First major review!
Dennis Pellegrom has reviewed The Star Wars Historical Sourcebook at his website, starwarsawakens.nl, here.
It is written in Dutch, so those not versed in Dutch may have to use Google’s translator or other means of translation.
Full disclosure: Dennis graciously allowed quotations from his interviews with Anthony Forrest, Paul Huston and Paul Blake in this volume. Thank you, Dennis!
The Star Wars Historical Sourcebook includes links to online videos at YouTube and Vimeo, so fans can see for themselves a visual source of information. Here’s a clip of Mark Hamill guesting on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on November 29, 1977, sharing a story in which Sir Alec Guinness plays a prank on Jack Purvis, who played the Chief Jawa in Star Wars:
When dealers and exhibitors come to conventions, they try all kinds of innovative ways to attract potential customers. Here, at Comic-Con International in San Diego, Neopets was promoting their School of Dragons game. On Saturday, July 21, their booth featured a green screen where people could wear Viking attire, have their photograph taken, and the shot would be composited with their How to Train Your Dragon background. Key in your email address, and the image is transmitted to one’s home computer or app. This is the result with me:
Somehow, I don’t think hammering a dragon is a good method of training them.
But Neopets’ promotional strategy worked. Here I am posting about it.
Greetings, Star Wars fans!
If you’re curious about the content of The Star Wars Historical Sourcebook, here are some sample pages from the year 1976.
From these you can see the format of the book. Citations are arranged in chronological order. Quotes are provided from the cast and crew during production. Other citations come from articles about Star Wars. Sometimes I cross-reference when a writer or speaker mentions an earlier or later article, or event. Footnotes provide other details, referencing an actor or technician’s career, or when they die. Links to online videos are provided as well.
These are just sample pages. Don’t worry about the watermark. It’s not in the book.
At long last, after 41 years of meticulous research, The Star Wars Historical Sourcebook is now available to the public, through Amazon.com. Volume One covers the years 1971 to 1976.
Producer Gary Kurtz wrote the Foreword. He says, “This historical sourcebook is an extraordinarily complete work, annotating almost everything that has been written about the original Star Wars Trilogy (now called Episodes 4, 5, and 6). I have personally found this sourcebook very useful for my own research into questions I am asked in interviews. Bob Miller has done a monumental job on this sourcebook and any true Star Wars fan or scholar must have this work in their collection.”
The Star Wars Historical Sourcebook, Vol. 1: 1971 – 1976 Published by Pulp Hero Press (an imprint of Theme Park Press). ISBN 978-1-6839-0148-8, 396 pp.
USA ($ 29.95): https://tinyurl.com/y7mtsb3f
UK (£ 22.60): https://tinyurl.com/ycs6w37r
Canada: ($39.44): https://tinyurl.com/y7ptgwdp
Germany (€ 27,36): https://tinyurl.com/ybwkrzhm
France (€ 26,98): https://tinyurl.com/ydxcuyvs
Spain (€ 26,59): https://tinyurl.com/y7du9b67
Italy (€ 26,59): https://tinyurl.com/y9s3w362
How big a Star Wars fan are you? Do you know the answers to the following questions:
Who was the first Star Trek actor involved with Star Wars?
Were Luke and Leia originally twins, according to George Lucas?
How old were Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher at the time of casting?
What were the Whills? A throwaway name of little significance or something more?
Was Peter Cushing considered for the role of Ben Kenobi?
Why did Geoffrey Unsworth, the cinematographer for 2001: A Space Odyssey, decline to film Star Wars?
What was Peter Beale’s role in the making of Star Wars?
Which actress did Marcia Lucas prefer to be Princess Leia?
Who were the first people hired at Industrial Light and Magic?
What is Anthony Daniels’ favorite science fiction film?
How was the lightsaber constructed, and by whom?
What is the significance of Leia’s cell block number, 2187?
Who defended George Lucas from a skeptical English crew during filming?
How did Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher celebrate the American Bicentennial while in England?
Why did Twentieth Century-Fox oppose the title, “Star Wars”?
What world-famous celebrity served on the board of directors at 20th Century-Fox at the time?
When was the Star Wars Corporation established?
