It was a very hot, late summer day in 1977 in Toronto. Glenda was expecting our first child, Adrienne, and we were living in an older duplex on Avenue Road. Our close friend, up the road, Beverley, was also expecting her first child, Emily. None of us had air-conditioning. That was what we sought when we decided to go see a movie. First decision – what cinema definitely had air conditioning. The one on Bloor Street, between Yonge and Bay. OK, it was multiple screen, what is playing? A new sci-fi flic called Star Wars. Done. And off we went. Leaving the hot sidewalk after the journey down to Bloor Street, into the cinema was heaven. And then the opening few moments of Star Wars – we truly were in the heavens – we were in the galaxy.
What a film – what an experience. Ten years later, our second child, Gregory, was a huge Star Wars fan as evidenced by all of the figures, the models, and paraphernalia. I am sitting in the book room/basement as I write this musing and I can look at the far wall where there are cardboard boxes containing Gregory’s Star Wars treasures.
For all the Whiz Bang gadgetry of that first Star Wars movie, the plot was very simple. The good guys and gal versus the bad guys – were there any bad gals? I can’t recall. Certainly, bad creatures and machines. The good side was led by Princess Leia, innocent and sweet and dressed in white. The bad side was led by Darth Vader, menacing with wheezy noises and a deep, threatening voice.
Princess Leia was surrounded by a gallant bunch of sweet rogues, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo and other things, including perhaps the two most loveable robots the wide screen has ever given us – R2D2 and C3PO. And, of course, Han had his faithful companion, Chewbacca. And over the decades, we were introduced to so many memorable characters such as Yoda (there is no try only do), Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the disgusting Jabba the Hutt.
Star Wars was also about gadgetry and wonderous vehicles. Luke and Darth had some great light-sabre fights. George Lucas took the good guys vs bad guys theme that has always been present in filmdom and made sure we didn’t forget it. Sword fights!! The spaceships and land crawlers were awe-inspiring.
This finally gets me to the featured books of this musing. Two recently acquired books from the same source. The text describing them comes from the descriptions posted on our sales platform.
Sculpting A Galaxy – Inside the Star Wars Model Shop; Lorne Peterson; Preface by George Lucas; Foreword by Rick McCallum; Afterword by Phil Tippett; Insight Editions, Safael, CA, 2006.
The Star Wars films have provided some of the most iconic images in modern filmmaking – from the incredible shot of the Imperial Star Destroyer that opened the first film in 1977 to the Podrace in The Phantom Menace and the epic battle in the volcanic world of Mustafar in Revenge of the Sith. In each of those cases, and literally hundreds more, the model-making wizards of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) were instrumental in creating a universe full of glorious, heart-pounding illusions. In this volume, Lorne Peterson, one of the founding members of ILM, takes the reader on a journey through thirty years of incredible adventures, telling never-before-published stories, explaining how classic scenes were created, and how beloved models were made – often from the most unexpected of parts and ingredients. Paint buckets, model car parts, and walnut shells play important roles, alongside high-tech lasers and computer graphics. In creating the familiar yet fantastic components of a galaxy far, far away. Lavishly illustrated with more than 300 full-color photographs from the Lucasfilm Archives, this book provides an unparalleled look behind the scenes of a place that really has created magic.
Star Wars Complete Cross-Sections; Written by Davis West Reynolds (Episodes I, IV-VI), Curtis Saxton (Episodes II-III); Extra material for this edition written by Kerrie Dougherty; Illustrated by Hans Jenssen and Richard Chasemore; Additional Illustrations by John Mullaney, Jon Hall; Lucas Books, DK Publishing, New York, first American edition, 2007.
Discover the incredible vehicles of the entire Star Wars saga. Star Wars: Complete Cross-Sections reveals the inner workings of every major vehicle from all six Star Wars movies, including the elegant, crafted starships of the Old Republic as well as the terrifying, mass-produced war machines of the Galactic Empire. Full-color, large scale cutaway illustrations expose the hidden secrets of the saga’s spectacular craft hyperdrives, turbolasers, repulsorlifts, shield generators, and cloaking devises are all revealed in intricate detail. In-depth text, data files, and detailed annotations complement each illustration. This volume brings together the awe-inspiring artworks from DK’s Star Wars: Incredible Cross-Sections series, and also features never-before-seen illustrations, including the Rebels’ A-wing and B-wing fighters, the TIE bomber, and the Imperial shuttle. In creating this book, the DK team was given access to exclusive photos and blueprints, original scale models, and preproduction sketches from the Lucasfilm Archives at Skywalker Ranch in California. This in-depth research has ensured that this book is the definitive guide to the vehicles of the Star Wars galaxy, making it the ultimate reference resource for all Star Wars fans.
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU