Download How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise Audiobook

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise Audiobook, by Chris Taylor Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Chris Taylor Narrator: Nick Podehl Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2014 ISBN: 9781480532502
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In 1973, a young filmmaker named George Lucas scribbled some notes for a far-fetched space-fantasy epic. More than forty years and $37 billion later, Star Wars–related products outnumber human beings, a stormtrooper army spans the globe, and “Jediism” has become a religion in its own right. Lucas’s creation has grown into far more than a cinematic classic; it is, quite simply, one of the most lucrative, influential, and interactive franchises of all time. Yet until now the complete history of Star Wars—its influences and impact, the controversies it has spawned, its financial growth and long-term prospects—has never been told.

In How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, veteran journalist Chris Taylor traces the series from the difficult birth of the original film through its sequels, the franchise’s death and rebirth, the prequels, and the preparations for a new trilogy. Taylor provides portraits of the friends, writers, artists, producers, and marketers who labored behind the scenes to turn Lucas’s idea into a legend. He also jousts with modern-day Jedi, tinkers with droid builders, and gets inside Boba Fett’s helmet, all to find out how Star Wars has attracted and inspired so many fans for so long.

Since the first film’s release in 1977, Taylor shows, Star Wars has conquered our culture with a sense of lightness and exuberance, while remaining serious enough to influence politics around the world and spread a spirituality that appeals to religious groups and atheists alike. Controversial digital upgrades and critically savaged prequels have actually made the franchise stronger than ever. Now, with a new set of savvy bosses holding the reins and Episode VII on the horizon, it looks like Star Wars is just getting started.

An energetic, fast-moving account of this creative and commercial phenomenon, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe explains how a filmmaker’s fragile dream beat out a surprising number of rivals and gained a die-hard, multigenerational fan base—and why it will be galvanizing our imaginations and minting money for generations to come.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Chris Taylor’s colorful biography of Star Wars, the franchise that shaped modern culture, is more than just a geek’s delight. It is a creativity manual—and shows how the relationship between films and fans can stimulate innovation.”

    Walter Isaacson, New York Times bestselling author of Steve Jobs

  • “Exhaustive…[a] thorough account…Those of us more casually in tune with the Force will find more than a few tasty nuggets.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “[A] microresearched and breezily written book.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “An unconventional approach that serves to bring a spark of life that might otherwise go missing from a straightforward commercial or cinematic look at Star Wars.”

    Washington Post

  • “Delivers a payload of information…You will find intense emotions in its observations of a battle for autonomy within corporate cinema and to the public that swoons for Lucas’ products.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “[A] terrific new book.”

    Huffington Post

  • “Even obsessives will likely find much that’s news to them…worthy of being savored…Amusing…Reveals what a huge role serendipity played in Star Wars.”

    New York Post

  • “It’s impossible to overstate the cultural, social, and even political impact of Star Wars. It started as a balm for a people racked by moral confusion, a juvenile bolt hole for a nation with shattered self-esteem, but the blast wave of enthusiasm and love it inspired was to engulf the planet…Chris Taylor’s affectionate and hugely entertaining book tracks the phenomenon from inception to dominance and, with a wry smile, asks us to ‘look at the size of that thing!’”

    Simon Pegg, English actor, comedian, screen writer, and film producer

  • “It really is hard to imagine a book about Star Wars being any more comprehensive than this one. It’s full of information and insight and analysis, and it’s so engagingly written that it’s a pure joy to read…There are plenty of books about Star Wars, but very few of them are essential reading. This one goes directly to the top of the pile.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Taylor’s book feels occasionally like an assemblage of oddments and statistics, but mostly he stays right on track in charting how Star Wars moved from film to meme to near universal standard cultural referent. (Say, “I’m your father” in a James Earl Jones voice in just about any language and the audience will get it.) Better than that is the author’s account of the origins of the series and his look at what Star Wars has wrought over the last four decades, including a true revolution in many aspects of filmmaking…A smart, engaging book.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Anyone touched by the most enduring space fantasy mythology of the past two generations will thrill to Taylor’s passionate telling of the saga behind the saga: How a lonely tinkerer from a backwater town changed the world via interplanetary heroism. To Star Wars obsessives and those wanting to understand modern pop culture: this is absolutely the book you are looking for.”

    Brian Doherty, author of This Is Burning Man

  • “Taylor provides a rich and exciting history of the Star Wars franchise…Nick Podehl brings so much excitement to his narration that it’s hard not to suspect that he too is a Star Wars fan—though, in reality, he’s capturing Taylor’s tone quite well. He has a bit of a rasp to his voice, which is otherwise gentle in its projection. He handles the quotes well, sometimes generating the delivery styles of Lucas and other people or series characters.”


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About the Author

Chris Taylor is the deputy editor of Mashable, the world’s largest social media and technology news website. He has covered the intersection of business and culture for two decades as a writer and editor for Time, Business 2.0, Fortune Small Business, and Fast Company. A graduate of Merton College, Oxford and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, he lives in Berkeley, California.

About the Narrator

Manel Loureiro was born in Pontevedra, Spain, and studied law at Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. After graduation, he worked in television, both on-screen (appearing on Television de Galicia) and behind the scenes as a writer. Apocalypse Z, his first novel, began as a popular blog before its publication, eventually becoming a bestseller in several countries, including Spain, Italy, and Brazil. He currently resides in his hometown of Pontevedra, where, in addition to writing, he is still a practicing lawyer.