if the movie sold out you had to come back another day. Star Wars had people lining up, even in middle-of-nowhere Kansas. Luckily we got there early and managed to get seats. My Weird Old Uncle Bob had talked my parents into seeing the film, promising that it would be one of the most wonderful movies ever. My dad wasn't sure. I remember him mumbling that he didn't want to go see some "silly space thing.'' When we left after the movie, my father said that it had been a great movie. It was one of the only times he admitted Weird Old Uncle Bob was right about anything. (But then again, Weird Old Uncle Bob thought if you turned your car off when going downhill and restarted it at the bottom of the hill that you would save gas. This sort of thing was why we called him weird.) That silly space thing is still a big deal for many, even after 44 years. I kinda fell off the Star Wars band wagon with the prequel movies. Jar Jar Binks just killed it for me. Ugh. Jar Jar is the Scrappy Doo of the Star Wars Franchise. Barf. My love came back with the newer movies and the new Mandalorian series on Disney+. One look at Baby Yoda and I forgot all about Space Scrappy Doo. So, of course I wanted to read some trivia and reminiscences about the movies! In fact, I'm still reading this book! When the book blurb says this book tells the story of the Star Wars Franchise in "one exhaustive volume'' it means this is one gigantic 570+-page gi-normous tome of Star Wars lore. Gi-freaking-normous! This book talks about the movies, the actors, extras, games, toys....everything Star Wars from Alderaan to Yoda (I couldn't come up with a SW word that started with Z....but it's probably in this book somewhere!) The information is entertaining, interesting, supremely nerdy and nostalgic! I'm reading my way through a little bit at a time and enjoying every minute! This is one review copy that definitely got me to add the physical book to my must-buy list. And, it just proves that Old Weird Uncle Bob was right (once). Star Wars is wonderful! **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from St. Martins Press. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  3. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    I won this book in a goodreads drawing. An oral history of the Star Wars phenomenon, from the origins of the first movie to the drek we get now. Very informative. I especially enjoyed the bits on the Holiday Special. Recommended for the Star Wars fan.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dee Arr

    Much Better Than Being There! I am part of the few (millions) who have been lucky enough to see all the Star Wars movies when they were released in the theaters. This includes Solo and Rogue One as well as watching a number of The Clone Wars (sadly, I have never seen the Boba Fett film). Other than purchasing the novelization of A New Hope (and convincing a theater chain to part with a battery-operated ad box that flips between Anakin Skywalker and Darth Maul), I purchased none of the toys/books/ Much Better Than Being There! I am part of the few (millions) who have been lucky enough to see all the Star Wars movies when they were released in the theaters. This includes Solo and Rogue One as well as watching a number of The Clone Wars (sadly, I have never seen the Boba Fett film). Other than purchasing the novelization of A New Hope (and convincing a theater chain to part with a battery-operated ad box that flips between Anakin Skywalker and Darth Maul), I purchased none of the toys/books/paraphernalia that could have filled up a galaxy far, far away. I do love sci-fi (although Star Wars is more of a fantasy or space opera) and felt drawn to this book. Learning more of the back stories sounded like it would be fun, although I expected more of a novelization of those events. What authors Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross provided, however, was much better. The easiest way to explain the book’s presentation is to picture a huge table, populated by people who were involved with the Star Wars trilogies or were part of George Lucas’s life. As the story unfolds, each has multiple turns to speak, detailing their memories and feelings about the current topic. Each time they speak, their names precede each sub-section (which could be a few sentences or a few pages long) along with a reminder of who they are. The authors jump in to steer the conversation, easily spotted as Altman and Gross italicize their words to let us know they are taking over for a moment. The result? More info than I ever could imagined. The authors dealt fairly with the recollections, never taking sides and allowing the people speaking to differ with each other. Thus, readers are allowed to see the creation of the movies (and associated items and things) from multiple angles and are allowed to think for themselves. Like others who have seen the movies, I had strong thoughts on my favorites, which plots were better, which actors should have been replaced, etc. If anything, the book did not so much change my original thoughts as it helped to crystallize and deepen the reasons why I felt the ways I did. Great book for fans as well as the casual reader. I suppose one could dive right in at any chapter (to get to the prequal trilogy, for instance) though I found value in seeing how everything happened in sequence. The Force is strong in this one. Five Stars. My thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance electronic copy of this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I was provided with an e-copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. I think "complete" might be the most apt word in that long book title. That's certainly not a bad thing, but it lead to a very long read. The writing was rather dry as well, with the main narrative from the authors being little bridge paragraphs to connect the quotes from directors, authors, actors, writers, critics, and production crews. That said, there were fascinating bits throughout this book. The insights from L I was provided with an e-copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. I think "complete" might be the most apt word in that long book title. That's certainly not a bad thing, but it lead to a very long read. The writing was rather dry as well, with the main narrative from the authors being little bridge paragraphs to connect the quotes from directors, authors, actors, writers, critics, and production crews. That said, there were fascinating bits throughout this book. The insights from Lucas and the primary players (on camera as well as behind the scenes) were invaluable. This is a great tribute to the body of work that is Star Wars, covering the phenomenon from its earliest draft beginnings to the present day Disney Plus productions. No stone was left unturned. I can just think of two things I would have liked to seen. One, it would have been great to get George Lucas's comments about the sequels, though I suspect that to be something he's quite tight-lipped about. Two, it would have been nice if the authors left their personal political beliefs out of the narrative. It only happened a couple of times, but it was jarring, especially when they contributed such a small amount of personal insight to the book as a whole. Overall, this was worth the time for a Star Wars buff, though I probably wouldn't recommend it to the casual fan. It was easy to skim over the parts that weren't as interesting and then slow down and soak up the good stuff.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Olav

