New book ‘Star Wars Art: Posters’ dives into a galaxy of rich visuals

Dec. 26, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.
la ca 1218 star wars art posters 545 New book Star Wars Art: Posters dives into a galaxy of rich visuals

Image from "Star Wars Art: Posters": Full-color painted concept treatment for early "Star Wars" poster, 1975. (p. 13) (Ralph McQuarrie / LucasFilm)

la ca 1218 star wars art posters 552 New book Star Wars Art: Posters dives into a galaxy of rich visuals

Image from "Star Wars Art: Posters": Limited-edition Mondo screen print from "Star Wars." (2010) (Tyler Stout / LucasFilm)

la ca 1218 star wars art posters 549 New book Star Wars Art: Posters dives into a galaxy of rich visuals

Full-color painted conceptual treatment for "The Empire Strikes Back" style "A" ("Gone with the Wind") 1979 theatrical one-sheet, (Kastel / LucasFilm)

la ca 1218 star wars art posters 548 New book Star Wars Art: Posters dives into a galaxy of rich visuals

Full-color painted concept treatment for "Star Wars: Vehicles" 1978 poster. (Noriyoshi Ohrai / LucasFilm)

la ca 1218 star wars art posters 550 New book Star Wars Art: Posters dives into a galaxy of rich visuals

Image from "Star Wars Art: Posters": Final mixed-media/digital artwork for "The Phantom Menace" theatrical advance poster. (LucasFilm Ltd.)

Luke and Leia, Han and Chewie, Obi-Wan and Vader, TIE fighters and X-wings: Say the names of “Star Wars,” and a galaxy of imagery springs to mind — a visual language as colorful as Wookiee Speak.

For fans who cannot wait an entire year (a whole year!) to see the coming spectacle of J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens,” there is this from Abrams, the publisher: “Star Wars Art: Posters,” a 180-page book ($40) or 244-page limited edition ($400) loaded with more than 50 artists’ drawings, paintings and digital renderings promoting the “Star Wars” empire of films, TV movies, cartoon series, video games and more.

It’s a nostalgic visual chronicle with a forward by Drew Struzan, one of the original “Star Wars” poster artists, and an introduction by Roger Kastel, poster artist for “The Empire Strikes Back,” who recalls how George Lucas wanted that project centered on Princess Leia and Han Solo, embracing in a way that recalled Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara in the poster for “Gone With the Wind.” Some of the most entertaining artwork in “Posters” dates to 1975, two years before the first film was released, when C-3PO is looking decidedly more feminine and Chewbecca’s head seems strangely Yoda-ish.

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Comments


3 Responses to New book ‘Star Wars Art: Posters’ dives into a galaxy of rich visuals

  1. Eric says:

    I saw this once back in 1998 on a soda bottle and thought to myself "why is Luke holding a red lightsaber and Darth holding a blue one'? I wondered if the marketing guy who approved this pic was fired?

  2. Consti says:

    "Help! There's a hand growing on the chest of our super-skinny hero!"

    Planet Exploding Poster of Luke and Leia: Luke's chest looks like an extra left hand is reaching across with the thumb on his sternum to…become ribs? It looks freaky-weird and will look even more creepy when it is poster size.

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