Reviews: Star Wars – the Art of the Last Jedi

Published On January 18, 2018 | By Richmond Clements | Books, Film TV & Theatre, Reviews

The Art of Star Wars: the last Jedi,
Phil Szostak,

So, The Last Jedi, eh?

Everyone has their opinion on the movie, whether they think it good or bad, or a disgraceful act of misandry or some such nonsense or the best entry in the series (and responses have run the entire spectrum). That, though is not what we are here to discuss – and please feel free to not tell me how you didn’t like the movie. We are here to talk about the Art of The Last Jedi, published by Abrams books.

Interestingly, this book starts with a particular scene from The Force Awakens, that was left out of the art book for that particular movie because of spoiler worries (thoughtful), and similarly, there are scenes from The Last Jedi that don’t feature here – apart from one particularly poignant image towards the end of the book.

What we do get is a fascinating insight into the design process and the sheer talent and breadth of imagination the artists who worked on this possess, and the long development processes that go from ideas to sketches to what we eventually see created up there on the screen. Oh, and amongst these artists, comic fans will be interested to see the work of Chris Weston and Jock feature.

There are many highlights in here, from the astonishing early design of the crystal foxes from Crait to the many iterations the Porgs and Supremacy went through, before settling on the final design we saw on the big screen. So much artistic and design work and imagination goes into developing each aspect, much of it eventually put aside with only the final version being what we seen on screen – except here, of course, where we get to see much more of that work and how it grew into what would become the film.

Accompanying the hundreds of images are some very detailed and, if you’re that particular type of nerd (as I am), interesting text. I was surprised to read, for example, that Luke’s unique style of fishing was actually done as a practical stunt on location, and ‘Property of Han Solo’ is written on the Millennium Falcon in space language (not Aurebesh, before you try to out-nerd me!).

Is this book essential? Well, that depends what level of nerd you see yourself at. Star Wars completists will buy it anyway of course, but if you have any interest in the movie-making process or are just a fan of glorious art and the sheer amount of imagination and work it takes to go from initial concept to the slick, beautifully finished characters, ships and sets we see in the movie, this is well worth your money.

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About The Author

Richmond Clements

Richmond Clements has been both writing about comics and writing the comics themselves for many years, as well as other works, including being an editor for FutureQuake Press and being co-founder of the Hi-Ex series of comic conventions in Inverness.

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