    Secrets Of The Force is a book for Star Wars fans who believe Greedo shot first. One of the most notable changes made in the 1997 Special Edition release of the first Star Wars movie was that digital effects were added to make it clear that protagonist Han Solo didn’t kill bounty hunter Greedo in cold blood. In this revised telling, the bounty hunter shot first, so Han’s action was justified. It’s an emotional beat that reversed one of the memorable character arcs of the first Star Wars movie; Ha Secrets Of The Force is a book for Star Wars fans who believe Greedo shot first. One of the most notable changes made in the 1997 Special Edition release of the first Star Wars movie was that digital effects were added to make it clear that protagonist Han Solo didn’t kill bounty hunter Greedo in cold blood. In this revised telling, the bounty hunter shot first, so Han’s action was justified. It’s an emotional beat that reversed one of the memorable character arcs of the first Star Wars movie; Han was no longer a lawless rogue who became a better person over the course of the story. He was always good, because in the re-telling Greedo shot first. But the truth is more complicated. Early shooting scripts of the movie show that Greedo never got a chance to shoot. Over the decades, George Lucas has changed Star Wars. He’s famously revised the movies themselves … but he also revised the story behind how the story was made. Despite being described as ‘uncensored,’ Secrets Of The Force leans pretty closely into the orthodox Lucasfilm version of events, and fails to grapple with the complexities (good and bad) of the creator who first invited fans to a galaxy far, far away. This is a book for fans who are comfortable believing that all along, Greedo shot first. As the most recognizable and financially successful space adventure in popular culture, Star Wars is bound to generate a variety of non-fiction books written by people trying to grapple with its enduring cultural value. Given the outsized impact of these movies on the public imagination, serious critical examination of the franchise is necessary and welcome. But unfortunately the vast majority of these works inevitably reveal themselves to be either venal attempts to cash in on the popularity of the franchise, or turn out to be puff pieces created by wide-eyed fanboys. Secrets Of The Force falls somewhat short of the critical examination this subject needs. The questionable quality of this book is surprising, given the credentials of the authors involved -- it’s written by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, who previously authored a The 50-Year Mission, which was a first-rate examination of Star Trek. Perhaps because Gene Rodenberry’s passing had allowed Star Trek fandom to become less enthralled by their franchise progenitor’s mythmaking, The 50-Year Mission was more able to interrogate his flaws. Told by way of a series of quotes from a rotating cast of people involved in the production, Secrets Of The Force is divided into roughly four parts: the inception of the franchise in the mid 1970s; the creation of the trilogy; the prequel movies; and finally the franchise after Lucas left active control. Some sections of this book do provide interested readers with first-hand accounts of production details, the evolution of the script, and aspects of the casts’ lives that are interesting. Mark Hamill’s recollection of how he became involved is engaging. Carrie Fisher’s descriptions of Peter Cushing are quite winning. But overall, the book focuses on George Lucas, and really centres his voice in telling this story, and as such Altman and Gross inevitably fall into the trap of the Lucasfilm myth making empire. There are many other voices in the book; Altman and Gross have collected quotes from a vast majority of the people responsible for the movies. From special effects people like John Dykstra to editors like Paul Hirsch, and from obscure actors like Ray Morton to big stars like Peter Cushing. What’s missing are voices of those whose contributions have been marginalized or demeaned. People like Marcia Lucas. What’s also missing is much attempt to question the veracity of accounts, or to point out when George Lucas has contradicted himself or has blatantly lied. There are sections of the book where the quotes selected provide little but page upon page of fawning praise: “One of Lucas’ great innovations was to give his space opera the feel and form of an old-time movie serial” “I was struck by the incredible detail of George Lucas’ imagination. He could remember things and see what he wanted to do in such tremendous detail.” “It was more than an action film, it was a personal quest; a story of self discovery.” “Every shot, even if that shot was less than a second long, it was designed to the nth degree. It wasn’t that he put too much stuff in it, it’s just that it was wonderfully designed. Secrets Of The Force gets a bit tiresome and repetitive, and might appeal only to the most hardcore Star Wars fan who wants to read justifications as to why their favourite franchise is the bestest franchise ever, and why George Lucas is just so great.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    This book was received as an ARC from St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. We all love star wars especially now since the first one came out in the 1970s and with all of the episodes caught up after Rise of Skywalker, I am glad to see two fellow enthusiasts express their nerd-fighting attitudes and come up with this book composed of interviews with producers, directors and stars of each of the films. It was supe This book was received as an ARC from St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. We all love star wars especially now since the first one came out in the 1970s and with all of the episodes caught up after Rise of Skywalker, I am glad to see two fellow enthusiasts express their nerd-fighting attitudes and come up with this book composed of interviews with producers, directors and stars of each of the films. It was super interesting to read all of the life stories and idea sessions that went into pre-production of the franchise and I know when I saw the movies and the infamous I am Your Father line how shocked America was that the story has taken a whole new turn. I was so glad to have seen the entire saga from beginning to end and how the whole galaxy far far away has evolved throughout the years. The most interesting interviews had to have come from Mark Hamil and George Lucas and hearing the work they put in and all that went through behind the scenes. The ultimate Star Wars fans have to either own or read this book and will love all of the insights in it. We will consider adding this title to our Non-Fiction collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Secrets of the Force: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Wars is the ultimate collection of stories covering the entire history of the Star Wars franchise, featuring recollections and tidbits from some of the biggest names in Star Wars lore: directors, authors, producers, actors, and George Lucas himself. And while Secrets of the Force is centered on tales from a galaxy far, far away, there’s so much cinema history packed into this volume that any sci-fi cinephile will s Secrets of the Force: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Wars is the ultimate collection of stories covering the entire history of the Star Wars franchise, featuring recollections and tidbits from some of the biggest names in Star Wars lore: directors, authors, producers, actors, and George Lucas himself. And while Secrets of the Force is centered on tales from a galaxy far, far away, there’s so much cinema history packed into this volume that any sci-fi cinephile will surely enjoy the journey as well. I love Star Wars, and have been reading Star Wars novels since the 90s, but I was wary that I would have a hard time getting into a written oral history of the franchise. All my worries were for naught, and I quickly fell into the narrative, each new voice adding a new level and dimension to a history only they know. This oral history was certainly thorough. Starting at the dawn of New Hollywood and how that gave way to summer blockbusters like Star Wars, the editors take the reader all the way past the sequels and to the current television series like The Mandalorian and The Bad Batch. Not only is this volume as up-to-date as it can be, but each topic and area of franchise history is thoroughly explored from multiple angles. There is even discussion about The Star Wars Holiday Special, which I was not expecting to be included or mentioned given how Lucas generally pretends that television special never happened. Whether you are a new Star Wars fan looking to explore the galaxy for the first time, or a fan from way back wanting to relive some memories from a new perspective, this new oral history is a fantastic addition to the Star Wars lore. The numerous voices contributing to the volume all seamlessly weave together to tell a history as grand as the Star Wars saga itself. Light on references or hard facts but heavy on personal experiences from those who lived the adventure, Secrets of the Force: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Wars is entertaining, educational, and a must-read pure delight for the Star Wars fan in your life. A huge thank you to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for the advanced copy of Secrets of the Force in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by David Allen Star Wars is a juggernaut. Since the release of the first Star Wars movie in 1977, retroactively titled A New Hope, the sci-fi fairy tale has spawned a multi-billion dollar franchise. Disney’s purchase of the franchise from creator George Lucas in 2012 for more than 4 billion dollars completed the series’ journey from underdog to corporate wunderkind. Since Star Wars has become so ubiquitous, writers, and documentary filmmakers alike h Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by David Allen Star Wars is a juggernaut. Since the release of the first Star Wars movie in 1977, retroactively titled A New Hope, the sci-fi fairy tale has spawned a multi-billion dollar franchise. Disney’s purchase of the franchise from creator George Lucas in 2012 for more than 4 billion dollars completed the series’ journey from underdog to corporate wunderkind. Since Star Wars has become so ubiquitous, writers, and documentary filmmakers alike have said much about the making of the franchise. Adding something new about the making of these movies has become difficult. Still, Secrets of the Force: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Wars sets out to do just that. Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily

