The Art Behind The Force
♦ Tripwire’s editor-in-chief JOEL MEADOWS takes a look at The Art Of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, out now from Abrams Books…
The Art Of Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Writer: Phil Szostak
Foreword: Rian Johnson
Three years into the new Star Wars films and we have another Art Of book, tying in with The Last Jedi, which came out the middle of December.
The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson sets the scene for us with his foreword, which emphasises the important role that the production, concept and art teams played with the film as they do with every film on this huge scale. It is obvious from reading Johnson’s comments that he is a massive fan of Star Wars and wanted to try to top his hat to the films which have gone before while trying to create something new. This is the quandry that the new Star Wars films find themselves in, with the older fans wanting something that is closer to the original trilogy while younger audiences don’t have that emotional connection to Lucas’s original three films. Even if the new film didn’t quite work for some of its audience, you can still appreciate the skill and artistry that went into making it.
For fans of Star Wars and The Last Jedi, The Art of The Last Jedi offers a well-written and carefully selected glimpse into the production process. As with all of these behind the scenes books, thousands of images are created during pre-production, shooting and post-production, so it would be impossible to capture every aspect of such a massive enterprise. However, this book does give people a flavour of the approach and tone that the scores of artists took to create The Last Jedi. With Star Wars shooting regularly in the UK, what is also interesting is the significant contribution that three of the country’s best comic artists have made to this film. Glyn Dillon, Jock and Chris Weston all did a great deal of work on TLJ and some of their sketches are included here.
As with the other Art of books, sometimes the sheer amount of art included here is just too overwhelming and there is an argument that a reader would get more out of it if they were to return to it regularly, focusing on specific chapters to get the most out of it.
It is very difficult to mention every artist who worked on the production as obviously they all contributed to the overall film but highlights for me from this book include the work of Seth Engstrom, Jock, art director Kevin Jenkins, Tonci Zonjic and Rodolfo Damaggio.
The reproduction here of the work is astounding as it always is in these books and the double page spreads that focus on specific concept art really add to the visual impact.
The text that accompanies the art also offers readers a snapshot of the genesis of The Last Jedi. We even have a small section at the beginning that focuses on the very end of The Force Awakens, as they didn’t want to blow the film’s ending when it had just come out.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the work of many hands just like all of its predecessors and The Art Of Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a wonderful celebration of all that attention to detail and the invention that goes into the making of a Star Wars film. A great late Christmas present or a birthday present for the Star Wars fan in your life.
The Art Of Star Wars: The Last Jedi is out now.
Here’s our reviews of The Art Of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and The Art Of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi by Phil Szostak, and Lucasfilm Ltd. © Abrams Books, 2017
(C) 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. And TM. All Rights Reserved. Used Under Authorization