Clik here to Download this book: PDF The Secret History of Star Wars Michael Kaminski Ebook Download. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Michael Kaminski lives and works in Toronto as a camera technician in the film and television industry. A graduate of. Michael Kaminski, The Secret History of Star Wars: The Art of Storytelling and the. Making of a Modern Epic (Kingston, Ontario: Legacy Books Press, ).
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The history of Star Wars is one fractured and broken, disconnected and Secret History of Star Wars, just in time to celebrate the thirtieth. The Secret History of Star Wars: The Art of Storytelling and the Making of a Modern . book, to demonstrate that the fractured history of Star Wars has remained. TEFL courses in person and tutored those taking distance your lesson plan so that they can talk to you Putting Your Le The Secret History Of The World.
In fact, the concepts of the Force and the Jedi were very different than what we now know them as. Today we know Vader as the Emperor's right hand man. Utilizing interviews, articles, books, quotes and common sense Kaminski has put together a very organized and accurate accounting of the legacy of Star Wars. The central thesis of the book is that the convenient marketing line that was fed to fans in the time after the release of "Return of the Jedi" and especially during the release of the prequels - that George Lucas had all 6 or 9, or 12 in some versions parts of the Star Wars saga figured out - was just not true. The book whipsaws between fascinating and boring as Kaminski is as detailed as if this were his PhD thesis paper. To sum up, I really recommend this book to anybody who wants to know the "behind the scenes" of the saga. A New Hope" etc etc.
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The Force Awakens Episode V: The Last Jedi Mar 07, Curtis rated it liked it Recommends it for: Star Wars aficionados with a high threshold for repetitive redundancies.
Recommended to Curtis by: Amy Sturgis. A longer version of this review appears on Steemit. Lewis once wrote that "you must not believe all that authors tell you about how they wrote their books" "It All Began with a Picture" in Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories.
To give props where they are due, Kaminski clearly did his homework. His cit Note: His citations are copious, and he clearly spent a lot of time working through the various sources to which he had access in an attempt to create a narrative surrounding the development of the Star Wars franchise. From commonly known sources, such as J. Rinzler 's The Making of Star Wars and Dale Pollock 's Skywalking , to much more esoteric fare such as long-forgotten interviews and even commentaries from the laserdisc, Kaminski has sifted through a lot of material to make his case.
Which is a big part of the problem. Kaminski's overall goal with this book is to show that George Lucas did not have the complete Star Wars saga written out before he created the original film, as the director sometimes claimed, both publicly and privately. To achieve this goal, Kaminski takes the approach of gathering everything he can find, tacking it up on a wall like an erstwhile detective trying to find a serial killer even though he's been kicked off the force, and then gesturing madly to anyone who happens to stumble upon his obsession while yelling, "See!?
But so what? As Kaminski shows, Star Wars has been retconned over and over, so why should it be surprising that Lucas retconned the story of its creation as well? Furthermore, why does that matter? The story of the Star Wars saga's creation is interesting, but the story of its creator's beliefs about that creation is less interesting. Kaminski tries to do double duty by showing the "real" history of how Star Wars is created, and then proving that it differs from some but not all of Lucas's statements about that story.
In attempting to serve two masters, Kaminski's work becomes less convincing, not the less so because in some parts of the book he seems to forget one or the other purpose altogether. Had he simply stuck to a sort of biography of Star Wars rather than trying to convince readers that George Lucas is a liar he would have produced a much better and shorter book.
In addition to the argumentative problems of the book, it is rife with technical errors: Smith does not include references on pp. In addition, there are plenty of instances where Kaminski simply exhibits poor writing habits.
For example, there are about 50 "most important moments" in the various Star Wars movies. Likewise, nearly every science fiction author he cites as an influence on Lucas is "one of the most important" in all of science fiction history. Kaminski apparently misunderstands what a superlative actually is, and it quickly becomes difficult to understand what he believes are truly seminal moments, influences, etc.
He seems unable to realize that things can be influential without overstating their importance. My biggest gripe with Kaminski's work, however, is that even as he makes his argument about Lucas's inconsistent portrayal of the development of the Star Wars films, he fails to see how Lucas himself offers an explanation for that very inconsistency. As a film student, Lucas started out making abstract films, focusing on images rather than dialogue which he has long been criticized as a weak point of his or even story.
As in C. Lewis's "It All Began with a Picture," so it was with Lucas — and for Lucas, it never stopped being about the picture. As the picture shifted from one film to three films to six, and at times potentially more, so did his description of it. Yes, the things Lucas said about how many scripts he had written or how many pages he had drafted were false in a number of cases. But none of that was ever the point for him. Anyway, as I said above, Kaminski should be given credit for the extent of his research.
