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Drew Struzan? No thanks.

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I guess it's a foregone conclusion that the theatrical poster for The Force Awakens is going to be painted by Drew Struzan. The majority of Star Wars fans seem to think that this is a no-brainer. In fact, Struzan has become synonymous with Star Wars in the minds of most fans, utterly supplanting the artists behind the brilliant posters of the OT - Tom Jung, Roger Kastel, and Kazuhiko Sano. 

To me, Struzan is inexorably linked with the Special Editions and the PT. His flat, artificial photorealism and boring, repetative compositions never fail to put me to sleep. He's done a few memorable posters, yes, but none of his Star Wars works qualify as such, in my opinion. I think we can all pretty much close our eyes and picture what a Struzan TFA poster will look like - Kylo Ren's face looming in the background, with lifelessly reproduced publicity shots of the old and new heroes floating beneath. Thank you, but no - I've had more than my fill of that.

Aren't Jung, Hill and Sano all still alive and working? Is there even the remotest chance of at least one of them being asked to work on the new films? If not, I still hope the job doesn't go to Struzan. I mean, better him than one of the legion of photoshop hacks churning out the dreck we've been seeing for the past two decades, I suppose. But I'd rather see a more painterly artist like one of the OT guys get the gig.

Thoughts?

"These deadly rays will be your death..."

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 (Edited)

You could always commission one of them to do one for you. I'd love to see how they'd approach it now.

Personally, I'm a fan of Struzan. He's always had a gift for being able to capture the essence of a film in his work:

Besides, you forget that Struzan has been working on Star Wars since '77:

Help finish ROTJ: Revisited!

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If you're only associating his work with the PT and Special Edition posters, you're selling him short. He is a master of this art form.

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 (Edited)

Ok, granted that I sold him a bit short in my OP. His OT era posters were pretty inspired (though far inferior to the work done by Jung, Kastel and Sano, in my opinion).

But the Drew Struzan who gave us those early works is not likely to be the one who shows up crank out the TFA poster. It'll (much more likely than not) be the Drew Struzan of the SE and PT posters - the too-comfortable, past his prime, passionless businessman (much like the latter day Lucas who hired him) who was happy to cash six checks by churning out six stiflingly lifeless and forumulaic compositions. I no more want that Strewzan returning to the franchise than I do the Lucas who gave us the SE and PT themselves.

"These deadly rays will be your death..."

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Tobar said:

You could always commission one of them to do one for you.

 Highly unlikely. I had a hard enough time explaining to my wife why I needed six inch versions of the same characters I already owned (sometimes multiple) 3 3/4 inch action figures of. I don't know what I'm going to do when the Hot Toys Vader I've preordered arrives...

But, needless to say, I'd love to see what they'd do for the new films too. Here's hoping someone at Disney shares that curiosity at least enough to get us a few "B" version posters out of them (if such things even exist anymore).

"These deadly rays will be your death..."

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Who knows if they'll even be able to drag him out of retirement again. He's come out a couple times as favors but I think he really wants to stick to his guns on the matter these days. Let's just hope if they don't get him that they don't then go with the lame copycat that Abrams used for Super 8 when he couldn't get Struzan for that:

Help finish ROTJ: Revisited!

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 (Edited)

I love Struzan's work, but it not him, I'd like to see Alex Ross do them.

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Tobar said:

Who knows if they'll even be able to drag him out of retirement again. He's come out a couple times as favors but I think he really wants to stick to his guns on the matter these days. Let's just hope if they don't get him that they don't then go with the lame copycat that Abrams used for Super 8 when he couldn't get Struzan for that:

[snip]

 I think that's actually fanart.  I don't remember seeing that anywhere for real.

A Goon in a Gaggle of 'em

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Turns out that poster has some interesting history to it. Yes, it did in fact start out as fan art. But after it blew up online Paramount reached out to the artist and it ended up becoming official and was subsequently used worldwide:

Help finish ROTJ: Revisited!

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Bottom line. We all want the main poster to be hand painted, old-skool style.

