Tripwire Reviews The Art Of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

Tripwire Reviews The Art Of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

Creating The End Of The Saga

Tripwire’s editor-in-chief Joel Meadows reviews Abrams’ The Art Of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

The Art Of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker
Writer: Phil Szostak
Foreword: Doug Chiang
Abrams Books

2019 saw the end of Lucasfilm’s Skywalker saga and 42 years after we were introduced to the likes of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo, it was all over. The Art Of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker offers the same kind of attention to detail that all of Abrams’ Art Of Star Wars books offer. Author Phil Szostak is Lucasfilm’s creative art manager and he has also written the other Art Of Star Wars books that tie in with the new trilogy plus the book that was put out when Solo came out. So he understands the way that Lucasfilm and the company under Disney and  Kennedy runs.

As with the other trilogy tie-in books, regardless of how creatively satisfying you thought the film was for the viewer, these books continue to showcase the sheer amount of craft and skill involved in putting one of these films together. For fans of the production art of Star Wars, these are books which offer a unique glimpse behind the digital and sometimes physical curtain of how the production and post-production teams come together to fuse all of their expertise.

The forward by Lucasfilm veteran creative director Doug Chiang, no slouch in his own right as an artist, helps to contextualise the images contained in here. When Lucas began Star Wars back in 1977, he started a visual journey that every member of the production and post-production crew have tried to stay consistent to his vision ever since.

© Abrams Books, 2020 © 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd. And TM.

As with the other Art Of books, it is hard to pick out specific images that shine for the reader. The work of chief costume concept artist Glyn Dillon is particularly exceptional here as ever and he really has honed his ability to create the look of the costumes for modern Star Wars. The initial chapter takes a look at the final pivotal scene in the previous film The Last Jedi with concept artist Adam Brockbank offering some real emotional resonance in a number of his images.


We move onto a behind the scenes glimpse at the costumes for characters like Rey, Finn and Poe with lots of Dillon design work. Dillon’s fellow costume concept artist Calum Alexander Watt is also a very talented illustrator, offering  an intriguing counterpoint in style to Dillon’s more illustrative approach. We begin with the light side and then move onto the dark side with fascinating images like the creation of a new Kylo Ren helmet and his take on a Rey who has turned to the darker side of the force, with a  beautiful and haunting concept image. There are so many talented artists, illustrators and craftspeople who work on Star Wars that it is impossible to single out specific contributors as this really is a group effort.

KYLO REN HELMET 01 “These were very early designs. We knew J.J. wanted to bring the helmet back, so we started with the approach that Kylo had built a new helmet. I took the current design and began adding more of the Vader aesthetic, as if Kylo were paying homage to his grandfather. We then met with J.J. and discovered the helmet was to be a repaired version of the original.”-  Fisher

After the costumes, we turn to the props and then the creature and droid effects for The Rise Of Skywalker, showcasing the unique work of artists like Jake Lunt Davies and Ivan Manzella. After that it’s the turn of The Art, Set Decoration and Computer Graphics Departments, which takes things to the end of the book, capped by a chapter on Industrial Light and Magic and Post-production.

For fans of Star Wars and of The Rise Of Skywalker, The Art Of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker is a fantastic testament to and encapsulation of all the talent involved in getting a huge film like this off the ground and making it happen.

The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Phil Szostak, and Lucasfilm Ltd. © Abrams Books, 2020

© 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd. And TM. All Rights Reserved. Used Under Authorization

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