Book Talk: ‘The Star Wars Archives: Episodes I-III, 1999-2005’….Look at the Size of that Book!

I’d hate to drop that copy of The Star Wars Archives: Episodes I-III, 1999-2005 on my foot! It weighs 15.1 pounds and came in a box so big that at first I didn’t know it contained copy #6790! (Photo by the author)

Hi again, Dear Reader. It’s now late afternoon and heading into early evening here in New Hometown, Florida. Currently, it’s 63˚F (17˚C) under cloudy skies. With the wind blowing from the west-northwest at 13 MPH (21 KM/H) and humidity at 63%, the feels-like temperature is 63˚F (17˚C). The light that attempting to stream through my closed drapes is dimmer than usual, so I’m guessing the cloud cover is 100%.

Well, to change topics from the final days of the Trump Administration, I’m happy to report that I received my copy of Paul Duncan’s The Star Wars Archives: Episodes I-III, 1999-2005, the second book in a duology by Taschen Books.

The first book of the duology, also published in December 2020. (C) 2020 Taschen Books and Lucasfilm Ltd. (LFL)

Published just a few weeks ago, The Star Wars Archives: Episodes I-III, 1999-2005 is a huge “coffee table” format book that measures 19.09 x 2.87 x 13.39 inches and weighs a whopping 15.1 pounds. It has an expensive looking red cloth cover with the title done in what looks to be gold leaf, and its size (and weight) mean that it’s also a top quality volume.

Here is how the publisher describes The Star Wars Archives: Episodes I-III, 1999-2005:

From the moment Star Wars burst onto the screen in 1977, audiences have been in equal parts fascinated and appalled by the half-man/half-machine hybrid Darth Vader. In 1999, creator George Lucas began the story of how Anakin Skywalker grew up to train as a Jedi under Obi-Wan Kenobi, found love with the Queen of Naboo, Padmé Amidala, before turning to the dark side of his nature and becoming more machine than man.

After driving the development of nascent digital technology, George Lucas perceived how he could create new creatures and new worlds on a grander scale than ever before. He created the first digital blockbuster and met fierce resistance when he pushed for widespread digital cameras, sets, characters, and projection – all of which are now used throughout the industry. He essentially popularized the modern way of making movies.

Made with the full cooperation of George Lucas and Lucasfilm, this second volume covers the making of the prequel trilogy ― Episode I The Phantom Menance, Episode II Attack of the Clones, and Episode III Revenge of the Sith ― and features exclusive interviews with Lucas and his collaborators. The book is profusely illustrated with script pages, production documents, concept art, storyboards, on-set photography, stills, and posters.

The Star Wars Archives: Episodes I-III, 1999-2005 is the most expensive book I own. It’s part of a $200-per-book limited first edition – my copy is #6790 out of a 10,000 book run – and a fine but pricey collector’s item.

I will, of course, read it; it’s silly to buy a book like The Star Wars Archives: Episodes I-III, 1999-2005 and not read it. But since it needs to be handled with great care and is so big that you can’t just take it anyplace to browse through its 600 pages, it’ll be a while before I can review it for you.

The 40th Anniversary book about the Original Trilogy: $25. The huge book (15.1 lbs.!) about the Prequels? $200 from Teschen Books. (Photo by the author.)

I took a few photos of my two volumes of The Star Wars Archives together; as you can see, the book that covers the Original Trilogy is dwarfed – considerably – by The Star Wars Archives: Episodes I-III, 1999-2005. As Wedge Antilles says about the first Death Star in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, “Look at the size of that thing!”  

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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