  10. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin

    Altman and Gross deliver an amazing, sometimes blunt, sometimes brutal oral history of the complete Star Wars Saga. Weaving together interviews from actors and actresses, movie crew, producers and other pop culture figures, this book leans heavy on the story of how we got to the first Star Wars film, but doesn't skimp on everything else, including the recent Sequel Trilogy and one of the most interesting aspects was the detailed narrative of the roads not taken for the final Skywalker Saga insta Altman and Gross deliver an amazing, sometimes blunt, sometimes brutal oral history of the complete Star Wars Saga. Weaving together interviews from actors and actresses, movie crew, producers and other pop culture figures, this book leans heavy on the story of how we got to the first Star Wars film, but doesn't skimp on everything else, including the recent Sequel Trilogy and one of the most interesting aspects was the detailed narrative of the roads not taken for the final Skywalker Saga installment. Many of the interviews collected are brutally honest and pull no punches, which I appreciated because, while I dearly love Star Wars, warts and all, it wouldn't be much of a book if it was simply quotes cobbled together only about how great the series is. I've read many Making-Of Books and watched a lot of documentaries about the saga and found a wealth of new information collected here. Well done and I look forward to reading their other oral history books, already released and what is yet to come. (Special Note: I received an digital ARC from St. Martin's Press through Netgalley)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tim Joseph

    3.5... This would be higher, but it is highly subjective and editorialized! Too be fair, in most cases there are quotes from interviews on both sides of opinions... but if you are looking for a clean, just the facts sir or ma'am, this is not it. That being said, ANY fan of the Wars would love this book, as it really does walk you thru the complete history of Star Wars... from George Lucas growing up loving Flash Gordon, to the upcoming (hopefully sensational) Book of Boba. For me, it was absolutel 3.5... This would be higher, but it is highly subjective and editorialized! Too be fair, in most cases there are quotes from interviews on both sides of opinions... but if you are looking for a clean, just the facts sir or ma'am, this is not it. That being said, ANY fan of the Wars would love this book, as it really does walk you thru the complete history of Star Wars... from George Lucas growing up loving Flash Gordon, to the upcoming (hopefully sensational) Book of Boba. For me, it was absolutely a walk thru my childhood, and will give me at least a week of rights to geek out to my family. So, win for me (for them, not so much...)!

  12. 4 out of 5

    John H

    As a longtime Star Wars fan, I found this book an engrossing read. It’s an oral history covering a wide variety of topics surrounding Star Wars, including the movies, television shows (including the Holiday Special), merchandising, and to some extent the novels. It also covers some of the events surrounding the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney. It’s presented in chronological order, so it roughly covers the original trilogy, then the prequel trilogy, the Clone Wars TV show, the sequel trilogy, and br As a longtime Star Wars fan, I found this book an engrossing read. It’s an oral history covering a wide variety of topics surrounding Star Wars, including the movies, television shows (including the Holiday Special), merchandising, and to some extent the novels. It also covers some of the events surrounding the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney. It’s presented in chronological order, so it roughly covers the original trilogy, then the prequel trilogy, the Clone Wars TV show, the sequel trilogy, and briefly The Mandalorian. The book has responses from an interesting range of people including: cast and crew, fansite creators, movie and pop culture critics, and George Lucas himself. It definitely doesn’t shy away from some of the negative views surrounding the prequels and sequels, and even Return of The Jedi, but I like that it has a range of opinion. Some of the critics’ views get to be a little repetitive because they stick with the same critics for all of the movies, but overall that’s a small complaint. I highly recommend this book to Star Wars fans.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Scott Nickels

