Review – Watching Skies


Review of Watching Skies to follow but here is the press release for what look to be a very cool book. Ill take a look – but let me know what you think:

Watching Skies – A loving ode to a VHS galaxy not that far far away

As Ready Player One and Stranger Things prove the retro might of VHS era cinema, Watching Skies: Star Wars, Spielberg and Us is a universal and affectionate tale about the pop cultural remembrances stuck in all our R2 unit’s memory systems.


Like many a kid in an ‘80s world of VCRs, Reagan and Atari, Mark O’Connell wanted to be one of the mop-haired kids on the Star Wars toy commercials. Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Superman and of course Star Wars weren’t just changing cinema – they were making lasting highways into our childhoods, toy boxes and video stores like never before.

In this energetic and insightful memoir-through-cinema, O’Connell flies a gilded X-Wing through a universe of bedroom remakes of Return of the Jedi, close encounters with Christopher Reeve, sticker album swaps, a honeymoon on Amity Island and the trauma of losing an entire Star Wars figure collection.

A unique study on how a rich galaxy of movies continue shaping big and vital cinema to this day, Watching Skies is for all Star Wars kids – whatever their era.

It is about how George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, a shark, two motherships, some gremlins, ghostbusters, and a man of steel jumped a whole generation to hyperspace* (*action figures not included).

Mark O’Connell is an award-winning writer and author. As a
comedy writer he has written for a wide range of actors,
performers, titles, and media. As a warm-witted pop culture
pundit, he has written and guested for Variety, Sky Movies, The
Times, The Guardian, OUT magazine, Channel Four, Five, Yahoo
Movies and across BBC radio and television. He was one of the
official storytellers of London 2012, owns one tenth of a BAFTA,
once got praised by the Coen Brothers, and now travel writes.
He is the author of Catching Bullets: Memoirs of a Bond Fan.

Watching Skies: Star Wars, Spielberg and Us
by Mark O’Connell
September 2018
The History Press
Paperback ISBN 9780750970198
ebook ISBN 9780750986151


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