The book is repetitive and too long by half or more , but it is nonetheless something that any serious Star Wars scholar should tackle at some point. If nothing else, the bibliography at the end is a good place to check for sources you might not have known about before. Dec 17, Ryan Parker rated it liked it. Took me quite a while to get through this one!
If you are looking for an exhaustive history of the way the first six Star Wars films came together, you've come to the right place. This gets all the way into the details of the various script drafts and what changed from one to the next. There was a lot of repeated content and this could have benefited from some additional editing.
The author at times seems oddly determined to prove that many statements George Lucas made over the years don't match Took me quite a while to get through this one! The author at times seems oddly determined to prove that many statements George Lucas made over the years don't match up to the reality of how things went down. Many times I felt like shouting out loud, "who cares, just move on with the details! Just finished this book and I thought it was a very insightful one; must reading for people like me that have grown up with Star Wars and are unabashed fans.
Hell, I even liked parts of "Attack of the Clones"! The central thesis of the book is that the convenient marketing line that was fed to fans in the time after the release of "Return of the Jedi" and especially during the release of the prequels - that George Lucas had all 6 or 9, or 12 in some versions parts of the Star Wars saga figured Just finished this book and I thought it was a very insightful one; must reading for people like me that have grown up with Star Wars and are unabashed fans.
The central thesis of the book is that the convenient marketing line that was fed to fans in the time after the release of "Return of the Jedi" and especially during the release of the prequels - that George Lucas had all 6 or 9, or 12 in some versions parts of the Star Wars saga figured out - was just not true. He really was making it up as he went along. The book works as a "secret history" and the author offers some pretty compelling evidence that not only was "Star Wars" always meant to be a standalone film, but also that Darth Vader wasn't Anakin well into the development of "Empire".
In fact, it was pure luck that he wasn't killed off with the first Death Star More surprisingly, although more recently Lucas himself, and his entire empire has spun the sextet as "The Tragedy of Darth Vader", that wasn't really the case until Attack of the Clones was being scripted! Yep, the original trilogy was supposed to be "The Adventures of Luke Skywalker" this we knew and the prequels were supposed to be "The Adventures of Young Obi-wan Kenobi" this I didn't!
There's many many nuggets of great information, both about the content of the movies, as well as about George Lucas himself - the man is inseparable from any discussion of his work. In truth, I was surprised to see just how much of his own life is in the movies, and how much of his influences are also my own removed as we are by decades and continents!
There was a distinct "Tragedy of George Lucas" emerging as the book went along. Particularly his struggle with his own limitations, and the effort it took him in forcing the story out is something I can well empathize with as a wannabe writer. This has a very different picture of Lucas as compared, for example, to the one in "The People vs George Lucas" - a documentary that I saw recently. I deducted one star from the book because it is just a tad overlong, and repetitive in places.
A great read all in all! Words cannot describe how frustrating this book is. While the amount of content is astounding, just trying to get through this is enough to make one give up on reading. It feels as if the author was to be paid for every page he wrote so he endlessly repeats himself over and over again.
I enjoyed the content and learned a lot but I'm glad that it's over with so I don't have to r Words cannot describe how frustrating this book is. I enjoyed the content and learned a lot but I'm glad that it's over with so I don't have to read this any longer.
Dec 29, Thomas Umstattd Jr. I wish this had been more about the company and less about the script. But otherwise it was a good read. Oct 05, Charles rated it really liked it.
This starts off pretty slow, starting with Lucas's film school years and talks about some of his influences. Eventually we get to the meat though and for any fan of Star Wars, it's a pretty great, if exhaustive read. The author started the book on the simple premise that if you forget everything that came after and watch Star Wars: If you carry that further you start to notic This starts off pretty slow, starting with Lucas's film school years and talks about some of his influences.
If you carry that further you start to notice a lot of things that subtly change as each new film comes out and you have to make larger and larger leaps of faith that the story on the screen is one that makes complete sense.
The reason being, is simply that Lucas revised and changed the story every time he wrote a new movie. This is despite his hinting that he always had the story in his head from start to finish.
So this author has gone through every old interview he can find, every early draft he could read and so on and put together a loose timeline of what changed, when and most intriguingly what could have been!
Here are some examples to whet your appetite: It's all there in the dialog, and it was originally exactly as it was written.
For example, "Darth" was his actual first name. It's true, it wasn't considered a Sith title until Phantom Menace! Let that sink in a little! Today we know Vader as the Emperor's right hand man. Vice Emperor right? But watch A New Hope, Leia talks trash to him, his underlings question his actions, that guy all but spits in his face before getting force choked, and even then Vader yields to Tarkin.
Does this seem like appropriate behavior directed at the second most powerful man in the galaxy? Absolutely not! The reason is because he wasn't back then. He was more like the head of Secret Service. He had a great deal of power, but he was basically the head of the hired thugs and generally disliked by the actual military members. If you're like me you heard the term Clone Wars and dwelt on what that meant for most of your childhood.
