"How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise" (Basic Books), by Chris Taylor
Chris Taylor, deputy editor of the social media website Mashable, lets his geekdom shine with "How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise."
Taylor tries to accomplish several things: He examines how the "Star Wars" franchise successfully invaded popular culture, and he uses examples of how the films have influenced people's lives.
One example is the story of Albin Johnson. He was told he wouldn't walk again after a car accident. He became depressed after a series of operations, including the amputation of a foot, but a friend helped him with various distractions. They discussed their mutual love of "Star Wars" and built stormtrooper outfits. Over time, others with a similar passion joined them. Today the group is called the 501st Legion. They have worked with George Lucas and are considered the only legitimate stormtroopers when it comes to conventions and appearances in full regalia.
Taylor also delivers a biography of Lucas, who fought for years to bring his vision to the screen.
He explores the making of the first film in detail, covering studio battles, numerous drafts and the actors who signed onto the project but thought they were making a bad movie. However, from the moment "Star Wars" opened on just a few screens, lines at ticket windows began forming around the block.
Taylor's research is staggering, and even fans who believe they know all there is to know about the film franchise will find much to learn — and savor.