The New York Times is releasing a unique coffee table book featuring the publication’s four-plus decades of Star Wars coverage. Released on May 25, 1977, the first Star Wars film from writer-director George Lucas revolutionized the movie industry in so many ways, from its sprawling, episodic storytelling and masterful visual effects, to its clever merchandising campaign, which effectively redefined the toy industry and changed the way blockbuster sci-fi and comic book franchises market their films.
Now, with eight films in the Skywalker family saga, a spinoff film in Rogue One, and two more (to start) with Solo and Episode IX on the way, Star Wars is everywhere, as you can find coverage of the legendary film series in all corners of the internet. But there was a time when the media coverage, while expansive through newspaper, radio and television, wasn’t nearly as monolithic as it is today. So, in celebration of that bygone era, one of the nation’s most noted newspaper publications is opening up its vault to unearth its coverage of Star Wars from the very beginning.
According to The Verge The New York Times is publishing In a Galaxy Far, Far Away, a chronicle that highlights the newspaper’s coverage of the film series dating back to before the first Star Wars film, all the way through The Last Jedi. The Verge says The Times’ coverage of the first Star Wars movie, Episode IV – A New Hope, actually dates back to 1973, where in a feature story on Lucas by the publication it reports on how the filmmaker was “working on a space opera film.” In an excerpt from the article provided by The Times, Judy Klemesrud writes, “George is currently working on another science fiction screenplay, ‘The Star Wars,’ which he describes as a ‘real gee whiz movie’ in the Flash Gordon-Buck Rogers tradition.”
One of the first people to get the book, naturally, was Star Wars archivist Steve Sansweet, who posted a video of himself flipping through various pages of the book. See the video below:
One could easily spend hours upon hours pouring through this unusual book from The New York Times. It's a fantastic chronology and a great collection of Star Wars history. It even comes with a magnifying glass book mark to help one peruse!
Posted by Rancho Obi-Wan, Petaluma, Ca. on Friday, January 19, 2018
The Times describes it as the “ultimate anthology” of Star Wars coverage, including everything from articles, reviews, obituaries, photos, graphics and behind-the-scenes exclusives. Keeping the nostalgia of its coverage intact, The Times wisely formatted the book to display their coverage as it originally appeared in newsprint, rather than going with more of a traditionally formatted book.
Ultimately, a straight-up reprint of the articles gives the book more of a time capsule feel, a nostalgia presentation that is in a way an homage to the ever-dwindling print format, as traditional newspaper publications are relying more on the internet to provide coverage to their readers. The book, which measures 12 by 15 inches, is $70, and fans can get their name on a personalized cover for another $10. To help readers with the smaller newsprint, the book comes with a magnifying glass.
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