book reviews

#BookReview Secrets of the Force: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Wars by by Edward Gross & Mark A. Altman

I’m a big Star Wars fan. Maybe not a crazy fanatic who can tell you the full history and background of every single character, but still a fan! I love whisking myself away to a galaxy far, far away. It brings back so much nostalgia and memories from my childhood. Every year when Star Wars comes on as a marathon on television… I’m glued! I grew up with the Prequels coming out, but my parents had me re-watching the original trilogy. Not because they loved it, because it was on television. It was something that easily grabbed my attention and I would sit there and actually watch it. As I grew up, I was thrilled to watch the sequel series (until I actually watched them, but that’s another story). I’m still a fan – The Mandalorian is awesome, and I’m slowly making my way through the books and other television series. I like it. It’s unique, it’s fun and it’s different.

Then in walks this book. I knew it was meant to be and I was thrilled to get it in my hands. It took a while to read it because it’s one big, hunk of a book – but it was worth it! As a giant Star Wars fan, this was the kind of book I wanted to read. It’s a collection of interviews from people who worked on the series – ranging from writers to producers to actors to podcasters – and it spans over some time. It will reintroduce you to facts you already knew, and let you know of many behind the scene secrets and new tips you would have never imagined. It’s a great book, honestly!

Fun fact: Indiana is George Lucas’ old dog’s name. So the whole dog joke in Indiana Jones… There was some real life giggles behind it!

This space opera has spanned many generations and can make or break a family barbecue. It’s amazing how big this silly, little movie turned into a giant universe of fandom and freedom. Eventually Disney got involved and might have done something really odd and weird with the series… but it still stands to be one multiverse of insanity. It’s big, it’s mighty and it’s beloved.

The interviews start from the original trilogy. You’ll take a deep dive into the silly, little space opera that could and how George Lucas managed to make an epic film on such a tight budget. The director had crafted such an incredible world, but the film is the way it is today because his wife edited all of it. That piece of art work probably would have been a massive joke if it wasn’t for Marcia. You also learn the drama behind Episodes 5 and 6. A New Hope might be considered the “best” Star Wars film by many, but George Lucas was not a fan of Irvin Kershner doing his own thing. The Empire Strikes Back made George realize that he needed more pliable film maker who would bow down and bend over backwards for him. Episode 6 was a little weaker because of this, even if Richard Marquand did an excellent job crafting Return of the Jedi. You’ll hear stories from the team from the original film – behind the scenes and on screen – to learn many more facts about how these movies came to be what they are.

As time goes on, eventually George Lucas is back at it for the prequels. He had fantastic ideas, but everyone wanted Episode 1 to start off with Darth Vader and end with a bang! If you’ve watched The Phantom Menace, you’ll know that Darth Vader isn’t seen at all – only Anakin. The prequel series tells his story, and it’s very unique. Technology is more advanced now so there’s CGI and green screens. Younger actors tell the story of Obi-Wan, Anakin and Padme – and we all know how that ends. Personally, the third film was my favourite (and it was the first one I saw in theatres!). I really liked learning about how Hayden Christensen was directed and picked for the role. He was a real star, even if he played a whiny baby most of the time.

In between all of this, we learn about the Star Wars Christmas special (I know, I know… We don’t talk about it), other television series and Disney. That massive warlord in the movie industry comes in and takes over Star Wars. For better? For worse? It’s up to you to decide. J.J. Abrams, Mark Hamill, Kathleen Kennedy, Pedro Pascal and more popup to let you know all about the sequel trilogy and following television shows (like The Mandalorian!). I do think this book is super honest about the sequel trilogy really sucking and Disney taking everything in the wrong direction, which was nice. The podcasters and people not in the actual crew let you know all of their feelings and make it clear – Disney messed up in some ways to make the sequel trilogy not cohesive.

This book is PERFECT for your Star Wars fandom friends. With almost 600 pages of pure Star Wars content, it will let them know more background facts to win a Movie Trivia Showdown any day of the week. It’s just an overall fantastic book with so much packed into it. I was binging this baby for a week!

I highly recommend this book. I’m honestly surprised how a non-fiction book that was only full of interviews kept me completely hooked. What a compelling and intriguing book!

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Want to nerd out along with me? Pick up the book through the following book sellers:

Love sci-fi books? I have a huge pile on my blog! Check out some of my recommended books:
GENMOS: Gathering Storms by Stephen M. Coghlan
Deep Cosmos by Project Kyle
The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis

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