|The Radio Dramatizations: A
The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi by Brian Daley
I heard the first of these when I was a kid, and I found it fascinating how the story in the movie was expanded in all sorts of directions. There are so many scenes (particularly in Episode IV) that are created to fill in necessary gaps where the movie was forced to move on with the story. It's like a huge collection of delete scenes that flesh out the drama. The adaptations of second and third films are more literal and don't stray as much, but it was worth reading (or listening to) just for the first one.
The Making of Episode I: The Phantom Menace by Laurent Bouzereau and Jody Duncan
The Making of Episode II: Attack of the Clones by Jody Duncan
The Making of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith by Jonathan Rinzler
So much work goes into these movies on so many levels, but these books do a great job of sifting through the chaos and telling the stories of how things came together. It is really interesting material if you're into any of the crafts behind movie-making, especially considering the direction things are heading... which Lucas always seems to be at the front of.
Empire Building: The Remarkable Real-Life Story of Star Wars by Garry Jenkins
The background behind Lucas' struggle to get the first Star Wars movie made and the real empire that would follow from his hard-fought success is an epic saga unto itself. This isn't a book about hero-worship. It's a great story worth reading about.
The Annotated Screenplays by Laurent Bouzereau
This is almost a "Which-Way" or "Chose Your Own Adventure" book that explores the inspirations behind the screenplays of the original trilogy and some of the abandoned alternate paths they might have taken. It is fascinating to consider which directions the saga might have explored had only minor alterations of the story been pursued.
|The Art of Star Wars
The Art of The Empire Strikes Back
The Art of Return of the Jedi
The Art of The Phantom Menace
The Art of Attack of the Clones
The Art of Revenge of the Sith
These books are fascinating studies of the creative process. As with the Annotated Screenplays, these collections of conceptual sketches and paintings hint at some of the alternate paths that would have led to very different movies than ultimately ended up on the big screen, and so they are opportunities for exercises in imagination for those who enjoy considering possibilities.
The Star Wars Archives: Props, Costumes, Models and Artworks from Star Wars by Mark Cotta Vaz and Shinji Hata
You will never get as great a group of close-up shots of the physical realm of Star Wars from screen captures as you do from this book. This is an excellent resource for anyone who enjoys building props or costumes, especially from scratch.
Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace, The Visual Dictionary by David West Reynolds
Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, The Visual Dictionary by David West Reynolds
Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, The Visual Dictionary by David West Reynolds
As with the text above, these books are amazing visual references of the physical elements that went into constructing the fantasies of the films. Additionally, the text is highly imaginative speculation authored by a qualified expert on the anthropological significance of these items in a cultural context.
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