Book review: How Star Wars Conquered the Universe is a fun primer on the franchise

hswctuChris Taylor’s How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, out today, is one of those rare nonfiction books not fully authorized by Lucasfilm. An independent biography of the franchise, it covers from George Lucas’ own upbringing and influences to just post-Disney. Curious? Read the first chapter at Mashable right now.

It’s also a pretty great read. I got my copy Saturday, finished it yesterday afternoon, and it flew. Taylor talks to fans and pros alike, highlighting both sides of the (increasingly more narrow) divide. Most of the attention thus far is on the moviemaking portion, where the book’s biggest sound bites come from.

Full disclosure: I was interviewed for and appear in the book, and received a review copy from Basic Books.

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Out this week: How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, Son of Dathomir collected

It’s been a while, but this week brings us two trades from Dark Horse, and one new unauthorized nonfiction book looking at the franchise as a whole.

Chris Taylor’s How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, out Tuesday, is touted as ‘the first comprehensive history of the Star Wars phenomenon.’ I may be a tad biased, but look for my review in the next couple of days.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir and the third volume of Brian Wood’s Star Wars comic, Rebel Girl, are both collected in trade paperback.

As for upcoming releases, we have Star Wars Art: Posters coming on October 14, a Shakespeare Star Wars box set and the Razor’s Edge paperback on October 28, and James Luceno’s Tarkin on November 4 – plus Dark Horse’s remaining trades.

This weekend in Episode VII: David Fincher talked to Lucasfilm early on, Boyega working on a cartoon?

David Fincher→ David Fincher’s Star Wars? The director (Fight Club, The Social Network, the upcoming Gone Girl and many more) told Total Film that he did have some discission with Kathy Kennedy about helming Episode VII. Here’s his take on the franchise:

“It’s tricky,” he adds. “My favourite is The Empire Strikes Back. If I said, ‘I want to do something more like that,’ then I’m sure the people paying for it would be like, ‘No! You can’t do that! We want it like the other one with all the creatures!’

“I always thought of Star Wars as the story of two slaves [C-3PO and R2-D2] who go from owner to owner, witnessing their masters’ folly, the ultimate folly of man… I thought it was an interesting idea in the first two, but it’s kind of gone by Return Of The Jedi.”

Probably just as well it didn’t pan out, though it’s fun to imagine the road-not-taken if George Lucas had been looking at up-and-coming directors back in the prequel days.

→ Ryan Leston of Total Geeks was hanging around some Episode VII crew in Wales, where they stayed during the Puzzlewood shoot.

John Boyega was working on a cartoon this weekend. CURIOUS. (Of course, Making Star Wars has a theory, but honestly I feel it could be pretty much anything under the Disney umbrella at this point.)

Cast tweets: It’s an Episode VII wrap for Anthony Daniels; Daisy Ridley deletes her account

@ADaniels3PO: In today's golden hour, on a back lot in SE England, it was a wrap for me. Terminal, I hope, only in relation to Episode VII.Time will tell.

Anthony Daniels tweeted last night that he’s wrapped his part on Episode VII. Meanwhile, several hours ago, Daisy Ridley posted a farewell and now her Twitter account (@ridley_daisy) is gone. Here’s the text of her last tweets, per Favstar:

happy Saturday folks. I am bowing out of twitter. I really appreciate all the support thus far and hope you LOVE the film!

it has been and continues to be an INCREDIBLE experience with the most amazing group of people, cast and crew. Big Star Wars love. #MTFBWY x

The deletion is fairly understandable on Ridley’s part, particularly given the amount of secrecy surrounding the production.

You can see some of Ridley’s tweets on the tweets tag on our Tumblr, as well as those of her costars. She was a charming figure on the service – hopefully she feels like she can return one day.

Several of the newer Star Wars cast members remain active on Twitter: John Boyega, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, and Pip Andersen, plus mainstays Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Peter Mayhew. For the record: Don’t ask Episode VII cast (or crew) if they can confirm or deny rumors; You know very well they can’t.

Rebels discussion: ‘Spark of Rebellion’ premiere

rebels

The Rebels premiere movie is now playing for ‘verified users’ on WATCHDisneyXD.com and the WATCH Disney XD app. For those of you who can watch it, here’s a discussion entry. (Spoilers are okay; Don’t read the comments if you don’t want any!)

The show’s broadcast debut is next Friday, October 3 on the Disney Channel; We’ll pin this entry back up top then so more folks can weigh in.