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Publisher's Summary

The definitive biography of one of the most influential filmmakers ever - George Lucas.

On May 25, 1977, a problem-plagued, budget-straining, independent science-fiction film opened in a mere 32 American movie theatres. Conceived, written, and directed by a little-known filmmaker named George Lucas, Star Wars reinvented the cinematic landscape, ushering in a new way for movies to be made, marketed, and merchandised. And if that wasn't game changing enough, Lucas went on to create another blockbuster series with Indiana Jones and completely revolutionized the world of special effects, not to mention sound systems. His work and legacy have led to a rash of innovation and democratization in film and television.

Simply put, George Lucas is one of the most influential filmmakers of the past 50 years. He is an icon, and his fans will be eager to listen to a biography as impressive as his achievements - especially in the midst of J. J. Abrams' reboot of the Star Wars franchise.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2016 Brian Jay Jones (P)2016 Hachette Audio

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A Must for Film and Star Wars Fans

Great biography that focus primarily on the Star Wars film making years but touches on Lucas' childhood, other films and impact on film making and the theatre going experience. Jay Snyder was a solid choice for narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The Force Is with This One

I felt confident the George Lucas biography was in good hands when I heard Brian Jay Jones was writing it. Jones wrote the enormously readable biography of Jim Henson, also on Audible.

This compelling book looks at the director's life and career, from student films at USC. to Lucas's difficult decision to sell the Star Wars franchise to Disney in 2012 and the release of The Force Awakens in 2015.

Jones begins his biography in Tunisia in 1976. Lucas, fresh off the unexpected success of his small-budget film American Graffiti, is bogged down in the desert shoot for his space opera Star Wars. Nothing's going right. The R2-D2 units keep breaking down. And English actor Anthony Daniels is a mess of bruises and cuts from wearing the unwieldy C-3PO costume. Rain keeps falling. Will Star Wars be the biggest flop of the director's career?

Jones then takes us back to the beginning. We meet young Lucas, the son of a small-town stationer in Northern California. His dad was a hard-to-please father, and Lucas was a rebel who found his cause at USC film school.

I have to admit I was impatient to get to the Star Wars chapters. But there is a lot of good story ahead of that: Lucas meeting Francis Ford Coppola and meeting the brilliant film editor (and his first wife) Marcia Griffin, the filming of THX and American Graffiti.

Star Wars and Indiana Jones fanatics may be disappointed that more pages aren't devoted to their fave sagas. But this is a biography of a life, and so the author only gives broad outlines with some detailed moments for each film.

This is an unauthorized biography, but you don't feel it. Jones did his research. There are so many quotes from Lucas and other principals, culled from secondary sources, that you believe Jones sat down and had nice long chats.

I was engaged throughout. Lucas came off as a quiet, sometimes remote, but all the same engaging character who had a genius for attracting the best people and for innovating the look, sound and making of films.

The narration is perfectly low-key. Just a really good narration that keeps the listener involved in the story line.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Wonderfully written and narrated.

It gives a wonderful and honest insight into who Lucas really was and why he made the choices he did over the years. It also shows how much he contributed to film over the years. But most of all it shows how much he did his own thing and worked hard to be independent of the Hollywood system and how that effected him over the years. For better or sometimes for worse.

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Before the next SW movie comes out

Great read before the next Star Wars Movie comes out next month. Brian J Jones offers an detailed account of George Lucas' creative life with a little personal mixed in. WoW this man has been busy. You have to read this book to grasp the scope of Lucas and his contribution to the movies and film tech. GREAT READ !!!!

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The General in his Labyrinth

Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez said his stories are about the loneliness of power. I can see a little bit of that in George Lucas. Fairly or not, the way he's portrayed in this biography, the man who started out making intriguing art films with a limited audience somehow got lost in his own massive success. Star Wars made him a multibillionaire. As Lucas became increasingly savvy in the technical and business aspects of filmmaking, his work appears to have lost some of its soul. The Star Wars prequels, dazzling as they are, are the classic example. The book convincingly describes him as a creative genius and a pioneer, the rare filmmaker who's managed to gain complete artistic control of his movies. Author Brian Jay Jones applauds his triumphs. And yet, there's a lingering sense of tragedy in the background. Even Francis Ford Coppola wonders out loud what kind of films his close friend would have made, had he not become possessed by the Star Wars franchise. I couldn't help associating Lucas with the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, someone transformed into a man-machine, looking for a heart. Or perhaps even Darth Vader...

Part of the reason why I chose this audiobook is because I enjoyed the author's biography of Jim Henson. Henson, the creator of Sesame Street and The Muppets, also built himself an empire based on entertainment, toys and other merchandise. (He collaborated with Lucas on the Yoda puppet and the film Labyrinth.) Yet, the Henson biography shows a more human side to the entrepreneur. 'George Lucas: A Life' feels colder and is somewhat more focused on the business aspect of the filmmaker's life. It's a very interesting subject, but I have to admit that three quarters of the way into the book, I began to look forward to its ending. Over all, the writing's pretty decent, although I did sense a bit of laziness or carelessness here and there. For example, the phrase 'an offer that he couldn't refuse' is used too many times... Still, I'm very glad that I listened to this audiobook and I recommend it to anyone interested in this bigger-than-life figure who changed cinema and provided the world with one of the most powerful modern mythologies.

Jay Snyder's narration is very clear and professional, if slightly bland and impersonal. It feels a little like a long movie trailer, but maybe that's appropriate in this case. I'm partial to a warmer reading style, but it's probably a matter of taste.

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I loved it.

I really enjoyed listening to this amazing story of a guy who just wanted to make movies. I liked everything about this book. There is one thing that I wanted more; more behind the scenes of the movies Lucas has made. That's really the only thing that I did not like. The rest of the book was inspiring and excellent to hear. I wanna read it again!

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Absolutely incredible

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, the narrator is incredible, the story is intriguing, and even though it's 18 hours long, I will listen to this again.

What did you like best about this story?

Even though I knew most of this history, it was told in such a way that it was like I was actually there living this. It felt like my own memories it was told so well.

What does Jay Snyder bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narrator told the story in such a way that it was like a conversation. I felt like I was just sitting, having coffee with a friend. I listened to this on long trips and it never felt boring.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I knew I couldn't. It is 18 hours long. I wish I could, but knew I couldn't.

Any additional comments?

There is nothing more to say than to get this book, especially the audiobook version. If you know the history or not, a fan or not, love movies or not, this was one of the best books I've listened to this year. I had it on in the car with friends and was so into I forgot to turn it off when they got in. It wasn't until we arrived at our destination and I turned the car off that I realized it was still on when everyone in the car got upset because they wanted to know what happened next.

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Easy listen. interesting. great narration.

buying the other book by the author immediately as i enjoyed this one very much and i am also interested in the Jim Henson story.

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Great insight into a creative genius

A well-paced, well-written tome that delves into the make-up of the quirky genius behind Star Wars. Very interesting is his friendships and working relationships with the likes os Spielberg and Coppola.

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Understanding the mind of a genius

This is a fantastic, in-depth, look at a man who has not been fully recognized for his genius in the film industry. A must read for any Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and digital movie experience fan!