Cover image for Mythmaker : the life and work of George Lucas
Mythmaker : the life and work of George Lucas
Baxter, John, 1939-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Spike, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiii, 450 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
"An Avon book."
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1998.3.L835 B39 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
PN1998.3.L835 B39 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



George Lucas is one of the most innovative and commercially successful players on the movie scene today. Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, together with the three "Indiana Jones" films-all six of which he conceived, produced, and co-wrote-comprise the most popular group of films ever made. Lucas masterminded a revolutionary shift in the control of funding and profits of Hollywood films away from the studios into the hands of the filmmakers themselves. His state-of-the-art film exhibition techniques (such as THX sound systems) have transformed the cinematic experience, and his Industrial Light & Magic is the finest special effects studio in the world. Yet he has remained an enigma and a recluse-until now.

Author Notes

John Baxter was born in Randwick, New South Wales in 1939. He is an Australian-born writer, journalist, and film-maker. He has lived in Britain and the U.S. as well as in his native Sydney, but has made his home in Paris since 1989. He began writing science fiction in the early 1960s for New Worlds, Science Fantasy and other British magazines. His first novel was published as a book in the US by Ace as The Off-Worlders. He was Visiting Professor at Hollins College in Virginia in 1975-1976. He has written a number of short stories and novels in that genre and a book about SF in the movies, as well as editing collections of Australian science fiction.

For a number of years in the sixties, he was active in the Sydney Film Festival, and during the 1980s served in a consulting capacity on a number of film-funding bodies, as well as writing film criticism for The Australian and other periodicals. Since moving to Paris, he has written four books of autobiography, A Pound of Paper: Confessions of a Book Addict, We'll Always Have Paris: Sex and Love in the City of Light, Immoveable feast : a Paris Christmas, and The Most Beautiful Walk in the World : a Pedestrian in Paris. In 2015 his title, Five Nights in Paris: After Dark in the City of Light, made The New Zealand Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

An astute look behind the myths of the man and his work, this intelligent biography delivers a mixed verdict on director/ producer George Lucas's films: "Thanks to him... American popular culture had been immeasurably enriched in technique, widened in scope, but cheapened in content," writes Baxter, a biographer of Fellini, Spielberg, Kubrick and Woody Allen. "In his hands, cinema became synonymous in sensibility and style with the comic book, the hamburger, the soda." Yet Lucas fans won't mind, and may not even notice, Baxter's quietly devastating criticism as they feast on his detailed behind-the-scenes account of the making and marketing of American Graffiti, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Willow and assorted sequels. Baxter presents the merchandising billionaire (who once observed that Star Wars "was designed around toys") as a socially inept director who finds the Hollywood filmmaking process boring and irritating. At the same time, Lucas has merely dabbled in what he claimed was his lifelong ambition of making inexpensive, personal, even experimental films as an alternative to the Hollywood system. In addition to offering an intense scrutiny of Lucas's creative process, this perceptive bio is peppered with gossipy glimpses into Lucas's rivalry with Spielberg and affair with Linda Ronstadt, details of Carrie Fisher's drug use, Francis Ford Coppola's hectic sex life and the battle waged by a new breed of directors to gain the upper hand over studios and investors in financially controlling their own films. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
1 The Emperor of the Westp. 1
2 Modestop. 13
3 An American Boyp. 21
4 Carsp. 27
5 Where Were You in '62?p. 39
6 USCp. 47
7 Electronic Labyrinthp. 63
8 Big Boy Nowp. 79
9 The March Up-Countryp. 89
10 American Graffitip. 106
11 The Road to the Starsp. 132
12 I am a White Roomp. 153
13 For Sale: Universe, Once Usedp. 169
14 'Put Some More Light on the Dog'p. 192
15 Saving Star Warsp. 214
16 Twerp Cinemap. 234
17 Leaving Los Angelesp. 247
18 Writing Raidersp. 266
19 The Empire Strikes Backp. 281
20 Raiders of the Lost Arkp. 297
21 Fortress Lucasp. 315
22 Snake Surprisep. 332
23 Howard the Duckp. 342
24 The Height of Failurep. 359
25 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusadep. 372
26 Back to the Futurep. 385
Notesp. 405
Filmographyp. 417
Bibliographyp. 427
Indexp. 429