    I just concluded the marathon read about the...well, let the complete title describe this book: “Secrets of the Force: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Wars.” This book, at close to 600 pages, has been designed for the Star Wars nerd. Now I am not a Star Wars nerd ( actually, I am a Star Trek- fella going back to the 1960’s ) but I did enjoy reading this historical look back exploring the nearly 50 year saga of Star Wars. Following a similar book a few years back focus I just concluded the marathon read about the...well, let the complete title describe this book: “Secrets of the Force: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Wars.” This book, at close to 600 pages, has been designed for the Star Wars nerd. Now I am not a Star Wars nerd ( actually, I am a Star Trek- fella going back to the 1960’s ) but I did enjoy reading this historical look back exploring the nearly 50 year saga of Star Wars. Following a similar book a few years back focusing on Star Trek World, this book uses any number of folks ( both behind and also in front of the camera) interviews as the voice of the narrative. I particularly enjoyed the details of the first movie trilogy and found that the book did not park nearly as long on the final trilogy. Some of the commentaries are fascinating; others are quite boring. But, all total, this book captures at a detail level the development of the Star Wars Universe and was very educational for this casual fan. Thanks to NetGalley for the chance to read this book—and now I am going to go binge The Mandalorian this weekend.

  14. 4 out of 5

    B T

    I found the book informative, but also repetitive. It reads like a documentary you might watch. Different people providing blips of information, opinion or insight into different aspects of each production. So you can read that several different people had pretty much the same opinion about one of the movies and sometimes a critical comment about how someone didn't like something. Hearing from some of the lesser known people involved in the productions is probably the best aspect of the book. Ea I found the book informative, but also repetitive. It reads like a documentary you might watch. Different people providing blips of information, opinion or insight into different aspects of each production. So you can read that several different people had pretty much the same opinion about one of the movies and sometimes a critical comment about how someone didn't like something. Hearing from some of the lesser known people involved in the productions is probably the best aspect of the book. Each segment on a movie generally follows the production evolution. Starting with choosing the Director, story development, script development, casting, production design, principle photography, special effects/CGI, any technology innovations, the score, post production, merchandising, movie opening/costs/worldwide gross, reviews and any ancillary events that followed. You can shift the sequence a bit for each movie, but that is pretty much the structure. Each movie is not treated equally; Star Wars is 149 pages and rightfully so as the original movie. The other movies all take 30-60 pages for each movie more or less. However Rogue One is ONE PAGE yet they state in the book that "2016's Rogue One, which many consider the best Star Wars film since Empire Strikes Back". Why take 1 page to discuss it very superficially if you're the complete history of the franchise and this is the second best movie of all eleven? The much maligned Star Wars Holiday Special, which was so bad it only ever aired ONCE, takes 17 pages of why everyone thought it would be the train wreck it was. Solo (the only movie to be considered a critical and financial failure) also took 1 page for reasons that are never stated. Even the Star Wars TV productions take 30 pages to cover, discussing Clone Wars, Revels and the streaming productions like The Mandalorian and including some that are not released yet. One of the best pieces I thought was the original story idea for Star Wars IX, the last film. The story idea that is outlined in the book feels like a much better ending to the Skywalker saga than Rise of Skywalker turned out to be. For me this was the highlight of the book. Also very good was the final chapter on the TV and Streaming series, and how Lucas weaves those plots into the backstories of the movies. Also a preview of Disney+ series to come. But this was far from "complete".

  15. 4 out of 5

    Karl Ikelman

    This book was given to me by a friend that won it from the St Martin's Press giveaway. My friend knows what a Star Wars geek I am, and so she thought I would appreciate being able to read and review it. Which I do. However, as extensive as the quotes that compromise this book are, there were very few "secrets" revealed. As a long time fan of Star Wars I already knew most of what this book had to offer, and I can't imagine that casual fans will want to read through the entire thing. I appreciated This book was given to me by a friend that won it from the St Martin's Press giveaway. My friend knows what a Star Wars geek I am, and so she thought I would appreciate being able to read and review it. Which I do. However, as extensive as the quotes that compromise this book are, there were very few "secrets" revealed. As a long time fan of Star Wars I already knew most of what this book had to offer, and I can't imagine that casual fans will want to read through the entire thing. I appreciated quotes from people that were actually involved in the creative process such as any directors, writers, producers and actors, especially Lucas himself. There's been so much discussion and debate about what the creators intended, or didn't intend, over the years that there's kind of two versions of the making of these stories out there. Having the creators expressly say what they intended could have cleared up much of that confusion. Especially when it comes to Return of the Jedi and the prequel trilogy I also appreciated that there was a section specifically about the notorious Holiday Special. The people who worked on it so earnestly believed they were creating something good, but in hindsight everyone talks about how terrible it was. And yes, it is terrible, but it has some nice family-friendly-1970s-TV-quality moments in it as well. It's more a Star Wars version of the Muppet Show then a TV version of Star Wars. And it's fitting that it has a place in this book. This book would have benefitted from more quotes from creators, especially about some of the newer films (How did the Holiday Special get a chapter, but "Rogue One" and "Solo" didn't?). The editors could have freed up a lot of space for more creator driven quotes by leaving out the extensive quotes from 'script consultant' Ray Morton and "pop culture commentator" Glen Oliver. Every time one of those two is quoted (which is A LOT, especially in Morton's case) they express an almost willful ignorance of what Lucas and the other creators intended. This book has so many quotes from Morton it could have been called "Ray Morton's opinion on why there are only two good Star Wars movies". Morton obviously has his own ideas about what makes a script work or not work, but he doesn't understand Lucas' storytelling style. The real secrets of Star Wars are in stories like, why did the initial directors for "Rogue One" "Solo" and "The Rise of Skywalker" get fired, and how did the new directors approach what they were given to work with? Only the section for "Rise of Skywalker" talks about this at all, and it's far too brief. It would have been good to hear from Ron Howard and Gareth Edwards and Colin Trevorrow, but no, instead we're given Ray Morton's break down of the sequel movies and no information on the stand alone stories. I can only assume that Ray Morton is good buddies with the editors of this book. I would've loved some insight from the current Star Wars story group on why they jettisoned the Expanded Universe stories just to continually take things from them. And I would've liked to see more from JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy as well as the story group on what they thought they got right and/or wrong on "The Rise of Skywalker". Star Wars started out as the vision of one man, George Lucas, and much like the characters in his films, he fought difficult odds to realize his vision. And also like the characters in his movies, he gathered teams of people who could appreciate what he was trying to do and could help him do it. The first six movies are basically independent films with big studio marketing. They are very much George Lucas's stories. Since Disney took over, the films became Big Studio films that lacked the independent vision. I assume it's because of this shift that there are so few usable quotes about the direction of the newer films. I'm glad that there is what feels like an epilogue section involving The Mandalorian and the animated series that Dave Filoni has been involved with. Filoni was Lucas's padawan, and he seems to have the best understanding of what makes Star Wars work (along with Jon Favreau). So I hope in the future Kathleen Kennedy and Luasfilm continue to involve Filoni as a creative consultant on any new projects.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Liz (Quirky Cat)

