“Mark O’Connell brings alive those wonderfully heady days when American cinema was young again – exploding with the fun, colour and imagination that illuminated our own frozen shores and fired the imaginations of children – and grown up children – everywhere. So take your mashed potato Devils Tower to the lost city of Tanis – via Krypton and, of course, a galaxy far, far away – and indulge in this fantastic personal account of one of the greatest chapters in movie history. An unmitigated delight.”

  • Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Doctor Who)

Mark O’Connell didn’t want to be Luke Skywalker. He wanted to be one of the mop-haired kids on the Star Wars toy commercials. And he would have done it had his parents had better pine furniture and a condo in California.

Star Wars, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Superman didn’t just change cinema – they made lasting highways into our childhoods, toy boxes and video stores like never before.

In Watching Skies, O’Connell pilots a gilded X-Wing flight through that shared universe of bedroom remakes of Return of the Jedi, close encounters with Christopher Reeve, sticker album swaps, the trauma of losing an entire Star Wars figure collection and honeymooning on Amity Island.

From the author of Catching Bullets – Memoirs of a Bond Fan, Watching Skies is a timely hologram from all our memory systems. 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 sold separately.

“I thought I was the only person obsessed with every single thing written in this book, but fortunately for the rest of us Mark O’Connell is too. This is the ideal Christmas gift, even if you’re browsing at Easter.”

  • Mark Millar (Kingsman, Kick Ass)

“Mark O’Connell – whose first book, Catching Bullets, described his life as a James Bond superfan – revisits the other films and stories that so obsessed him during his childhood… tracing their impact not just on himself but on a whole generation of space-lovers and cinema-goers” – RADIO TIMES

“We rather liked Mark O’Connell’s Bond-fan memoir Catching Bullets. Watching Skies does much the same for the likes of Star Wars, Close Encounters and E.T. reminiscing about toys, videos, sticker album swaps and so on. ” – SFX


Watching Skies – Star Wars, Spielberg and Us by Mark O’Connell is now published by The History Press and available in all good book and e-book stockists. The US release will be September 1st 2018.


Paperback ISBN 9780750970198
eBook ISBN 9780750986151

Click for Watching Skies‘ full press release.

For all Watching Skies press, reviewing and media enquiries :

Jess Gofton @ The History Press
01453 732513

For all writer enquiries:

Vivienne Clore
020 7497 0849

Watching Skies on social media:








Watching Skies cover artwork designed by Scott Woolston / Scott Woolston on Instagram

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