What was the “26 for ‘76” campaign?
Was the first trailer considered a failure or success?
What was “The Lippincott Spiral” and how did it contribute to the success of Star Wars?
You can find the answer to these questions, and a whole lot more, in The Star Wars Historical Sourcebook, Volume One, 1971-1976, soon to be available through Amazon.com!
At last, Volume One of The Star Wars Historical Sourcebook now has a publication date: July 17, 2018! It will be available through Amazon.com.
I’ve established a special Facebook page about it, here. If people have questions about the project, I’ll try to answer them there.
The Sourcebook has also been announced on Facebook at the Star Wars Upcoming Books and Comics page, as well as Dennis Pellegrom’s Star Wars Awakens website. Dennis was kind enough to allow me to quote from his interviews from various members of the Star Wars cast and crew. For the interviews in their entirety, click here.
To Dennis and anyone who promotes the work, you have my thanks.
Imagine the excitement Star Wars fans felt that Luke Skywalker and his friends would return for The Force Awakens, some 30 years after Return of the Jedi. By then, he would be a Jedi Master, his powers at their peak and–as the opening crawl indicated–powerful enough to frighten the Imperial First Order. The actor, Mark Hamill, prepared for his comeback with vigorous training and a restrictive diet. Fans expected great things from his character, now mature, yet presuming he’d maintain his optimism, and remain the role model that fans assumed he had become.
But what a surprise! After all that dieting, all that training, Hamill’s character appeared only at the end of The Force Awakens.
He became a quitter. He “walked away from everything” and disappeared. Han Solo explained:
Luke Skywalker a quitter? What’s going on?
We found out more two years later in The Last Jedi. J.J. Abrams turned him into a quitter. Director Rian Johnson turned him into a coward, and almost a murderer. And a grump.
This was a role model? This was Luke Skywalker?
Mark Hamill, professional that he was, did as he was told and he played the part according to Abrams, Johnson, and writer Lawrence Kasdan, even though he behaved completely out of character. The creator, George Lucas, had envisioned Luke Skywalker to be an idealized version of himself. Would Lucas imagine his alter ego would become grumpy, cowardly, and a murderer?
And what happened to the agility and combat prowess we had come to expect from Skywalker? Other than toning his body, why wasn’t Mark Hamill’s training regimen utilized?
Hamill threw a bone to the fans. This wasn’t Luke Skywalker. This was Jake Skywalker. Besides, they’re only movies. And this was no longer Luke Skywalker’s story. Bait with the old cast, switch with the new cast.
This was Hamill’s reaction:
“Mark Hamill Doesn’t Feel Like Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi – Sad Truth”
Posted by PrimeGamingYT, December 20, 2017.
“Mark Hamill: ‘It’s a different Luke'”
Posted by JarJar Abrams, December 29, 2017.
Associated Press, “Hamill: Playing Jaded Skywalker was ‘tough'”
Posted July 3, 2018.
Out with the old, in with the new.
“From the day of the Declaration, the people of the North American union, and of its constituent states, were associated bodies of civilized men and Christians, in a state of nature, but not of anarchy. They were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of the Gospel, which they nearly all acknowledged as the rules of their conduct. They were bound by the principles which they themselves had proclaimed in the declaration. They were bound by all those tender and endearing sympathies, the absence of which, in the British government and nation, towards them, was the primary cause of the distressing conflict in which they had been precipitated by the headlong rashness and unfeeling insolence of their oppressors. They were bound by all the beneficent laws and institutions, which their forefathers had brought with them from their mother country, not as servitudes but as rights. They were bound by habits of hardy industry, by frugal and hospitable manners, by the general sentiments of social equality, by pure and virtuous morals; and lastly they were bound by the grappling-hooks of common suffering under the scourge of oppression.”
Adams, President John Quincy, 1767-1848. An Address delivered at the request of a committee of the citizens of Washington: on the occasion of reading the Declaration of Independence, on the Fourth of July, 1821.
Mark Hamill and Stan Lee praise each other during a recording session for Marvel’s Avengers: Black Panther’s Quest. Watch:
Marvel’s Avengers: Black Panther’s Quest is coming this fall to Disney XD.