Think you already know everything there is to know about Star Wars? Think again. The Star Wars Archives: 1977-1983 is a sweeping ode to George Lucas's original trilogy, and it contains plenty of new insights to delight—and surprise—the film series' biggest fans.
Film historian Paul Duncan's monstrous, 600-page, 13-pound hardcover book from TASCHEN features interviews with George Lucas, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher, plus plenty of facts about the original films: Episode IV: A New Hope, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
Expect to see plenty of concept art, storyboards, script pages, posters, on-set photos, and anecdotes about how this sprawling space opera came to fruition. Duncan, a self-proclaimed Star Wars mega-fan, spent three days interviewing Lucas for the book. After doing a year’s worth of research, he knew plenty about the who, what, when, and where of the film franchise—but the one lingering question was why it was made.
“I wanted to know what George’s experience was in making the movies. I wanted to be like a little little bird on his shoulder, a little porg on his shoulder, watching him and listening to him as he’s making the movies,” Duncan told StarWars.com. “So that was my ideal, and once I’d realized that, it then became a matter of focusing the text and the images and how I present the book in order to show that story."
The result is an oral history with never-before-seen media and insight into the Star Wars universe. Right off the bat, after the contents page, there’s a sketch of what would become the legendary opening crawl: “The Star Wars” in block letters are shown against a starry night sky. “Fade in—A vast sea of stars—roll titles, bottom to top,” a handwritten note beneath it reads.