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The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens Hardcover – December 18, 2015
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About the Author
Production designer Rick Carter has won two Academy Awards®: One for his design of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, and one for his otherworldly production design on James Cameron’s mega-hit Avatar. Carter received his first Oscar nomination for his work on Robert Zemeckis’s Forrest Gump, and an additional nomination for Steve Spielberg’s historic epic War Horse. Carter served as co-production designer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and is currently collaborating with Steven Spielberg on The BFG. He lives in Los Angeles.
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Top customer reviews
The content is interestingly arranged in chronologically in order of the film production, so you can follow along as the art and concepts are developed from January 2013 to January 2015. You'll be able to see the early concepts for Rey and Finn who in the beginning are drawn like they are for some teen movie, and then much later on when it makes more sense to cover up Rey in survival gear-like clothing.
So there's no specific section on character designs, environments or vehicles. Everything is just mixed together as and when they were being developed. It's an interesting approach that I'm not sure if it's good or bad.
The artworks are fantastic. Most of them are of scene paintings and environments. And these would be the highlight of the book. They are very detailed and beautiful. I think they capture the mood of the film well and the worlds created look really believable and beautiful. One good thing is the artworks feel like they are from Star Wars and not some first-person-shooter sci-fi video game. There's also insightful commentary from the art department.
I'm surprised there aren't more character and creature designs though. For example, you won't get to see the different variations of suits for Poe, Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren or other characters for that matter. Most characters and aliens when they do appear are in the scene paintings. Maybe more will be included in the making-of book.
If you want to learn more about the characters, then get Star Wars: The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary. Or for vehicles, get Star Wars: The Force Awakens Incredible Cross-Sections. This artbook together with the two other books will make for a complete visual collection.
And because the book's arranged in chronological order by film production and not the storyline, it can be difficult to locate the information that you want. For example, Rey's art is scattered throughout. Overall, it's not a big deal, at least to me.
As a 256-page hardcover artbook, it's really worth the money. Highly recommended for the fans.
(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
Foreword- is 4 pages and basically just talks about the book and the new movie and what they hoped to achieve with it.
Introduction- is 2 pages and just talks about how they had to make the new film just as good if not better than the previous films and a few things they wanted to do with the new film.
Whos Who- This is 2 pages and lists the names of all the artists and designers.
"Guided Imagery" Concept Phase- This is 70 pages and is just the art and designers throwing out sketches and art that they might later use. You get to see some ideas of how Rey, Finn and other new characters might look as well as a weird version of the AT-AT. There are revisions of Han Solo and Princess Leia, lots of battle scenes and beautiful scenery. There are vehicle concepts, some new storm trooper ideas, lots of different characters, the new Death Star, Junk Yards of ships and stuff, Sith lords, New space ships, and just lots more. The art is quite detailed and looks awesome.
Pre Production- Is 102 pages and is where they finally got certain things approved by J. J. Abrams like hangers, and troop transports. There's even a picture showing exactly how they get out of tie Fighters (I will post a picture of this for you). Like the rest of the book the art is stunning and captures the Star Wars Universe perfectly. You get to see sketches, blueprints, models, lots of concept art and artwork. There's lots of locations, fallen walkers, burning tie fighters, loads of characters and vehicles, and so much more.
Production- Is 52 pages and is art that shows various scenes from the movie. Also the commentary here talks about the production and things such as Harrison Ford getting hurt and other things about making the film. One of my favorite pictures is the X-wings flying right above the water and waters flying everywhere (I'll post a picture).
Post Production- Is 6 pages and I guess is art that they might use for the next movie which according to this book is called Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One which is set for release in December of 2016 (I'll post a picture proving this).
"Who is Luke Skywalker?" Is only a page and talks about the force.
Overall this book was loaded with content and really is an excellent companion to the new film. The art was very nice and covered a lot from the Star Wars universe. Its just really cool to see various versions of things and how they look compared to the final result as well as see the progress the art team made. This was definitely worth every penny and if you or someone you know is a Star Wars fan then get this you wont be disappointed.