BOTM for June

No surprise considering the last couple of posts, but by sheer dint of it's geekitude (is that a word) and due to the fact that it was given to me as a complete surprise for my birthday from my moms, the BOTM for June was The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Sory Behind the Original Film. Anyone who's a fan of the franchise needs this book. Anyone who thinks they already know everything there is to know about the making fo the film needs this book. Anyone intersted in getting a sense of how much it takes to convert an idea into something that is one of the biggest blockbusters of all time, and a towering beacon of childhood for fans the world over needs this book.

So what's the big deal about the book? Well, the main thing that the majority of interviews and discussions have never been used before, and are taken from conversations as early as 5 years before filming commenced. Each version of the draft is explained and summarized, and items that eventaully became a part of the finished script as tracked through each draft. You get a great perspective of Lucas's scope and vision, and the interviews with such luminaries as John Barry and John Dykstra provide tons of revealing details into how a project this large became a reality.

And as great as the text is, the hundreds of storyboards, concept drawings, and photographs of the construction, set design, and location scouting only surpass an already excellent record of events. Make no mistake - the word "definitive" is in the title of this book for a reason - it's the last word on the making of an epic movie experience.

Elsewhere in the reading universe:

  • Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler - the late, great author's final book was self-described as a bit of a lark, somethint fun she wasnted to write, but this deceptive story about Shori, a supposedly 10 year old girl who is in reality a 53 year old vampire, or ina as they're called in the novel, is full of Butler's trademark reflections on sexuality, race, and what it means to be human. Fledgling begins as what would appear to be a simple re-tread of the vampire genre but rises above the usual cliches and plot points as a lot of detail is explored into the symbiotic relationship between the inas and the rest of humanity. A loving, humane novel that asks the question what does it mean to be human? Great read, and if I were doing splitting the BOTM into Fiction and Nonfiction this would have been chosen.
  • The Stolen Child by Keith Donahue - a solid debut novel that takes a modern look at the fairy tale of hobgoblins, also known as changelings, who switch places with real chidren, who in turn become chagelings themselves, living a hard existence until the day they can go back into the world by stealing a child themselves. The Stolen CHild takes the novel (bad pun) approach of alternating chapters between the young child Henry Day, who is abducted and enters the world of the changelings, and the hobgoblin who takes his place as a young boy. Both sides are fresh and interesting, and if the end feels a little unsatisfying the trip is worth it.