    Secrets of the Force is everything the title promises it to be: a complete, uncensored, unauthorized oral history of Star Wars. Written by Edward Goss and Mark A. Altman, this is a novel full to the brim with Star Wars details and history. This is a novel that delves into the making of the famous Star Wars films. It should go without saying, but if you don't like the franchise – you won't like this in-depth look at it. However, if you're a megafan, I feel like you will appreciate many of the det Secrets of the Force is everything the title promises it to be: a complete, uncensored, unauthorized oral history of Star Wars. Written by Edward Goss and Mark A. Altman, this is a novel full to the brim with Star Wars details and history. This is a novel that delves into the making of the famous Star Wars films. It should go without saying, but if you don't like the franchise – you won't like this in-depth look at it. However, if you're a megafan, I feel like you will appreciate many of the details that come up within these pages. Then again, if you're a megafan, you might already know a lot of what is going to be discussed here. There aren't a lot of secrets in this book – just perspectives and facts. They're still interesting, but it certainly evokes a different image. As a fan of the franchise (one who has seen the movies/shows, read the books/comics, and collected lots of merch), I was blown away by how thorough Secrets of the Force ended up being. There is a lot of information to sift through here. Think about it – this book is nearly 600 pages long, and it is all about Star Wars. That's a lot of information to include and even more to go through. It was such a delight to read! I can't recommend this enough to fans of the Star Wars franchise, regardless of your experience level. Thanks to St. Martin's Press and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own. Read more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dominic

    I've enjoyed Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman's series of books about the making of pop culture franchises. Their "Fifty-Year Mission" books about Star Trek are some of the most comprehensive about that franchise. Their style is to let the writers, actors, and crew tell their story by collecting interviews and ordering them in a way that makes the book feel like a narrative. It's an effective method that works for Star Wars as well. However, I've also read a lot of books about the making of the St I've enjoyed Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman's series of books about the making of pop culture franchises. Their "Fifty-Year Mission" books about Star Trek are some of the most comprehensive about that franchise. Their style is to let the writers, actors, and crew tell their story by collecting interviews and ordering them in a way that makes the book feel like a narrative. It's an effective method that works for Star Wars as well. However, I've also read a lot of books about the making of the Star Wars films, including Paul Duncan's The Star Wars Archives, Chris Taylor's How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise, J.W. Rinzler's The Making of Star Wars books, and The Secret History of Star Wars (Duncan and Rinzler take a similar approach in letting interviews tell the story). And, like those ones, "Secrets of the Force" focuses a bit too much on the Original Trilogy, which has already been covered extensively. Duncan's latest book covers the Prequel Trilogy in far greater depth than "Secrets of the Force" does. Longtime Star Wars fans will probably be looking for new revelations about the newer films, but unfortunately this book contains fewer than 100 pages about the Sequel Trilogy (and no chapters about Rogue One or Solo). "Secrets of the Force" is probably more accessible than Rinzler and Duncan's books, both of which get into extensive minutiae about the making of the films. That said, if you've read any of those books, I don't know how much more you'll get out of "Secrets of the Force."

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    A massively comprehensive and engulfing dive into the history of the nine Star Wars films (with a few detours for the Holiday Special and other tangentially-related projects, like The Mandalorian). Almost understandably, it's heavier on the front end (the original trilogy), as it's necessary to set the stage for how and why SW became the juggernaut it is, but fret not, as there's plenty of opinions and factoids on the back end to fill your time. If I recall, there was an adherence to a structure A massively comprehensive and engulfing dive into the history of the nine Star Wars films (with a few detours for the Holiday Special and other tangentially-related projects, like The Mandalorian). Almost understandably, it's heavier on the front end (the original trilogy), as it's necessary to set the stage for how and why SW became the juggernaut it is, but fret not, as there's plenty of opinions and factoids on the back end to fill your time. If I recall, there was an adherence to a structure in each chapter (concept, production, results, film reviews, score, etc.) that helped keep things in perspective. Such an arrangement helps when you're wading through arguably the biggest science fiction film property ever. There's anecdotes and factoids a-plenty to educate; incredible details and film analysis awaits to help you re-assess (for better or worse) pretty much anything SW-related since 1977. Some titles, like Solo and Rogue One, get a mere mention relative to the main nine films, and I wonder if that was just an editorial choice, or if some of that information just isn't readily accessible yet. The array of interviewees are impressive and wonderfully educational--legendary author Alan Dean Foster among them, who got to contribute more than just stories on how he got affiliated with the SW universe, which was a treat. I think it's a great and valuable purchase for any fan of the series. It places everything into context and blessedly aggregates a ton of information for your reading pleasure. Many thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the advance read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Richard Propes

