Monday, December 15, 2014

Art & Culture: Star Wars Art: Posters

Yes, I know: Who needs another book about Star Wars? Well, it turns out I did, and maybe you do too. Because Star Wars Art: Posters (Harry N. Abrams) is a different kind of Star Wars book.

We all know that George Lucas’ space saga has inspired countless novels, toys, musical interpretations, other movies and TV shows, and more. The reach of the film seems endless. But one area that needed a bit more exploration is posters.

Like all movies, each film has had its lobby posters, and this book features all of them. But even better are the other posters that the films inspired along the way. Some were done by heavy-hitter artists like Drew Struzan and Roger Kastel, some by very talented fans, and many by people in-between.

While many artists were paid, some did their work because it was fun and because Star Wars moved them. And moved is what you will be when you get an up-close-and-personal look at the 120 posters in this book. You’ll find the classics, as I mentioned, but you’ll also find some of the sketches that came first, the little explorations that became the posters we know so well. The errors, too, and the first drafts. You’ll find art from all over the world, as well as versions of posters you may already know, concept drawings and paintings that helped shape the Star Wars universe, and much more.

These are posters used to advertise movies, radio programs, TV shows, gallery exhibitions, video games, and on and on. What they posters all have in common is that they bring the drama to life: the characters, the action, and sometimes the larger questions about life in that galaxy far, far away. 

Rather than a collection of posters, which always feature creative blocks at the bottom (the credits), Star Wars Art: Posters does away with that distraction, treating these works of art as what they are: art. I was surprised at how much difference that made when looking at these images. They come alive truly alive, and tell a story that we all know and in a way that’s fresh. ◊

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