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Lit The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Discussion in 'Literature' started by DarthTalgus, Sep 11, 2015.

  1. DarthTalgus

    DarthTalgus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 3, 2012
    I'm very excited for this book, anyone else ? :D
  2. JoeBiWanKenobi

    JoeBiWanKenobi Jedi Master

    Apr 25, 2008

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    May 25, 2002
    I might get it after seeing the film. I have some of the other 'Art of' books and they are pretty good.
  4. AdmiralNick22

    AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature star 6 Staff Member Manager

    May 28, 2003
    I love these sorts of books. Mostly cause the unused concept art in them may one day show up in a future movie, comic, book, or TV series!

    --Adm. Nick
  5. Huttslime

    Huttslime Jedi Padawan star 2

    Apr 1, 2015
    I wonder if they'll include some of those early leaked prints like the ones supposedly of Snoke
  6. AdmiralWesJanson

    AdmiralWesJanson Jedi Grand Master star 5

    May 23, 2005
    Or WEG RPG :D
  7. The Loyal Imperial

    The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 19, 2007
    I want this more than I want the movie.
  8. Ulicus

    Ulicus Lapsed Moderator star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 24, 2005
    I want this more than I don't want this.


    I want this.
  9. Davak24

    Davak24 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 15, 2015
    It looks pretty cool.
  10. Barriss_Coffee

    Barriss_Coffee Chosen One star 6

    Jun 29, 2003
    This is interesting. Up until now I had been under the assumption most of the story and ideas were the result of a think-tank operation, rather than mostly Abrams.
    spicer likes this.
  11. WadiumArcadium

    WadiumArcadium Jedi Knight star 2

    Nov 27, 2014

    I don't think JJ would have taken the job if he didn't have a significant creative input.
  12. Gharlane

    Gharlane Jedi Grand Master star 3

    Dec 30, 2000

    No it's rather each director does his own thing and taking the story to a direction they want with some sort of consultation with higherups. Much like how Lucas kinda imagined SW going originally.
  13. Barriss_Coffee

    Barriss_Coffee Chosen One star 6

    Jun 29, 2003
    Well I look at it this way: with an ongoing project that will be lasting years to come, and only a handful of those years are managed by JJA, and Kathleen Kennedy and Lucasfilm/Disney are the ones that will be sticking with it the whole time, it would make most sense that the latter would have just as much say regarding the "vision" of the first film (who's in it, what it looks like, etc). That isn't to say I didn't think JJA would have any role at all, but I had been under the impression it wasn't him plotting all the main points on the course of this hyperspace venture.

    In the case of Lucas, he solicited the production team to make the story he envisioned come to life. Here, a lot of that story was already in the planning stage when the production team solicited JJA to serve as director.
  14. Blur

    Blur Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Aug 11, 1999
    I've gotten all of the "Art of" SW books so far, so will definitely get this one as well. I'm especially looking forward to the concept art.
  15. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    May 25, 2002
    Found this in the local bookstore today before seeing the film again. I've only flipped through it but it looks worth the £25.00 UK price.
    Gorefiend likes this.
  16. Dr. Steve Brule

    Dr. Steve Brule Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 7, 2012
    This book is certainly worth it. It almost is a 'making of' book in that you can see how the story evolved, what ideas were being tried out, what stayed the same, what differed, etc.

    It's interesting that the Falcon flying through the SSD on Jakku seems to have been one of the very first ideas for the movie, or at least one of the very first to have been sketched out.
  17. senator52

    senator52 Jedi Padawan

    Nov 8, 2015
    Got it last night, haven't had a chance to flip through it yet, but it looks very nice.
  18. Dr. Steve Brule

    Dr. Steve Brule Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 7, 2012
    I can't believe this topic has languished for so long. There's so much to talk about in it - I can only assume the cost/availability is the issue. Finally got a chance to seriously look through my copy. Still going through the text but some early observations:

    One of the first images is a really great CGI bit showing concept for a lightsaber crystal, a "modern" lightsaber, and what's identified as the first ever lightsaber design: a crystal surrounded by wood for a grip, with a splintered piece of wood with a mini 'trigger crystal' embedded in the tip.