    At nearly 600 pages, "Secrets of the Force: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Wars" is, it must be said, both exhaustive and exhausting in its comprehensive and thorough exploration of the history of Star Wars. Co-written by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, authors of "The Fifty-Year Mission," "Secrets of the Force" journeys its way through the entire history of the franchise from the very beginning and including the most recent efforts. It needs to be said that "Secret At nearly 600 pages, "Secrets of the Force: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Wars" is, it must be said, both exhaustive and exhausting in its comprehensive and thorough exploration of the history of Star Wars. Co-written by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, authors of "The Fifty-Year Mission," "Secrets of the Force" journeys its way through the entire history of the franchise from the very beginning and including the most recent efforts. It needs to be said that "Secrets of the Force" is truly most ideal for the true Star Wars nerd who has seen every single film, preferably more than once, along with all of the television incarnations including, yes, the godawful holiday special. For those who aren't as familiar with "Star Wars," "Secrets of the Force" may be a struggling read as so in-depth is this journey that at times it can be downright dizzying. I've certainly seen all of the films, I'm a film critic, but I'm somewhat less familiar with the television incarnations and, quite honestly, I'm not nearly as obsessive as it helps to be to truly appreciate this film. In some ways, "Secrets of the Force" has a bit of a weird framework. While the chapters are largely written in order, I think there's little denying that the farther we get into the Star Wars universe the more rapid the pace and the less precise the detail. The last trilogy, for example, almost seem to be glossed over when compared to George Lucas's first three films (that would come to be known as the second trilogy). Gross and Altman utilize their familiar oral history format while incorporating commentaries from hundreds of actors, filmmakers, tech professionals, writers, and others in telling the story. The book is truly uncensored, both overwhelmingly flattering and often hyper-critical depending upon the voice at the time. Noted as unauthorized, the film still includes commentaries from Lucas himself and many others from throughout the history of the franchise. It would be an injustice to go in-depth into the book itself. Of course, it would also be nearly impossible to do so with the oral history format giving the book a feeling of an on-stage dialogue rather than an actual book much of the time. At times, these commentaries are engaging and insightful and revealing. Other times, they are almost stunningly mundane. Truthfully, I struggled at times with "Secrets of the Force." It's a long book and it FEELS like a long book. While I'm ordinarily a rather quick reader, I struggled to immerse myself in this book and struggled to commit to it for any length of time. It was, quite honestly, a book I could easily put down yet still enjoyed when I returned. For those who truly love the Star Wars universe, however, it's hard to imagine a more enjoyable reading experience from faces familiar and unfamiliar. This is the first and only truly comprehensive oral history of the entire Star Wars franchise and it requires a remarkable level of commitment and surrender just as that offered by those who've followed the franchise for over 40 years and yet eagerly anticipate more. "Secrets of the Force" will most certainly not resonate with everyone, however, for the full-on and completely engaged Star Wars fan this will definitely be a book you'll want to add to your collection.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mike Kennedy

    Excellent look into the forty plus years of the Star Wars saga. The book was well laid out with most of the content coming from interviews from the people involved or critics who are well versed on Star Wars. This included quotes from Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and especially George Lucas. The authors interjected at times to give background on what the interviewers are talking about. They transition in and out seamlessly, and I found it was very easy to follow as I read. I found that the outsid Excellent look into the forty plus years of the Star Wars saga. The book was well laid out with most of the content coming from interviews from the people involved or critics who are well versed on Star Wars. This included quotes from Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and especially George Lucas. The authors interjected at times to give background on what the interviewers are talking about. They transition in and out seamlessly, and I found it was very easy to follow as I read. I found that the outsiders who were interviewed, ie the critics, had a good range of thoughts on the movies. Some liked certain trilogies over others, and together they provided a broad view of how all three trilogies are viewed. Overall I really enjoyed the access this book gave you into what happened behind the scenes and the changes that happened with the script. That being said there were a couple things that made me rate this a four star versus a five star. The book tended to focus heavily on the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy (they make up about 80% of the book). I wish more time was spend on the movies and tv shows outside of that, especially Rogue One and Solo which were mentioned, but never examined in depth. The other part was the inside movie making that I personally found boring. There was a lot of information about cameras and processes used to create the films. I realize that to some people this might raise the overall rating of this book, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Overall this is a must read for Star Wars fans as it give a lot of good information about the films and tv shows. If you are really into moving making I think you might also take a lot of out this book. Thanks you to @NetGalley and @StMartinsPress for an advance copy of this book for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    This Could Go on Forever Secrets of the Force reads like a documentary, cutting between passages written or spoken by various creators, actors, and enthusiasts. It becomes a bit of a hodgepodge in places, filled with glowing reviews or historical chatter rather than strait Star Wars facts. The bases being that Star Wars has revolutionized the popularity of the movie industry and sci-fi as a genre. Even though Star Trek, and other such sci-fi franchises, are often mentioned as well. With plenty of This Could Go on Forever Secrets of the Force reads like a documentary, cutting between passages written or spoken by various creators, actors, and enthusiasts. It becomes a bit of a hodgepodge in places, filled with glowing reviews or historical chatter rather than strait Star Wars facts. The bases being that Star Wars has revolutionized the popularity of the movie industry and sci-fi as a genre. Even though Star Trek, and other such sci-fi franchises, are often mentioned as well. With plenty of discourse on how creators view the film industry, and speculation on why films become successful. Each quoted individual gives an honest view of what they believe is important about Star Wars, and its importance in their lives. Not always glowing either. Such comments as new blockbuster movies, like Star Wars, destroyed any further innovation. It just shows that many people can live through one event, and come out with a different point of views. Also, be prepared to read meandering antidotes about George Lucas that are unrelated to Star Wars, and a lot of repetition. This is certainly a book for a nostalgic look at Star Wars, despite the references to upcoming Star Wars movies and shows. An interesting book for more serious Star Wars fans and film enthusiasts.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    My thanks to both NetGalley and the publisher St. Martin's Press for an advanced copy of this new cinematic oral history. I was 7 years old when I first saw the movie Star Wars on Father's Day with my Dad and younger brother. I collected Kenner proof of purchases to order two Boba Fetts that arrived in nondescript boxes that looked like small coffins, upset that the rocket on the back didn't fire like I imagined it should have. I'll admit to sleeping in Star Wars in grade school. I've loved Star My thanks to both NetGalley and the publisher St. Martin's Press for an advanced copy of this new cinematic oral history. I was 7 years old when I first saw the movie Star Wars on Father's Day with my Dad and younger brother. I collected Kenner proof of purchases to order two Boba Fetts that arrived in nondescript boxes that looked like small coffins, upset that the rocket on the back didn't fire like I imagined it should have. I'll admit to sleeping in Star Wars in grade school. I've loved Star Wars through feast and famine, well with exceptions, for most of my life. That's why I loved this book so much. Secrets of the Force: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Wars by two film guys I've read for years, Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, is almost at 600 pages one of the most comprehensive oral histories I've read on any subject in a long time. Yes the original trilogy does get a lot of mention in the book, but time allows people to be a little more honest about things, things that were good and bad. Also the Mouse casts a very large shadow, so I feel that is why the Disney trilogy seems a tad brief. The is information of course on the movies, some on the comics, little on the Ewoks TV shows, but a lot on the holiday special, which was a treat. The cartoons are included, which I found fascinating as I didn't know much about their creation or shows that did not make it to screen. The format is very readable, the characters are all introduced numerous times, as the cast of those interviewed is a lot. The amount of kissing up is astonishing in some places, but it is a Hollywood story, so that kind of makes sense. As a long, long time fan I really enjoyed this book. Casual fans might bog down in the beginning chapters with the information about 1970's film history, and George Lucas' early works, but this book is a very illuminating history on a film series that has meant quite a lot to millions of people.