Clones of what? High officials? Espionage, never knowing if you're talking to an actual person or their clone? Then you saw Attack of the Clones and you said "really? That's it? An army of bounty hunter clones?
Put it this way, Lando was originally written to be a clone leftover from the war and that's why Leia immediately distrusts him, because she feels uneasy around him and it's later revealed he's a clone and there are implications as to what that makes him, his trustworthiness. But there were male and female clones and the whole thing would've been messy and awesome! This is one of those things I never really thought about until this book, but what the heck was that outfit?
Why did he not dress like anyone else in the movies? The answer is very cool. And he's wearing what Lucas envisioned the order to have dressed like. He was wearing pretty normal Tattooine garb. Don't believe me? Check out Uncle Owen, he's wearing almost the exact same thing as Obi-Wan is about as anti-Jedi as you can get.
Plus, why would Obi-Wan be wearing patented Jedi garb? He's in hiding after all! It wasn't until the prequels that the Jedi became a kind of peaceful monk-like order. So yeah, if any of that hits your fancy, you should definitely check out the book, but again, it's a pretty heavy slog.
I wouldn't recommend it for casual Star Wars fans. Only people who've spent a great deal of time thinking about the movies and always feeling like something didn't quite add up.
Mar 13, Eric Mesa rated it really liked it Shelves: This book upended the way I'd thought about the Star Wars movies and stories for the past 20 years. First of all, given George Lucas' original intention of having an endless James Bond-like serialized series of movies removes any arguments I had about what Disney has been doing with what has frankly been a mostly neglected franchise film-wise since the first movie came out in Second, the book explains why Lucas changed his mind - a combination of his divorce draining him of money and the This book upended the way I'd thought about the Star Wars movies and stories for the past 20 years.
Second, the book explains why Lucas changed his mind - a combination of his divorce draining him of money and the movies draining him of life. Third, and the biggest reason Kaminski wrote this book, it dismantles the legend of episodes as we now know them having been the middle of a story that Lucas always had in his head. The truth is both better and worse; especially as we see other ways the story could have gone if he hadn't been drained by the experience. He has voices for every quote in the book.
I'm not going to say his voices would stand up to scrutiny side-by-side with the people he's impersonating, but some of his voices are so good that I thought at first he was playing back interviews with the folks - particularly Lucas and Hamill.
The book whipsaws between fascinating and boring as Kaminski is as detailed as if this were his PhD thesis paper. So after a while the evidence can get tiresome to hear especially when it's repeated in different chapters , but it does make the book stand up to scrutiny in a way that it needs to when dealing with the Star Wars fandom. The only other criticism is that I wish the book had been updated with an epilogue post-Disney buyout.
I know it doesn't fit with his thesis, but I think it would have been a nice cherry on top after all the talk of movies and what could have been.
I'm a passing Star Wars fan loved , suffered through , and haven't seen 7,8, or any of the side movies. I thought this was a pretty interesting book -- though I'm not sure I would recommend it to anyone less engaged with Star Wars than a casual fan. Still, walking through all the different drafts of the original and sequel trilogies such as the were was intriguing. I especially enjoyed seeing parts of the older drafts being picked back up and use I thought this was a pretty interesting book -- though I'm not sure I would recommend it to anyone less engaged with Star Wars than a casual fan.
I especially enjoyed seeing parts of the older drafts being picked back up and used later on Mace Windy, for example. I suppose the main angle of the book, aside for chronicling the film production, is exploring all the evidence that Lucas never had a complete vision of the movies prior to making them, and it pretty convincingly details the contradictions in production interviews and the various drafts of each movie.
A personal nit to pick: The audiobook didn't include the actual audio of those interviews, so the narrator does his best impressions of the people speaking Another personal note: On the one hand, this is an awfully long and detailed book just to prove that George Lucas isn't always honest about Star Wars story points.
On the other hand, it is a fascinating read. If you're into Star Wars, passionate about film, or a budding screenwriter, you will love this book. Casual Star Wars fans and people who aren't really into how movies are made will probably find this book more than a bit overwhelming. I think for the right audience this is a great book. I enjoyed it quite a bit, even though it really into the weeds about all the numerous Star Wars story treatments and drafts.
For me, this stuff is fascinating, especially since I'm a big Star Wars fan, and a writer, myself. So if you're the type of person this book is written for, do yourself a favor and pick it up.
If you're only just a little bit into Star Wars and aren't really into film, then I would pass on this one. Nov 03, Quicksilver Quill rated it really liked it. For fans of the Star Wars saga or students of storytelling and filmmaking, The Secret History of Star Wars is an interesting read that tells precisely what went into the creative process of writing and developing the Star Wars films.
