The Art of Star Wars, Episode I - The Phantom Menace

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9780345431097: The Art of Star Wars, Episode I - The Phantom Menace
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STAR WARS® [use logo]
Episode I

From the moment STAR WARS: EPISODE I hit movie screens, the thrilling new chapter in the cinematic saga again transported us to the farthest regions of our imaginations.  But the creative process began long before the movie release, as a team of amazingly talented artists gave form to George Lucas's extraordinary vision . . .

This lavish volume features more than six hundred examples of the art created for The Phantom Menace--each a masterpiece in its own right: conceptual illustrations, sequential art, and brilliant, fully executed paintings. Digging deep into the exclusive Lucasfilm archives, The Art of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace details Episode I's revolutionary use of traditional and high-tech media. Inside you'll find:

- Magnificent paintings that capture the exotic environments of Naboo, Tatooine, and Corsucant
- Key action sequences, including the Podraces on Tatooine and the riveting ground and space battles
- Fascinating insights and photos revealing the secrets of the artists at work
- The earliest conceptual drawings, following the evolution of Darth Maul, Qui-Gon Jinn, Queen Amidala, and Jar Jar Binks
- Exciting new poster art, created expressly for Episode I
Now you can explore the creative impulse behind all the astonishing, masterfully crafted designs of the movie blockbuster with The Art of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace.
                                                        

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Review:

Star Wars owes a lot to its details. George Lucas made his world so believable and compelling by getting all the little things right, whether it was a chip in Vader's helmet or the sand on a Stormtrooper's boots. Of course, this feat was no accident--extensive conceptual planning and design went into all the Star Wars movies, perhaps most so for Episode I: The Phantom Menace. This excellent "insider story" art book by Phantom Menace researcher Jonathan Bresman pulls together a wealth of these preliminary paintings, sketches, and computer animatics. Starting in early 1995, the Episode I art team sweated out nearly four years in a renovated attic at Skywalker Ranch, and Bresman's book gives an eye-popping account of their efforts, a sweeping survey of the movie's "evolutionary record," what Bresman calls "the unseen art that serves as the foundation for the film."

Divided into sections covering each of the movie's major locales (e.g., Theed, Coruscant, Otoh Gunga), The Art of Phantom Menace gives detailed illustrations of many of the creatures, structures, and vessels that made the final cut to film. But even more interesting are those that never left the sketchbook or hard drive--what fan wouldn't want to see a bulky, bipedal droideka or Padmé's horned, reptilian "swamp horse"? Call-outs alongside the art reveal the untold story behind many characters, like how Jedi Council member Yaddle really did begin as a sketch of a young Yoda, and how Jar Jar at one point had a wacky "dog" sidekick named Blarf. (Lucas and crew thankfully dodged that bullet.) --Paul Hughes

About the Author:

While an undergraduate at Harvard, Jonathan Bresman spent his summers working at Skywalker Ranch as a production assistant on Radioland Murders, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, and Star Wars: Episode I. During his senior year, Jon was asked to continue working on Episode I as a research consultant. Upon graduating in 1996, he returned to Skywalker Ranch, and since then has been involved with many aspects of the film's production--from conceptual design to principal photography to post-production. He currently resides in Berkeley, California.
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