This article is about the book. You may be looking for the documentary.

The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film is a 2007 book detailing the making of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. The book was written by J. W. Rinzler, with a foreword by Peter Jackson. It was published by Del Rey to make up for the lack of such a book when the film was made, in contrast with the next five Star Wars films.

Rinzler has held presentations relating to the book at Celebration IV[1] and Comic-Con 2007.[2] He has also published several articles relating to the book in Star Wars Insider.

On October 22, 2013, the book was released in enhanced eBook edition, with bonus photos and artwork not in the print edition.[3]


Publisher's summary[]

More than thirty years ago, filmmaker George Lucas realized a longtime dream, creating a swashbuckling SF saga inspired by vintage Flash Gordon serials, classic American westerns, the epic cinema of Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa, and mythological heroes. Its original title: The Star Wars. The rest is history—and how it was made is a story as entertaining and exciting as the movie that has enthralled millions for the past three decades.

Using his unprecedented access to the Lucasfilm Archives and its trove of never-before-published "lost" interviews, photos, production notes, factoids, and anecdotes, Star Wars scholar J. W. Rinzler hurtles readers back in time for an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the nearly decade-long quest of George Lucas and his key collaborators to make the "little" movie that became a phenomenon. For the first time, it's all here:

• the evolution of the now-classic story and characters—including "Annikin Starkiller" and "a huge green-skinned monster with no nose and large gills" named Han Solo
• excerpts from George Lucas's numerous, ever-morphing script drafts
• the birth of Industrial Light & Magic, the special-effects company that revolutionized Hollywood filmmaking
• the grueling, nearly catastrophic location shoot in Tunisia and the following breakneck dash at Elstree Studios in London
• the intensive auditions that won the cast members their roles—and made them legends
• the who's who of young 1970s film rebels who pitched in to help—including Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, and Brian DePalma

But perhaps most exciting, and rarest of all, are the first interviews conducted before and during production and immediately after the release of Star Wars—in which George Lucas, the film's stars, composer John Williams, effects masters Dennis Muren, Richard Edlund, and John Dykstra, Phil Tippett, Rick Baker, legendary production designer John Barry, and a host of others share their fascinating tales from the trenches and candid opinions of the movie that would ultimately change their lives.

No matter where you stand in the spectrum of this thirty-year phenomenon, The Making of Star Wars stands as a crucial document—rich in fascination and revelation—of a genuine cinematic and cultural touchstone.


  • Foreword by Peter Jackson
  • Introduction
  • The Lost Interviews
  • Chapter 1: Two Visions (1968 to August 1973)
    • Journal of the Whills
    • The Star Wars Treatment
  • Chapter 2: Fighting Words (August 1973 to January 1975)
    • Rough Draft
    • First Draft
    • Second Draft
  • Chapter 3: Boundary Busters (January 1975 to August 1975)
    • Story Synopsis and Typed Outline
    • Third Draft
  • Chapter 4: Frenzy (August 1975 to September 1975)
  • Chapter 5: Purgatory (September 1975 to December 1975)
  • Chapter 6: Rise of the Poetic State (December 1975 to March 1976)
    • Fourth Draft
    • Revised Fourth Draft
  • Chapter 7: Mindstorms in the Sand (March 1976 to April 1976)
  • Chapter 8: Faster than a Speeding Freight Train (April 1976 to May 1976)
  • Chapter 9: Vanishing Point (May 1976 to July 1976)
  • Chapter 10: Ace-People and the Wizards (July 1976 to December 1976)
  • Chapter 11: Celluloid Transfiguration (December 1976 to April 1977)
  • Chapter 12: Fairy-Tale Cinema (April 1977 to December 1977)
  • Deluxe Edition Bonus Material
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Index


  • On page 287 there is a frame from the film of the outside of the cantina, explaining that Luke and Ben were painted out of this shot. However, this frame is taken from the Special Edition, which added two new people walking towards the Cantina door. None of the changes made for the 1997 special edition are covered in this book, although there are several other photographs that feature digital shots, mostly from the Death Star battle.
  • On page 297 the caption accompanying a group of pictures mentions Meco Monardo's disco version of the music becoming a Top 40 hit, but there is no picture of the record on this or any other page in the book.


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