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The Art Of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Book Review


“The Art Of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker” intrigues, but doesn’t cover all the bases.

Having been delayed over 3 months now, “The Art Of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker” is at long last hitting shelves alongside the home video release of Episode 9 on March 31, 2020. Written by Phil Szostak (who also provides an introduction), the book delves into what SW fans have come to expect from these tie-in releases ala artwork of character costumes, alternate character designs for the likes of Zorii Bliss and Klaud, creature and droid designs (Babu was initially conceived as an insect like alien!), prop photos (including some that were never used like the Sith scrolls), ship and vehicle interiors and exteriors, planet and location imagery, storyboards and more. In terms of written content, Szostak gives a fairly detailed account of the production of TROS (along with tidbits about other Lucasfilm productions filming at the same time). Each image is also accompanied by quotes that give descriptions, facts and insight into the pieces. The book also includes a foreword by Doug Chiang who talks about the concept art process as well as an art section devoted to the tail end of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

Of all the ‘Art of’ books, I was most curious about this one given that a very different version of this movie existed when Colin Trevorrow was set to direct it. Alas, Colin’s version is ignored here which is a shame as I’m sure there was a lot of fascinating art material for it. Perhaps someday there will be a book devoted to it. In the meantime, this book does offer up a glimpse into some nifty alternate concepts. Without spoiling too much, I will say that the bits involving the Oracle, a Coruscant sequence, a cut Babu Frik storyline, several badass Evil Rey designs, and alternate Resistance Bases caught my eye the most. It’s always fun to visualize and ponder what might have been and compare and contrast to the final version that we do get on film. 

As always, the artwork within these pages is nothing short of astonishing. I treasure being able to glimpse into the world of Star Wars via picturesque pieces by uber talented artists such as Lunt Davies, Kevin Jenkins, James Clyne, Christian Altzmann, Glyn Dillon and oh so many more. Books like these really give you a greater appreciation for concept art and the pre-production process as a whole because they are such a significant part of the worldbuilding.

March 23, 2020 - Posted by | Book review | , , , ,

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