George Lucas and the Digital Revolution

Michael Rubin


The inside story of George Lucas, his intensely private company, and their work to revolutionize filmmaking. In the process, they made computer history. Discover the birth of Pixar, digital video editing, videogame avatars, THX sound, and a host of other icons of the media age. Lucas played a central role in the universe of entertainment technologies we see everyday.

This book ventures in territory never explored, as Rubin-a former member of the Lucasfilm Computer Division-reconstructs the events in Hollywood, in Silicon Valley, and at Lucas' private realm in Marin County, California, to track the genesis of modern media. With unprecedented access to images and key participants from Lucasfilm, Pixar and Zoetrope-from George Lucas and the executives who ran his company, to the small team of scientists who made the technological leaps, Rubin weaves a tale of friendships, a love of movies, and the incessant forward movement of technology. This is a compelling story that takes the reader into an era of technological innovation almost completely unknown.


Author's Introduction: High Magic vii

Act One
1 The Mythology of George
2 Road Trip
3 Restoration
4 The Star Wars
5 The Rebirth of Lucasfilm
6 The Godfather of Electronic Cinema

Act Two
7 The Visionary of Long Island
8 Escape from New York
9 The Train Wreck
10 Inside Wonkaland
11 Flying Free
12 The Silverfish
13 Sound and Vision
14 Obnoxio
15 Double Suicide
16 1,621 Frames
17 Queen's Rules

Act Three
18 A Hole in the Desert
19 Non-Stop Coffee Pots
20 These Aren't the Droids You're Looking For
21 My Breakfast with Andre
22 Playing Games
23 Rendezvous with Reality
24 Stay Small, Be The Best,
And Don't Lose Any Money
25 Into The Twilight Zone
26 Esoteric unto Occult
Epilogue: Return and Revenge
About the Research
Bibliographic Notes
Photo Credits
Computer Division Roster