Book Review: Industrial Light & Magic Presents: Making Solo: A Star Wars Story by Rob Bredow

Published: April 16, 2019
Author & Photographer: Rob Bredow
Foreword: Ron Howard
Publisher: Abrams Books
Format: Hardback
Pages: 256 with 300 colour illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-4197-3753-4
RRP: UK £35.00/US $50.00

The synopsis;

Industrial Light & Magic Presents: Making Solo: A Star Wars Story is an eyewitness account of the film’s production, from Industrial Light & Magic’s visual effects supervisor and coproducer Rob Bredow, who was nominated for an Academy Award for best Achievement in Visual Effects for the film. The book gives readers an intimate glimpse into the journey that Solo took from pre-production, production, and post-production, fully documenting how this film came to the big screen, from an insider who was at the center of it all.

Making Solo gives a chronological overview of how this multiple-Academy-Award-winning visual effects company balances tradition—by drawing upon Lucasfilm archives—with their trademark innovations in special effects and technology. You will see firsthand how ILM created new worlds, aliens, droids, and vehicles for a galaxy far far away, including insights into how the train heist on Vandor-1, L3-37, the Kessel Run, and the reimagined Millennium Falcon were brought to life. A must-have for Star Wars fans, this authorized all-access book will be an indispensable work for all movie fans and devotees of popular culture.

The review;

‘The Making of…’ series of books are brilliant to me. They give you the real insight into the production of the movies we love, and this book is no exception.

I loved Solo: A Star Wars Story and have been excitedly waiting for this book release for quite some time now. So, when it arrived, I couldn’t wait to dive in and get reading. The book flows so well from section to section. It takes us on a journey through the whole of the movie including pre-production, location shoots, concept art, creature workshop and set creation. And it also does this very comprehensively.

Ron Howard has composed the foreword to reflect on what was a difficult situation of taking over directorship at the eleventh hour. With the team already assembled, he explains how he utilised them to his advantage.

Rob Bredow has created a book that well and truly gives you the feeling that it was created by someone from inside the production, not by other looking in. The stills used are at times very candid, humorous and others very serious, but it captures the passion and love that the creative teams and actors poured into the movie.

One thing that is different is the flow of the book. It goes through the path of the process and not the stages of movie making. I found this interesting as it shows how disjointed movie making can be. With the issues of the change of directorship mid-filming, other items came into play where story changes affected what came next.

Interviews with key members of the team give huge insight into their individual processes and trains of thought. These are some of the people whose names are in the credits when most of us walk out of the cinema and pay little attention to. These names are just as important as those who appear in front of the camera in modern-day cinema and should receive far more acclaim.

For me the features on Savareen are the highlights of the book. I have a vested interest in this location as it was filmed on one of the Canary Islands called Fuerteventura. This is an island dear to my heart having holidayed there regularly over the past 25 years. Filmed in a region I don’t know particularly well, it is an ambition of mine to find the exact location on my next visit. To see a Star Wars movie being filmed in a place I love, fills me with excitement and these pages will be read many times over and the stills will be pondered over regularly.

The one issue I do have though is I am now running out of room on my bookshelf! It’s a big book, in the same format as the previous releases, but it is of that same standard and in truth, I cannot fault it one bit! Abrams Books have delivered a book of the highest quality yet again. Well done to everyone involved!

Book credit;

Industrial Light & Magic Presents: Making Solo: A Star Wars Story by Rob Bredow, foreword by Ron Howard
© and TM 2019 Lucasfilm Ltd


Industrial Light & Magic Presents: Making Solo: A Star Wars Story’ by Rob Bredow, published by Chronicle Books was released on 16th April 2019. It is available in hardback format from all good bookstores on the high street and via Amazon and other online retailers with a RRP of UK £35.00/US $50.00.

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