George Lucas: A Life

Little, Brown. Dec. 2016. 576p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780316257442. $32; ebk. ISBN 9780316257459. FILM
The life and work of the visionary filmmaker and mogul is explored in this unauthorized biography by Jones (Jim Henson), who not only follows George Lucas's successes and missteps as a director, writer, and producer, but also investigates his acumen as a businessman who rebelled against the Hollywood system and forever changed the way films are produced, distributed, and experienced. Jones finds in Lucas's early life themes that would shape his future, including a need for creative independence and a teenage enthusiasm for design and drag racing that would inspire works as diverse as American Graffiti and Star Wars. The tone is admiring but evenhanded: Lucas's innovation, philanthropic interests, and loyalty to friends are emphasized, but so is his need to assert total control over projects, which sometimes affected his personal and professional relationships. Well researched and comprehensive—Lucas's 2012 sale of Lucasfilm to Disney and the release of The Force Awakens are both covered—the biography gives fans a chance to understand the man behind so many magical movie moments.
VERDICT Highly recommended for readers of modern biographies, film enthusiasts, and Star Wars aficionados. [See Prepub Alert, 6/6/16.]

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