George Lucas: A Life -- Brian Jay Jones
Little, Brown and Company
Hold onto your seats. This week makes it two nonfiction books in a row. First it was Bruce Springsteen’s memoir. Now it’s a biography of George Lucas. Full disclosure: I love Star Wars. I love American Graffiti. I love Indiana Jones. So, a biography of the man who came up with all those stories is a definite read for me. I went in with my rose-colored glasses, ready to read about some fantastic, behind the scenes stories about the man and the legends he created.
The introduction quite possibly is the best part of this book. It was a far more personal look at the life of George Lucas than the rest of the book was. This introduction was an intimate look at a part of Lucas’ life. The rest of the book was more like rote recitation of events that happened in his life.
This book is a very interesting look at George Lucas as he grew from a struggling student, to a struggling film maker, to the king of an empire. Most of the stories anecdotal and only touch upon the surface of the events. There were moments that I wish the stories were just a little more descriptive. Despite this, this book is great for every reader who wants to know more about Lucas. It is a great start. A more in-depth look at Lucas would require many, many more pages than the 480 Jones wrote.
George Lucas is an aloof character, and that shines through in this biography. His character as described by Brian Jones is just as aloof. This is an unauthorized biography, which could be part of the general aloofness felt when reading the book. Or it could have been purposeful by the author to strengthen the description of the life he was writing about. Maybe it was a genius move by Jones.
If you’re looking for short snippets of the process Lucas went through to bring his ideas to the big screen, this is a book you’ll want to read. If you’re looking for an indepth look at the life of George Lucas, you may walk away feeling not totally full on this diet of reading. You won’t find any big secrets from the Star Wars set, if that was what you were expecting.
This may seem like a mixed review, but honestly, I had mixed feelings about the book. I loved the way it was written, and I loved the content of the book. I was looking for more than just scratching the surface. But that could be the OCD in me. I need to know everything. What Jones did for me with this book, was pique my interest in more of the creation of Lucas’ masterpieces. If he were to write a book, or series of books, on each of the movies and the stories behind each, I would totally read it.
George Lucas: A Life by Brian Jay Jones is a book worth reading. George Lucas is a hard person to know, which made Jones’ job that much more difficult. Jones had no interaction with Lucas during the research portion of this book. Considering how private Lucas is, it is a great accomplishment to pull this all together into a cohesive biography.
Craig Bacon just re-read this review. He’s got a bad feeling about this, but he thinks this review will go viral in less than twelve parsecs.