  23. 4 out of 5

    David Meyer

    This was very thorough, leading to it being a fairly long read. There was a lot I didn't know about the creation of the initial concept, as well as the marketing techniques used to create a buzz for the movie before it was every out in theaters. The history of how studios made sequels and what the expectation were, and how Star Wars attempted to change that was fascinating. The book went over so many things, including but not limited to the movies, books, television series, casting, music, merch This was very thorough, leading to it being a fairly long read. There was a lot I didn't know about the creation of the initial concept, as well as the marketing techniques used to create a buzz for the movie before it was every out in theaters. The history of how studios made sequels and what the expectation were, and how Star Wars attempted to change that was fascinating. The book went over so many things, including but not limited to the movies, books, television series, casting, music, merchandising, contracts, and audience and critics reception of all of the above. They even took time to delve into the holiday special and other iterations, such as radio adaptations. It was interesting to get tidbits like who involved hold certain grudges to this day and why. There is a variety of people sounding off with their thoughts and opinions from actors, producers, and writers, to basically just big nerds who are described as either being the host of a podcast or having been the leader of the Star Wars fan club. Even some of these less insider stories were still sometimes amusing, such as one man going on a tirade about the existence of midi-chlorians before revealing his wife finally told him he has to stop bitching about it because she doesn't want to hear it anymore. Even Lucas went on a rant trying to defend the biology, though his science sometimes seemed a bit off. Overall, there is a lot of information to digest, and as long as you are okay with hearing the opinions of many people along with facts about the franchise, I would recommend this for any fan.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Scott Martin

    (Audiobook) Hard to give this one a grade in that I don’t know if the audiobook version I had was complete or not. Still, it offered some new insights into things I didn’t know, from Peter Cushing’s deal about using lavender water and brushing teeth before any scene shooting, thus rendering Leia’s line about Tarkin’s foul stench moot. I also didn’t know about Ewan MacGregor being related to the actor who played Wedge in the original trilogy. Perhaps I am late to that party, but I found it inform (Audiobook) Hard to give this one a grade in that I don’t know if the audiobook version I had was complete or not. Still, it offered some new insights into things I didn’t know, from Peter Cushing’s deal about using lavender water and brushing teeth before any scene shooting, thus rendering Leia’s line about Tarkin’s foul stench moot. I also didn’t know about Ewan MacGregor being related to the actor who played Wedge in the original trilogy. Perhaps I am late to that party, but I found it informative. However, there was a sense that the book was incomplete, as my version/file stopped with Attack of the Clones, thus not even addressing Revenge of the Sith. There was also no apparent conclusion. Again, could just be the file I got. At least it is not a worshipful hagiography of George Lucas, which some Star Wars works tend to be. The description of the infamous Star Wars Christmas special was quite humorous, much like the trainwreck of the show it became. I enjoyed the discussion of the books/video games/material that came to light in the years between Jedi and Phantom Menace. Perhaps there is a follow-on that will address from the end of Attack of the Clones to the Mandalorian. Until then, or until I get a better sense of the full scope of the book/didn’t miss out on anything, the grade is incomplete.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Fraser Kinnear

