A Long Time Ago…Exploring the Star Wars Cinematic Universe


As some of you know, this site was launched in 1996. That means it’s been alive for 20 years; a pretty big accomplishment. In that time, I’ve written in my bloggy, informal style here on the site, with the occasional magazine article or sidebar here or there. It gives me great pleasure to announce today that the wonderful Sequart organization has released the first in a trilogy of Star Wars books called A Long Time Ago… Exploring the Star Wars Cinematic Universe. Inside, you’ll be treated to some great writing by some well-respected writers, one of them being me!

For this first book, I’ve written an essay about The Empire Strikes Back, why it’s the best of the bunch, plus a few other points. I’m not featured in book two which centers on comics (but if you love comics, you should grab it!) In book three, which dissects the Expanded Universe, I have a piece on Shadows of the Empire, the multimedia extravaganza of 1996, featuring lots of quotes from folks directly involved in the project taken from recent interviews I’ve conducted. Until they’re all released, you can grab the first book over at Amazon.com. I hope you enjoy it!


Here’s the official press release:

A Long TIme Ago... Exploring the Star Wars Cinematic UniverseSequart Organization is proud to announce the publication of A Long Time Ago: Exploring the Star Wars Cinematic Universe, edited by Rich Handley and Joseph F. Berenato.

In 1977, the cinematic world was changed forever, thanks to a science-fantasy film about a farm boy, a princess, a wizard, a cyborg, two smugglers, and a pair of robots. Star Wars was a visual and audio extravaganza like nothing anyone had seen before. The movie ushered in two (soon to be three) film trilogies and numerous television shows, making the franchise one of the most successful of all time. Star Wars mesmerized audience-goers young and old with its state-of-the-art special effects and resonant soundtrack, and made “May the Force be with you” a permanent household phrase.

A Long Time Ago: Exploring the Star Wars Cinematic Universe examines the entire Star Wars saga on the large and small screens. From theatrical films to TV movies, from cartoons and commercials to variety shows and video-based amusement-park rides, the mythos continues to keep audiences glued to their seats. This anthology features insightful, analytical essays about the franchise’s long history from popular film historians, novelists, bloggers, and subject-matter experts, exploring why the films proved so immediately popular, where the movies and TV shows have succeeded and faltered, and why we all keep going back a long time ago to that galaxy far, far away.

The book runs 354 pages. It features a foreword by Scott Chernoff. Essayists include Joseph F. Berenato, Jean-Francois Boivin, Joe Bongiorno, Nathan Butler, Julian Darius, Ian Dawe, Keith DeCandido, Kevin Dilmore, Rich Handley, Zaki Hasan, Rocko Jerome, Alex Newborn, David Pipgras, Matthew Sunrich, Lou Tambone, Dayton Ward, and Steven H. Wilson.

This is the first of three books on Star Wars; the second will cover Star Wars comics, and the third will cover the Expanded Universe. This is also Sequart’s fourth book on science fiction, after this year’s The Sacred Scrolls: Comics on the Planet of the Apes, last year’s New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics, and 2013′s The Weirdest Sci-Fi Comic Ever Made: Understanding Jack Kirby’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

A Long Time Ago: Exploring the Star Wars Cinematic Universe is available in print and on Kindle. (Just a reminder: you don’t need a Kindle device to read Kindle-formatted books; you can download a free Kindle reader for most computers, phones, and tablets.) Find out more on the book’s official page or its Facebook page.


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