The Star Wars Radio Dramas

Brian Daley and the Serialization That Saved NPR

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About the Book

By 1977 National Public Radio (NPR) was in trouble, plagued by too little funding and small audiences. The phenomenal success of its adaptation of Star Wars as a radio drama in 1981 gave NPR the needed ratings, publicity, and boost in donations that kept it afloat at exactly the time it was threatened the most. Most importantly, Star Wars brought a new audience to NPR. As it did in theaters, where George Lucas’s films redefined movie making, so too did NPR’s Star Wars forever change the artistic world of radio drama.
That a radio network, dependent exclusively on audio, would find a lifeline in one of the most visually dynamic movies ever released is the stuff of irony. Utilizing new interviews with creatives such as Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Ann Sachs (Princess Leia), Perry King (Han Solo), and director John Madden, and archival research, this book details how an unlikely alliance of academics, radio executives, Lucasfilm employees, actors, and behind-the-scenes artists banded together, despite the obstacles, to create a unique and consequential work. It is also the story of how writer Brian Daley was the fulcrum who made it all possible.

About the Author(s)

Professor of sociology Maria Jose Tenuto was named the 2019 Outstanding Illinois Adjunct Faculty of the Year by the Illinois Community College Trustees Association. She lives in Altoona, Iowa.

John Tenuto is a retired sociology professor. He was named the 2020 Central Regional Faculty Member of the Year for the United States by the Association of Community Colleges. He lives in Altoona, Iowa.

Bibliographic Details

Maria Jose Tenuto and John Tenuto
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info:
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9563-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5337-2
Imprint: McFarland