Book Review: A Brief Guide to Star Wars / Author: Brian J. Robb / Publisher: Robinson / Release Date: Out Now
It all started in a way that so many writers will sympathise with – the trouble of staring at a blank page hoping that by some divine magic, the words will appear and form something beautiful. And over a period of time in the early 1970s, they did, and Star Wars was born.
A Brief Guide To Star Wars tells this story and so many more, thanks to Brian J. Robb’s years of experience as a journalist for and editor of Star Wars Insider. It takes you from Lucas’ challenging high school and college years all the way to his current projects, the future and exhaustively discusses everything in between.
We think it would be fair to say that biographies have a reputation for being a bit too favourable towards the author and dedicated to portraying them in a positive light. Fortunately, the book’s unofficial status allows it to bypass that and while it never tears into Lucas in the way that fans might like to see it tear into him (for instance, over the Special Editions/Han Shot First controversy or the atrocious dialogue of the prequel trilogy), it’s not afraid to remind us that he’s not perfect. It also reminds us how film-making is such a collaborative pursuit, so to credit one man for Star Wars is ultimately futile.
Not content with telling us how Lucas started the trilogy and shepherded it along to its conclusion (of sorts) in 2005, Robb also brings us a host of information that was certainly new to us! For instance, while it is a matter of public record that Lucas divorced his first wife around the time of the completion of the original saga, this reviewer had never quite found out why until now. And some of you might not have been aware that the cartoon that officially introduced Boba Fett to Star Wars is available as an extra on the recently released Star Wars Blu-ray set as an Easter egg.
What we were afraid of with this book was that it would just cover the same ground that was covered in the same old “Making Of” books. While we can’t guarantee that you won’t already know everything in this book (we don’t have direct access to your accumulated knowledge, after all), we’re certain that if you’re a casual fan, you’ll take your first step into a larger world. May the Force be with you.