    There is definitely a sense that the EU was farmed for the very early concept art. For a series of early illustrations, the two featured planets were Felucia and a "Junk Planet" (TFU, in other words). One of the repeated "Neo-Imperial" (the First Order placeholder names) star destroyer designs was clearly the Harrower dreadnaught from TOR, and one of the early concepts for Rey's speeder looks like the Republic shuttles from the game. Darth Talon is in a number of the early illustrations, too, including concept art for a sequence where she seduces and sleeps with the character who became Finn. And of course also the bit with the DS II remains having crashed on an ocean planet.

    The early concept art for what became BB-8 is also extremely close to a Mr. Handy from Fallout.

    The "Jedi Killer" (Kylo Ren) was originally going to work with a group of bounty hunters, before he became associated with the Neo-Imperials. It was also talked about at one point that he would have a Vader-like helmet because Vader's armor had been part of the traditional Sith Lord appearance, which the Jedi Killer would also be one of. There are also some differed Stormtrooper designs, all of which I prefer. One is a lot more angular, and another looks truly alien, the best way to describe it is more elongated, a cleft chin, and more wraparound eyes. It looks like something a grey alien would wear.

    At various points, the Poe character was going to be a Jedi or a bounty hunter (during that phase, he would have had a Wookiee sidekick, also). Also the original idea for the movie's opening was an even more explicit parallel of ANH: Poe's bounty-hunter ship being caught over a planet by the Neo-Imperial Harrower-type star destroyer.

    The idea of a crashed star destroyer ruins was from early January 2013, and was maybe the first plot concept set down. There were several variants, including a jungle setting and a water setting (which I liked, it had a lot more AT-ATs standing around which had been covered with growing moss and turned into kind of an Ewok-type treetop settlement). At one point there was even going to be a "castle" Rey lived in made from a crashed star destroyer. D'Qar was also going to have a crashed star destroyer on the surface at one point, but they didn't want to confuse audiences by having them on more than one planet.

    Luke was clearly going to have more of a role early on. There's concept art of him with a topknot that reminded me of some of the TPM Obi-Wan concept art. There was a bit with him in a Force vision where he's being covered in sand, and also Anakin appearing to him in a vision. Early concept for Han had him bearded and being explicitly based off of Jeff Bridges in True Grit.

    The idea of the Neo-Imperials having a superweapon in a planet came from Arndt. Originally it was going to explicitly be Dantooine, and the laser was going to be based inside a volcano, with the Republic fighters having to fly into the caldera to attack it.

    Unfortunately that's about how far I've been able to read today.
  19. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Nov 28, 2000
    What does it have on Hosnian Prime and the New Republic?

    Missa ab iPhona mea est.
  20. Revanfan1

    Revanfan1 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 3, 2013
    Dr. Steve Brule, okay, that's it. You've convinced me I have to get this book.
    Dr. Steve Brule likes this.
  21. darthcaedus1138

    darthcaedus1138 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 13, 2007
    Yeah it's great. So much of the book makes me really wish we had seen half the stuff in this book rather than what we got. There's so much creativity that goes into planning this movie but so little of it is seized upon in favor of same old same old in TFA.
  22. Dr. Steve Brule

    Dr. Steve Brule Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 7, 2012
    A few other things, since I'm looking it over while eating lunch:

    The concept art planning for the movie began before either Lucas shared his ideas to the group, Abrams was chosen as the director, or Arndt began working on his script. So it really was pretty wide-ranging. Dave Filoni was involved with those earliest art group meetings.

    Also, remember how Abrams always said that the question he had was, "Who is Luke Skywalker?" Well, Rick Carter was the one who suggested that to him at the first art group meeting. Guess it stuck.

    (Also, I thought it's funny that one of the shots that people seem to love most from the movie, the TIE fighters in the sunset, was originally concept art that Doug Chiang came up with, not something from Abrams himself. And yes, it was explicitly an Apocalypse Now homage. Originally it was going to be two suns, though.)

    One of the early ideas for the end battle on the ice planet was going to be the Neo-Imperials attacking and the Jedi defending something, including a Neo-Imperial star destroyer crashing, and a big group of Sith attacking a line of Jedi.

    There was also concept art of a massive statue identified as a "Jedi relic" that was destroyed by dark siders hacking it apart with their lightsabers. There's concept of a character with a dual-blade lightsaber, one blade red and one blade blue.

