Concept art has always played a huge role in the creation of Star Wars films, from Ralph McQuarrie’s original work on A New Hope, which brought George Lucas’ early ideas to life, to Iain McCaig’s designs of Darth Maul during the development of The Phantom Menace. Abrams’ new tome Star Wars Art: Concept, released this week, celebrates the concept art of a galaxy far, far away, with pre-production drawings and paintings from the films, TV series, video games, and more — and features a forward by filmmaker Joe Johnston, who served as a storyboard and concept artist on the original trilogy and designed Boba Fett’s costume, and an introduction from prequel trilogy (and future Star Wars films) artist Doug Chiang. Check out a special preview of selections from Star Wars Art: Concept after the jump!
Mythological creatures come in any shape and size, their appearance only limited by the boundaries of the human imagination. Earth’s history is full of mythological creatures and fabled monsters, some of which have found their way to the Star Wars universe, either in form or in name. While the best known creatures are probably from Greek mythology, the most prominently referenced specimens have their origin in the Old Testament. The behemoth and the leviathan are mentioned in the Book of Job and have become the metaphors for any large monster or sea creature, respectively. Star Wars knows several of these creatures. The Behemoth from the World Below and the Sith Behemoths were creations of Sith alchemy, as were several incarnations of the leviathan. Other leviathans lived on Dorumaa and Arrakan.
Since the Bible didn’t include too many clues towards the appearance of these monsters, the behemoths and leviathans featured in Star Wars and many other stories come in many different forms. Therefore, the link between Earth mythology and the creatures and sentients of the saga may not be as obvious as with some of the other fabled beasts that made their way into a galaxy far, far away…
See-Threepio once noted that he was “not very good at telling stories.” While the validity of that claim may be debatable, given his Ewok fireside chat in Return of the Jedi, it turns out that Threepio wasn’t the franchise’s real storyteller anyway. That distinction, it appears, goes to Artoo-Detoo.
More on that in a moment.
My name is Scott Hamman, and I’ve been with The Tech Museum of Innovation for a little over three years. Currently, I’m employed as a Membership Specialist. I’m one of the people you might meet when our museum proves itself so inspirational that you decide a membership would be a good purchase. I work for The Tech because I believe in our mission, to inspire the innovator in everyone, and because the corporate culture draws people of a similar mindset: creative, fun, and sometimes a little geeky.
We’ve hosted several traveling exhibitions since I started with The Tech, including ones about Genghis Khan, the history of science in the Islamic world, the human body, and the MythBusters. Though I have enjoyed them all, when word came that we were to present “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination,” I flashed back to my childhood, to the previews I saw for Star Wars a few months before the movie was released in 1977.
The exhibition hall has been strictly off-limits to all but a few key people during setup. I would occasionally hear stories about certain artifacts being unpacked, or about how cool the Millennium Falcon Experience is. Yesterday, our project manager and three of his assistants treated me to a tour of the exhibition. The four of them kept a close eye on me while I walked through, not because they were worried I’d try to touch one of the artifacts, but in order to monitor my reactions.
Debuting in 2008 and running for five seasons, the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars made the Star Wars universe a far richer place. The show introduced major new characters like Ahsoka Tano, Savage Opress, and Mother Talzin, while further developing the saga’s icons and backstory, including the integral friendship of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Perhaps most significantly, it kept Star Wars alive for older fans and introduced the world of Jedi, Sith, and starfighters to a generation of new ones. That’s all largely due to supervising director Dave Filoni, a gifted artist, writer, and director who guided the series, and whose ability to combine visual spectacle with witty dialogue and high-stakes, emotional drama was essential to the show’s success. Currently, Filoni is serving as executive producer on the highly anticipated Star Wars Rebels animated series, which explores the time period between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, and is also overseeing the completion of select final episodes of The Clone Wars. With the fifth season of The Clone Wars — which won Emmys for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program and Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program for guest star David Tennant — hitting Blu-ray and DVD today, StarWars.com spoke with Filoni about how the many game-changing story beats of the year came to be, why a break from Darth Maul is important, and what it would take to get a New York Rangers reference into the show. (Spoiler warning: This interview digs deep into everything that happened in Season Five.)
“R2-D2, where are you?” and “There’s one! Set for stun!” will probably be two of the best recognized quotes from the Star Wars movies by parents in the ’70s and ’80s. These phrases were among two of the six sounds produced by Kenner’s Imperial Troop Transport vehicle. It was announced recently during the panel of Star Wars Rebels at New York Comic Con that this iconic toy will appear in the upcoming animated television series. So it seems like a perfect timing to have a closer look at the Kenner vehicles that have not (yet?) made it into a Star Wars movie. But, be not mistaken. Several of these vehicles have already flown, hovered or rolled their way into other mediums of the Star Wars franchise.
Etiquette dictates that to avoid upset feelings or arguments, there are three things you never discuss at the dinner table: religion, politics, and the lengths of Super Star Destroyers. The last one, in particular, is a topic fraught with controversy with impassioned opinions that have sparked many a damned fool idealistic crusade. This blog is one of them.