Posted on Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 by Peter Sciretta
One of the most anticipated books in pop culture right now has to be J.W. Rinzler‘s The Making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Star Wars fans are looking forward to getting a real deep dive into the making of the new Star Wars movie, since so much of the content released so far (including the Blu-ray special features) has been shallow and unrewarding. And Rinzler’s Making Of books for the original Star Wars trilogy are the closest thing to the bible for most film geeks.
The book was originally scheduled to hit store shelves in March 2016, a few months after the release of the film. But the release date vanished from the publisher’s website. In May, Abrams Books told me, “Officially, the statement from Lucasfilm and [JJ] Abrams is that The Making of the Force Awakens has not been canceled. More details to come!” Sounded hopeful, and then a few months back an October 25th 2016 release date appeared on Amazon’s website. But the author of the book isn’t sure we’ll see the book later this year, or if we’ll ever see the book at all.
While appearing on the GeedDad Podcast, author J.W. Rinzler gave an update on the much anticipated announced and delayed The Making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens book.
There’s a lot of new information. They really didn’t release a lot of information. I don’t know what form the book is going to come out, and frankly, I don’t know if it’s coming out in October. Nobody has said that to me, and someone else has said it might be, and I checked with the publisher, and they said it’s news to them. So it might just be Amazon… Again, I don’t work there anymore, so I’m not privy to information, but I think they would have let me know. … It’s a compelling book, and you’d have to ask them why it’s been delayed.
In fact, if you look at Rinzler’s Twitter account he is still telling people that the book was canceled:
@Timtooine Yes, am asked this often, but book was canceled. You'll have to ask Lucasfilm/Disney/publisher why…
— J. W. Rinzler (@jwrinzler) August 4, 2016
As for why the book was delayed (or canceled), Rinzler certainly can’t speak about that. It seems to me that it might have too much information that Disney, Lucasfilm and JJ Abrams don’t want out there at this point.
Asked if the book will reveal some of George Lucas‘ original idea for the sequel trilogy story, which was notoriously abandoned by JJ Abrams, the author said:
You will get a few hints in this book, but you don’t get the whole thing. I think that something that big will come out eventually. I don’t know when or where but I just don’t see how it could not.
Rinzler had previously said that Lucas talked with him about his original vision for the trilogy for the book:
He did, but given how he’s said they didn’t really follow his ideas, it’s for him to say. Because the book has been delayed, I really don’t think I can talk about it–except to say that when the book does come out, if it’s as originally written, fans will learn a lot more.
Rinzler theorizes that Lucas would include the story idea in an autobiography if he ever writes one or has someone write one for him. Rinzler wrote The Making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens alongside Mark Cotta Vaz, who was on the set of the production for five weeks. Rinzler started on the book once George Lucas revealed he was selling the company.
So I had a journal and interviewed 20 people early on just when they were starting the job before JJ [Abrams] was even hired as director. I was there at the first meeting at Skywalker Ranch when JJ came and officially started. … And I was there until the movie was released. And then afterwards, I shouldn’t say too much, but I interviewed people connected to the film.
Rinzler admits that The Making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens book will be closer in scope to the Episode III book he wrote than the original trilogy making of books. The main reason is that this one was written at the time of production while those had the benefit of 30 years of hindsight, and people willing to talk more honestly about controversies that they may not have been ready to talk about during the release.
The official synopsis for the 368-page book follows:
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
The Making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the ultimate eyewitness account of the film’s complete production history—the fantastic work of the conceptual art team, the commitment to creating a new story in a saga that is loved around the world, J. J. Abrams’s helming of the massive production, and the post-production finesse of Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound—with exclusive reflections from George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher, as well as Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, and many others.
A must-have for Star Wars fans, this authorized, all-access book—perhaps the most comprehensive documentation of an in-progress production ever written—will be an indispensable work for all movie fans and devotees of popular culture.