Of course, exhaustive can sometimes lead to exhausting, and if you are a casual fan or just curious about how these films came about, you may find that some redundancies and For fans of the Star Wars saga or students of storytelling and filmmaking, The Secret History of Star Wars is an interesting read that tells precisely what went into the creative process of writing and developing the Star Wars films. Of course, exhaustive can sometimes lead to exhausting, and if you are a casual fan or just curious about how these films came about, you may find that some redundancies and belabored points in the text could be edited a bit.
But the true Star Wars fan will probably have none of that, preferring every last nuance explored, and if so they will not be disappointed. In either case, this work is clearly a labor of love for the author, and his explorations into the history of Star Wars and the evolution of the stories and characters through time is impressive indeed.
Personally, I found the first half of the book to be the most interesting, covering the early life and work of George Lucas that led up to Star Wars and its two sequels. Having grown up with the original trilogy, as a child I had always considered Lucas to be the epitome of creativity—a master storyteller who had somehow tapped into a deep mythological collective unconscious using his unbridled imaginative powers. So it surprised me to learn just how much the man actually struggled to find a suitable story for the first Star Wars film—let alone to write the screenplay and get the movie made.
Although everything appears inevitable in hindsight, in fact it seems almost serendipitous that Star Wars ever happened at all. As the book explains, apparently he was nothing if not determined to get the first movie written and made, no matter how many drafts it took, no matter how many discarded plot and story ideas were left by the wayside.
Apparently these and many other works—especially pulp sci-fi and fantasy—had an enormous influence on the plot and story universe of Star Wars. Or that Princess Leia apparently comes straight out of a Japanese fairytale? Of course, whatever his influences may have been, clearly Lucas was able to repackage all the elements in his own compelling way. For one thing, it seems that Lucas was very good at picking up on unique names and words and keeping track of them for future use.
It turns out that Lucas was quite collaborative in those early days, receiving a lot of feedback on his screenplay drafts and early cuts of the first film, a process that seemed largely absent during the writing of the prequels.
The plan and inspiration for Skywalker Ranch was also a noteworthy bit of history. One of the main strengths of the book, however—and indeed its central focus—is the exploration of the evolution of the characters and storyline over the course of the saga. The author illustrates how the story—which now seems set in stone—was in fact very fluid with changes being made on the fly, from the film titles to plot points to character names and identities to themes and arcs.
Another interesting discussion was that of the character of Darth Vader and his evolution into someone very different than originally intended. But we the viewers supply this meaning ourselves with our knowledge of the later sequel plot points.
These and other similar explorations provide entertaining insight into the way the story was constantly shifting and how it really could have gone in any number of different directions from the way the saga ultimately ended up.
While I personally might have preferred a more tightly edited and condensed version, this book was still a fun read and is definitely recommended for fans of the series or for anyone else who is curious about the history of the Star Wars films and the creative process that brought them about. Jan 13, Shaitanah rated it really liked it.
I loved this book despite the style that was way too repetitive down to using the same quotations in several places. The book is long and the repetitions start to grate at some point, but it's been a great insight into the writing process of Star Wars.
As someone who doesn't usually read interviews by authors of the movies I like, I gleaned a lot of new information on Lucas both as a writer and as a person. I also gained new understanding of why the films are the way they are. All in all, it's I loved this book despite the style that was way too repetitive down to using the same quotations in several places. All in all, it's been an interesting experience, though I think that, in order to enjoy this book, one ought to be interested not just in Star Wars but in writing specifically, since a large part of the book is dedicated to analyzing possibly even overanalyzing the script drafts and the writing process itself.
As a writer, I found it interesting and relatable. Jun 22, June rated it liked it Shelves: Author's dedication and endeavor are admirable, to compile a hefty and coherent volume, without even a single interview or direct validation with Lucas. I was hooked more or less along the way , until Appendix A on Journal of Whills , where I finally became bored by the thesis-like analysis based on all the available archives excavated.
A pop culture phenomenon unprecedented in a business-centric world, I doubt if the fans would even care much about the history or back end development story, b Author's dedication and endeavor are admirable, to compile a hefty and coherent volume, without even a single interview or direct validation with Lucas. A pop culture phenomenon unprecedented in a business-centric world, I doubt if the fans would even care much about the history or back end development story, but the end product presented to them.
To learn lessons on creative process of an art form e. To expand the Socioeconomic scale, make a real-life epic? It's only grown from a fantasy. Apr 01, Justin Berger rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book is very well researched and offers some 'alternative' perspectives on the official making of Star Wars Trilogy stories that George Lucas and Lucasfilm have perpetuated for decades.
Utilizing interviews, articles, books, quotes and common sense Kaminski has put together a very organized and accurate accounting of the legacy of Star Wars.