    History of the franchise spanning through 2020. What surprised me most was a contrarian stance the authors take to defend Episodes 1-3. By their line of reasoning, Lucas recast the Jedi as more morally ambiguous. They operated out of a tower, separated children at youth from their families to train them into their order, were deeply embroiled in political intrigue, and frequently accepted violence as a solution to their problems (e.g., Mace Windu asking Anakin to kill Palpatine). The authors not History of the franchise spanning through 2020. What surprised me most was a contrarian stance the authors take to defend Episodes 1-3. By their line of reasoning, Lucas recast the Jedi as more morally ambiguous. They operated out of a tower, separated children at youth from their families to train them into their order, were deeply embroiled in political intrigue, and frequently accepted violence as a solution to their problems (e.g., Mace Windu asking Anakin to kill Palpatine). The authors note that, in these episodes, “the Sith always tell the truth while the Jedi always lie”, a truism that seemed to even date back to Yoda and Ben avoiding giving Luke the unvarnished truth. Even the mitichlorians (sp?) idea, very unpopular with fans, could be read as the Jedi becoming too systematizing / scientific about what was more appropriately a spiritual matter, and a further indication that the Jedi of the first trilogy had lost their way. Lucas also apparently drew inspiration from the Patriot Act & Cheney for the Palpatine of these episodes. Oh, and Christopher Lee has an incredible life story, and I must find a biography.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Diane Hernandez

    Secrets of the Force contains a multitude of material about the creation of the first six films in the Star Wars universe. There is lesser information about the films made without George Lucas. Quotes from movie insiders including George and some of the actors do release some secrets. At over 500 pages, it is a lot of information and rather overwhelming. Some of the quotes are repetitive though they may have been sourced to confirm the original speaker’s memory. It would be more effective to add Secrets of the Force contains a multitude of material about the creation of the first six films in the Star Wars universe. There is lesser information about the films made without George Lucas. Quotes from movie insiders including George and some of the actors do release some secrets. At over 500 pages, it is a lot of information and rather overwhelming. Some of the quotes are repetitive though they may have been sourced to confirm the original speaker’s memory. It would be more effective to add them to footnotes or endnotes so reading them are optional. This book is definitely written by Star Wars fans for Star Wars fans. The authors seldom write anything critical of the series. If you have a diehard Star Wars fan in your circle, however, Secrets of the Force is the perfect gift. It would also be fascinating for anyone thinking of making a film. 4 stars! Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mari

    Imagine getting to the end of your audio-book, and it actually ending in the middle of a sentence .... Yeah, library borrow, that did not work out. But the book itself actually grew on me. At first I thought I was not going to make it through - because I would stop listening, not because the book ended on me - but I actually started to enjoy the different voices and viewpoints. This book does not take either the 'George Lucas is a god of film!' or the 'it's all crap!' philosophies -- it does off Imagine getting to the end of your audio-book, and it actually ending in the middle of a sentence .... Yeah, library borrow, that did not work out. But the book itself actually grew on me. At first I thought I was not going to make it through - because I would stop listening, not because the book ended on me - but I actually started to enjoy the different voices and viewpoints. This book does not take either the 'George Lucas is a god of film!' or the 'it's all crap!' philosophies -- it does offer voices who do take those positions, but does not judge the people giving those opinions. It really starts to get funny around the 'origin trilogy' stage ... where the opinions get really strong! I may try to find the full audiobook again at sometime in the future to hear more of them ...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cody

    The authors of this book basically think there hasn’t been a good Star Wars movie since The Empire Strikes Back. Rogue One and Solo do get some light praise, but this exhaustive book turns exhausting presenting an endless parade of people talking about why Return of the Jedi is bad, why the Special Editions are bad, why The Phantom Menace is bad, why Attack of the Clones is bad, why Revenge of the Sith is bad, why The Force Awakens is bad, why The Last Jedi is bad and why The Rise of Skywalker i The authors of this book basically think there hasn’t been a good Star Wars movie since The Empire Strikes Back. Rogue One and Solo do get some light praise, but this exhaustive book turns exhausting presenting an endless parade of people talking about why Return of the Jedi is bad, why the Special Editions are bad, why The Phantom Menace is bad, why Attack of the Clones is bad, why Revenge of the Sith is bad, why The Force Awakens is bad, why The Last Jedi is bad and why The Rise of Skywalker is bad (see how tiring that is already?). Much of the behind-the-scenes insight is fascinating, but I have to wonder why these authors chose to spend so much time writing this if they dislike so much of the Star Wars material out there.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ayce

    I'm very much a casual Star Wars fan. The movies are good, but I haven't branched much outside of them, nor do I know every detail of everything in the universe or outside of it. This felt like a great place to start with learning more about Stars Wars, the movie, characters, crew, cast, etc.. It was nice to have glimpses into the moments that have been a part of my life since childhood. I'm not sure how more well-versed Star Wars fans would rate this, but I gave it a 4/5 as I found it interesti I'm very much a casual Star Wars fan. The movies are good, but I haven't branched much outside of them, nor do I know every detail of everything in the universe or outside of it. This felt like a great place to start with learning more about Stars Wars, the movie, characters, crew, cast, etc.. It was nice to have glimpses into the moments that have been a part of my life since childhood. I'm not sure how more well-versed Star Wars fans would rate this, but I gave it a 4/5 as I found it interesting, educational, and makes me want to dive deeper into the universe.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kieran McAndrew

    The making of 'Star Wars' and its various prequels and sequels provides an endlessly fascinating series of anecdotes from the numerous people involved. Gross and Altman's editing makes this series of interview snippets and soundbites work seamlessly and form a cohesive and interesting whole. Their series of '...Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of ...' books are wonderful for anyone with an interest in the subject being covered. The making of 'Star Wars' and its various prequels and sequels provides an endlessly fascinating series of anecdotes from the numerous people involved. Gross and Altman's editing makes this series of interview snippets and soundbites work seamlessly and form a cohesive and interesting whole. Their series of '...Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of ...' books are wonderful for anyone with an interest in the subject being covered.

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