Mashable’s Chris Taylor exploring the business and culture of Star Wars in upcoming book

Hyperspace falcon Chris Taylor, deputy editor at Mashable, is working on How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, a book on the business and culture of the franchise.

I’m thrilled to be writing How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, the first book to examine the entire Star Wars brand from a business/culture perspective. As Disney takes control of the franchise and prepares to release Episode VII in 2015, there’s never been a more important time to consider exactly what made this epic great in the first place. Its past offers a lot of clues to why it has a robust future in the post-Lucas era, given how much of it was a team effort from the very beginning. I want to give proper credit to all the other talented writers, technicians, artists and game-makers who built the Expanded Universe and helped it thrive.

It’s a daunting prospect, trying to do justice to a modern legend that has mesmerized every generation since 1977, but I can’t imagine a more engrossing research project. This book will be more fun than a barrel full of Banthas.

It sounds like even the Expanded Universe will get a place in the spotlight – Taylor told CNET he’s trying to read/reread all the novels and comics, which seems pretty ambitious.

Taylor has covered Star Wars since 1997; this will be his first book. It’ll be released early next year by Basic Books.

New book will explore connections between Star Wars and history

Publisher John Wiley & Sons is compliling a book that will explore parallels between world history and the movies, the New York Times reports.

“George Lucas is a history buff, and his fascination with history greatly influenced the plot and themes explored in the Star Wars universe,” Connie Santisteban, associate editor for general interest books at Wiley, wrote in an e-mail. “Being able to work closely with Mr. Lucas on this and other books will give fans an inside look at the real science, history and political science that informed ‘Star Wars’ while also providing readers with an educational tool.”

The book is being compiled by history professors Nancy Reagin and Janice Liedl, who have done books in the same vein about Harry Potter and Twilight. (I wonder if it goes anything like this. Minus the snark and animated GIFs, naturally.) The book even has Lucasfilm’s blessing, says a spokewoman, including Lucas’ “notes and input.”

Wiley will also produce additional books focusing on “science and politics within the Star Wars saga.”

EUbits: Inside The Making of The Empire Strikes Back

Nonfiction StarWars.com offers up a peek at J.W. Rinzler’s The Making of The Empire Strikes Back. The book’s release was recently pushed back to October, but there’s little doubt that it will be worth the wait.

Street date shuffle. On that note, our book release schedule has been updated. The most notable change: A double shot of Fate of the Jedi paperbacks as Omen and Abyss are moved up to spring.

Podcastery. Star Wars Action News talked to Paul S. Kemp earlier in the month, while the ForceCast caught up with John Jackson Miller at C2E2.

The blogside. Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff on the end game and the last period.

Morsel. Sue Rostoni says that Joe Schreiber’s Black Orchid is getting a new title because some people thought it sounded like a romance novel. Personally I think old school Neil Gaiman/Dave McKean

Toys. Rebelscum reports that the Legacy Collection’s Expanded Universe action figures (the wave that includes Jacen and Jaina) have begun showing up at Toys “R” Us stores.

Random House summer catalog brings our first The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance blurb

PLEASE NOTE: FOR SOLICITATION ONLY. FINAL COVER TO COME.Random House’s Summer 2010 catalog has surfaced, and naturally, it contains some Star Wars items. Mostly old news, like for Fate of the Jedi: Allies (page 81,) but the listing for Sean William’s Old Republic novel (page 89) has a summary:

Smuggler Jet Nebula has stumbled across a treasure richer than he ever dreamed. The Hutts want to auction it to the highest bidder, be it the Republic or the Empire, both of whom hope to bolster their chances in the coming conflict. But the Sith are interested, too, and they don’t bargain with anyone; the Jedi High Council is sending someone to investigate; a mysterious Mandalorian is chasing something connected to a long-forgotten crime; while a spy plays every side at once. What Jet has unearthed will surprise all of them, and leave none of them unchanged.

(‘Jet Nebula’? Really?)

There’s also a cover for the book, but don’t get too excited. It’s ‘for solicitation only’ and the art looks like a still from the MMO’s trailer. And given that the listing doesn’t use the full title (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance) its possible that some of the catalog info may already be outdated.

Also making a showing is Star Wars Generations (page 91) and Clone Wars Gambit: Siege (page 97.)