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Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy Book Review

Star Wars Storyboards- The Original Trilogy Book

“Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy” is a blast from the past.

After reading “Star Wars Storyboards: The Prequel Trilogy,” I’m sure many fans were eager to see an edition based on the Original Trilogy. Now, a little more than a year after the release of the prequel book, fans can finally dig into the hardcover edition of “Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy.”

After a foreword by Joe Johnston and an introduction by visual effects art director Nilo Rodis-Jamero, editor J.W. Rizler’s book begins with storyboards (with descriptions) for episode 4 (“A New Hope”). As expected, the storyboards range in size, color, and are from various stages of script/production. While not every scene from the film is included here in storyboard form, you can expect to see many iconic scenes ala the climactic Death Star attack. The most enticing part of these storyboards, however, isn’t what we know is on the screen, but what ISN’T on screen.  Not only do we get to see different pencil drawn character designs for characters such as Darth Vader, the droids, Stormtroopers, Chewbacca and a seriously creepy See-Threepio, but we also get cut scenes involving Obi-Wan and Yavin 4. Accompanying the storyboards are quotes from “Star Wars” art department veterans such as Alex Tavoularis, Joe Johnston, Dave Carson, and Nilo Rodis-Jamero.

After the “A New Hope” section, the book goes straight into “The Empire Strikes Back” storyboards. Aside from a few new Luke on Dagobah scenes, these storyboards are more in line with the film version. The boards are predominantly comprised of Hoth and Luke and Vader’s duel panels (which isn’t a major surprise).

Last, but not least there is “Return of the Jedi” storyboards which are far and away the most exciting to gawk at (in my humble opinion). Of course, you get the expected speeder bike scenes and so forth, but the real highlights here are the new material. You get to see the Tatooine cave scene (which was recently included on the Blu-ray release as a deleted scene) and a Luke and Boba Fett fight that is SO much better than what we got in ROTJ. I have no doubt that fans will be buzzing over the latter.

Overall Thoughts: If you are a “Star Wars” fan, a storyboard enthusiast or are simply intrigued by the pre-production process, you owe it to yourself to check out “Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy.” It’s worth it just to see never seen before archival material by artists such as Ralph McQuarrie, Joe Johnston, Ivor Beddoes, George Jenson, among others.

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May 22, 2014 - Posted by | Book review | , , ,

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