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The Talks at Google podcast - where great minds meet.

Talks at Google brings the world’s most influential thinkers, creators, makers, and doers all to one place. Every episode is taken from a video that can be seen at

Apr 29, 2022

In anticipation of May the 4th, Chris Taylor unearths the human-scale stories that have gone into the making of the galactic-sized legend that is Star Wars, and describes how and why it has been such an astonishing success. In a richly detailed narrative, Taylor traces the history of the series from its difficult birth through four drafts, a disastrous first cut, and many sequels and spin-offs. Today, he shows that Star Wars finds itself at a crossroads, with a new company holding the reins and many new spin-offs on the horizon.

How did a few notes scribbled on a legal pad in 1973 by George Lucas, a man who hated writing, turn into a multi-billion dollar franchise that has quite literally transformed the way we think about entertainment, merchandising, politics, and even religion? A cultural touchstone and cinematic classic, Star Wars has a cosmic appeal that no other movie franchise has been able to replicate. From Jedi-themed weddings and international storm-trooper legions, to impassioned debates over the digitization of the three Star Wars prequels, to the shockwaves that continue to reverberate from Disney’s purchase of the beloved franchise in 2012, the series hasn’t stopped inspiring and inciting viewers for almost forty years. Yet surprisingly little is known about its history, its impact—or where it’s headed next.

An energetic, witty account of this stunning cinematic and business success story, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe is the saga of how a young filmmaker’s idle idea became such an immense, transformative cultural force.

Originally published in December of 2014.

Visit to watch the video.