For Star Wars fans for whom no time is too long ago and no galaxy too far away, this lavish, Wookiee-sized compendium is the definitive guide to the making of the second (and arguably, best) installment of George Lucas' space opera. It's all here: unseen early artwork, discarded plot treatments and storylines (at one point in development, Yoda was envisioned as a bearded dwarf called Minch; in another, he was to be played by a monkey in a costume) and interviews with the cast and crew. The "here's how it was" anecdotes abound: you can almost taste the ice-cold spaghetti the crew dined on during a subzero cold snap in Norway where they were filming the Hoth ice planet scenes. But the book's best, most telling passage is the extended transcript of an on-set dialogue between director Irvin Kirschner, his crew and the actors in which they construct, virtually from scratch, the climactic carbon-freezing scene in which Princess Leia finally declares her love for Han Solo. (Han's famous response "I know" was Harrison Ford's idea.) Like The Making Of itself, it's an engrossing look at the cooperative, creative process behind one of cinema's most indelible gems.
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