Book Review “Star Wars Art: Concept”

starwarsconceptsAuthor: LucasFilm Ltd
Series: Star Wars Art Series
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Abrams
Release Date: October 15, 2013

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

“Star Wars” is such a phenomenon and packs a presence like no other franchise. The “Star Wars Art” series has been quite amazing over the last few years, courtesy of Abrams. When it comes to concept art, you know that “Star Wars” is not going to disappoint. I couldn’t wait to open this book and I was literally blown away by hundreds of images of conceptual artwork from this franchise. I would call this book nothing short of spectacular. I read a lot of art of books for various films and this one is easily the best I have seen all year, no question. The detail is so in depth for these films and the images are absolutely gorgeous and delivered in very high quality. All six films are well represented here and you are literally transported to the amazing world that “Star Wars” has created and get an inside alternate look into that world.

Official Premise: From Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston to Doug Chiang, Ryan Church, Iain McCaig, Erik Tiemens, and the next generation of animation and video-game artists, Star Wars Art: Concept collects, for the first time ever, the very best Star Wars conceptual artwork. As curated by George Lucas, the artwork that helped bring the Star Wars Saga to life is revealed in all its glory, featuring pre-production drawings and paintings from the Original Trilogy, the Prequel Trilogy, the TV shows, and the video games, including an exclusive preview of artwork from the highly anticipated 1313. Spanning the years from 1975 to the present, Star Wars Art: Concept is a fascinating look at the process of conceptual design. From pen and paint and paper to the digital realm, the result is the creation of breathtaking iconic worlds, vehicles, and characters that successive generations have embraced and made their own.

I think that any “Star Wars” fan big or small, young or old is going to eat up every page and every inch of this book. Who wouldn’t want to see early designs for various characters, creatures, and droids. I spent hours looking over different variations of our favorite characters including R2-D2, C-3PO, Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, Boba Fett, Padme, Tusken Raiders and of course everyone’s favorite Jar Jar Binks. Besides, characters there is also tons more including various locations and vehicles. There are even some that never made it into the films at all, which is a real treat for any fan of the series. So besides all six films we also get an inside look into the animated TV shows ”Droids” and “Ewoks” and also various video games including “Force Unleashed” and many more.

There is a great preface from Ryan Church, who is the Concept Design Supervisor for both “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” and “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”. There is a solid introduction from Doug Chiang, who was the design director for Lucasfilm on “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” and “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones”. Erik Tiemens gives a very interesting afterword, who made the original art used to sculpt the Massassi frieze for “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”. He also wrote and drew the comic “The Artist of Naboo” for “Star Wars: Visionaries”. Lastly, Joe Johnston, who is the director of such films like ”Jurassic Park III”, “Jumanji”, and “Captain America: The First Avenger”. Joe gives a endearing foreward about his love for “Star Wars” and his work on Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, where he was responsible for the design of Boba Fett’s armor and equipment. Overall, a must have for any “Star Wars” fan!

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