    Rey also had a green lightsaber early on. Several illustrations depict how she was going to destroy a star destroyer in a planet's atmosphere by flying back and forth beneath it in an X-wing, using her lightsaber to dice it up bit by bit.

    One of the Darth Talon concepts has a dark figure embracing her behind, which the tagline identifies as an "evil puppeteer"... something which morphed into the Snoke-Kylo relationship?

    Originally, it was Luke who was going to have the melted helmet of Vader he would talk to. At another point, Vader's helmet was going to be the "MacGuffin" of the film (presumably instead of Luke's lightsaber, the heroes would have needed to recover the helmet from Kylo Ren and return it to Luke.)

    There's a really great piece of art, even if it wasn't connected to anything, of the Death Star II being levitated off of a desert planet it had fallen into. I liked to think of it as the aftermath of the Endor Holocaust.

    The Starkiller was originally going to have the effect of "winking stars out of existence" to "plunge the galaxy into darkness, metaphorically and actually". To drive the point home it's described as a "sun-crushing superweapon" (heh). The Jedi Killer was going to "eat sun matter. He's in his meditation chamber, the sun energy comes into the room, and he grasps and eats whatever power that is." An alternate name for the Starkiller at one point was the "Doom Star." At another point the Starkiller planet was going to be surrounded by the chunks that were hollowed out of the planet to make the laser.

    Various other Neo-Imperial star destroyer designs included a "four-pronged" design, and something that looked like the Executor but red (they really wanted a red ship), with an empty interior and with a Trade Federation ship-type sphere inside.

    It seems clear that in the Arndt idea, the Republic would be the protagonists. Proto-Poe is a "Republic military man" and the Republic was said to be the ones attacking the Neo-Imperial laser planet. Rey was also originally going to work in "a used car lot of sorts" owned by a elderly former Republic pilot (who I guess became Lor San Tekka).

    Not a whole lot more detail than that on the Republic so far. Nothing on Hosnian Prime, either - the earliest planet art is all about the worlds that became Jakku, Starkiller Base, Takodana, and D'Qar (with the heaviest emphasis on the first two).

    Yeah, the amount of creativity in the art, and the hints of what an alternate TFA might have been, are really tantalizing. Even if just on visual terms, the movie could have been so much more original. I'm hoping some of this got reused for Episode VIII.
  23. Revanfan1

    Revanfan1 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 3, 2013
    Well, if you look at set pics from Dubrovnik, it looks like they might've reused some of the concept art for the smuggler's world (which I guess became Takodana), which looks like it originally was a seaside city with lots of landing pads and even boats. That's exactly what the Dubrovnik set looks like, and I'm guessing more of the early TFA concept will be used in VIII.
    darthcaedus1138 likes this.
  24. Nobody145

    Nobody145 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Feb 9, 2007
    I think we talked about this book quite a bit back in December. Maybe not in this topic, but it was brought up in the TFA movie thread quite a bit. So digging it up is a bit hard, since its mixed up with all the reactions to the movie Some of the art looks silly or I'm glad didn't make it to the movie (ugh, we don't need Darth Talon, and seeing someone in an X-wing with a lightsaber out looks ridiculous). Some of the designs look much better than the movie.

    Like there's an image of the Millennium Falcon being chased by new model TIEs, rather than the lazy same old same old TIE and X-wing designs the movies went with. They're not even at the Interceptor stage anymore, just regular old TIE fighters. Some of the Star Destroyer variant designs looked nasty too (and yeah, probably borrowing from TOR, although some bear a resemblance to the Gladiator-class Star Destroyer too, with those front prongs).

    Its a nice enough artbook, but I don't care for TFA, so not buying it. Haven't seen it at my local bookstore either for a while (lots of Visual Dictionary and Cross-section books still lying around though).
  25. Game3525

    Game3525 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 25, 2008


    However, it does give me hope for the next two movies since they will obviously go back and utilize some of the unused concepts. I really hope they revisit the Anakin ghost concept. Having Anakin troll Ren and Rey by jumping between light and dark is not only fairly original, but some what hilarious.:p
    darthcaedus1138 likes this.