George Lucas: A Life is a biography written by Brian Jay Jones that tells the story of George Lucas’ personal life and career from when he was a teenager through to mid 2016. It’s a detailed, thrilling biography, speckled with insight from Lucas’ friends and family, as well as from the man himself.
Of course, this is all based on interviews, books and articles, so there’s not really any spoilers to speak of, but I certainly learnt a lot since I wasn’t alive, let alone interested when I was, for most of what went on in this book to be looking for or wanting to retain these facts. For example, I didn’t know that George Lucas had originally hired the team to create Pixar as an offshoot of Lucasfilm, and sold it to Steve Jobs before any of their notable films were made.
The book really summarises a lot of the business decisions that have been detailed over the years, but instead of reading the accumulated content from over 30 years, there’s now a really very educational and inspiring biography that details quite a lot of Lucas’ career, films, partnerships and businesses.
While the first part of the book where he was in school went on for a little too long, once you get past that you’re away. It’s just a little too much of Lucas not being allowed to do much of anything and acting like a moody teenager. Once he’s out of school and getting to make his own films, its much more interesting, with more people’s comments on Lucas and his films as well as a much more rapid timeline.
In the centre of the book are a few full colour, beautiful photos of George Lucas and friends, family, colleagues and cast members
George Lucas: A Life is a whopping 472 pages, plus it’s got the spotted quotes instead of large chunks of dialogue, so it reads a lot slower than a novel. It felt more like a 1000 page book, and took that long to read too. I’m glad I’ve got a few shorter novels coming up next on my reading list. I wouldn’t recommend this as a light holiday read, but if you’re interested, it’d be something you could read alongside a novel or other book and dip in and out of when you have free time to get stuck in.
I felt the biography was very well written, I never felt like I was reading some sort of fact list, or a textbook. It was often lighthearted and poked fun at many situations, even bringing in Lucas’ own sense of humour and the many jokes he made about situations he felt ended up going wrong. Although it was a very long book, if it was too much shorter, you’d be missing out on too much, I wouldn’t even know what they would cut.
If you’re a Star Wars or Indiana Jones fan, there’s loads of facts and info within these pages. There’s even lots in here if you’re a Spielberg fan, there’s just lots of interesting film, cinema and pop culture information that is truly interesting. I could see so many young aspiration filmmakers being inspired my this biography.
Thanks to Hachette for my review copy of George Lucas: A Life