The Star Wars Archives

The Star Wars Archives 1977—1983 by Paul Duncan. Taschen 40th Anniversary Edition. Hardcover. 512 pages. $25

Taschen is an art book publisher founded in 1980 by Benedikt Taschen in Cologne, Germany. As of January 2017, Taschen is co-managed by Benedikt and his eldest daughter, Marlene Taschen.

This year the world renowned publisher celebrates 40 years of printing a library’s worth of art collections that span popular culture.

In The Star Wars book the original trilogy of films is deftly explored. Anything you ever wanted to know regarding the conception and production of these now classic titles are here. Despite the hefty page count the size is quite portable.

Within each section there are well over a hundred color and b&w photos. Storyboards, models, miniatures, sets, blueprints, and artists are exhibited.

This volume is like holding the best Star Wars museum in your hands. George Lucas tells his story from modest beginnings to become the creator of one of the most treasured brands in the world.

So this partnership with Taschen matches two of the great brands with spectacular results.

Turning each glossy page you get so much fascinating insights into the process of making films at the highest level.

I will reveal just a single bit I loved discovering here for the first time. The rest you can find for yourself.

The cost of Episode V The Empire Strikes Back was so great that if it had failed there would be no future for Lucasfilm nor the special effects company Industrial Light & Magic! Every dime from the first film went into making.

The details of this book are impressive. Casting decisions, the construction of sets on location and sound stages, conceptual art, and costume designs are examined.

You will come away with a complete understanding of the level of expertise required to make feature films. I think even lay people will appreciate perhaps for the first time that our greatest achievements do not just happen.

There are a vast group of dedicated artisans that make a potential audience think the results are effortless. In the case of Star Wars they made us all feel like we really did travel to a galaxy far, far, away in a time long ago.

Congratulations to the artisans at Taschen for producing such fine works. Here’s to your next 40 years!

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