We all know that Star Wars has incredible visuals, and we know lots of things that inspired those visions in Lucas. We also know he has incredibly talented artists like Ralph McQuarrie and teams of people who bring those visions to life. What does not get touched on is the artwork that other people have made inspired by what they’ve seen in Star Wars. That’s why there’s this entire book on the subject called Visions, which you could buy me for a a mere $26 on Amazon because it’s my birthday tomorrow. No, seriously, it is!
Anyway, this book came out last year, making this officially old news, and it’s been on my wishlist about as long, but as I was trolling the internet the other day, I found a website willing to give some previews of the stuff in the book, and some of it just thoroughly blew me away. It’s not like viewing fan artwork in this galaxy — it’s kind of like wandering into a museum on Coruscant and seeing the kind of stuff they might paint themselves.
I love this one because of how real it seems. By invoking traditional Earth portraiture, particularly in the style of kings, lords, and other aristocracy, the painting seems completely natural and normal. Of course Vader posed for his portrait and it was easily seen all over the Empire. Also, holding the helmet and revealing his unscarred face while standing on Mustafar really shows the dichotomy in his character.
We don’t really think of or hear about Tuskens as scavengers; usually that role goes straight to the Jawas. And yet it makes sense. They make use of a lot of metallic objects they don’t seem to have the ability to forge themselves. So this one is really fascinating. Plus I love the setting. I’ve always been terrifically fond of Raiders, and this one looks like he’s going to knock somebody around who tries to take his droid. Plus you’re like, oh, my gosh, one of the IG-88s! How did you get out here? ;) I think this one’s my favorite actually. Oh, wait, no, make it second favorite.
Last one! This one is just plain gorgeous. Red rocks, blue sky, Twi’lek battle? I’m in! Now, I’m going to be honest and say that none of these artists seem to be able to handle the lekku naturally because they all look 1) too thick at the top 2) too lumpy, but I’ll forgive them. This one is so vivid and gorgeous, I’d like the original canvas to grace the foyer of my eventual very elegant home. I also kind of like how this invokes an old-west kind of sensation, which I suppose is logical because Haynes did Lewis and Clark paintings . I wonder if I’ve seen any. Hmm.
Anyway! Speaking of old west, there’s Threepio dancing with Indians you won’t want to miss. Check out the artists’ own descriptions of these paintings, plus several more, at Exotic Visions of Star Wars Inspire Portrait Artists | Underwire | Wired.com. And then go buy me the book on Amazon. Yep!