If it's a wierd looking photoshop-nightmare, like most of the Marvel posters, I shall be disapointed.

VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

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TheBoost said:

I love Struzan's work, but it not him, I'd like to see Alex Ross do them.

 I haven't always been the biggest Ross fan in the world either, but these are pretty damn ace (especially the second). I think he's gotten better with age...

Count me in for a Ross poster if it's of that caliber.

"These deadly rays will be your death..."

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Ryan McAvoy said:

Bottom line. We all want the main poster to be hand painted, old-skool style.

If it's a wierd looking photoshop-nightmare, like most of the Marvel posters, I shall be disapointed.

 Hear hear.

And, lest I exaggerate my position, while I am not a fan of Struzan's SE and PT posters, they are by no means the nadir of Star Wars posters.

That dubious distinction belongs to this particular atrocity:

"These deadly rays will be your death..."

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I always thought that was an interesting look for Vader and was kind of disappointed I didn't see something like that in ROTS, but I agree the poster is bland.

A Goon in a Gaggle of 'em

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Movie posters are a lost art nowadays (have there been any good official posters in the last 10 years?), and I doubt we can make them great again. Same with trailers as well.

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I don't mind his movie posters that much, but I do think most of the covers he painted for the Bantam SW books were pretty uninspired and generic.

“I am a writer. Therefore, I am not sane.”

― Edgar Allan Poe

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generalfrevious said:

Movie posters are a lost art nowadays (have there been any good official posters in the last 10 years?), and I doubt we can make them great again. Same with trailers as well.

Well obviously that's not true. Some random examples of great posters from just last year...

http://mxcity.mx/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Inherent-Vice-Official-Artwork-1.jpg

http://www.musicmuseum.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/godzilla-poster-2014-new.jpg

http://www.impawards.com/2014/posters/grand_budapest_hotel.jpg

...and I'm hooked on the feeling from last year's trailers.

VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

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generalfrevious said:

Movie posters are a lost art nowadays (have there been any good official posters in the last 10 years?), and I doubt we can make them great again. Same with trailers as well.

 You think this about everything.

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I agree. The original movie posters for original films (ANH, ESB, ROTJ) were really fantastic. 

ANH had a somewhat retro (to me) 70s feel to it and the Frank Frazetta inspired poses. Felt exotic and a like a modern take on the imagery of Flash Gordon and John Carter of Mars.

ESB's poster highlighted the drama, action and slight romance in a perfect way.

ROTJ's poster finally placed Luke as the center piece.

Struzan's SE posters, while technically amazing, are somewhat dull. Had they actually been the covers for the DVDs that would have been nice though, giving a contrast to the original VHS CBSFOX art of the past. I also appreciate the color palette of the three. Brown, gold and tan for the 1st poster representing Tattooine and palette in the film. Cold blues and white for ESB representing Hoth and Cloud City. And green for Endor and the Lightsaber in ROTJ. They are very nice alternative posters for the movies that I wish had been used for the DVD releases.

However, had I never been exposed to the original posters I would think they are quite boring, or at least not reflective of the film's emotional impact. Why is Chewy represented do much in Struzan's ROTJ poster? Right next to Jabba?

I think his prequel posters are worse though. He did something different from the other posters by having Luke and Vader only appear in small silhouette, no heroes appear on the ESB poster, and each one having a distinct color palette.

The prequel posters though, at a glance, look roughly the same. Same color schemes, same collage usage for the characters. I'm just noticing now the theme symmetry of Anakin and Obi Wan's silhouettes on Ep III as compared to the ones appearing on ROTJ. That's a nice touch but the correlation is too subtle because it's dominated by the big heads floating.

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TV's Frink said:

generalfrevious said:

Movie posters are a lost art nowadays (have there been any good official posters in the last 10 years?), and I doubt we can make them great again. Same with trailers as well.

 You think this about everything.

Not true. He thinks pessimism's greater now than ever before.

“I am a writer. Therefore, I am not sane.”

― Edgar Allan Poe

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generalfrevious said:

Movie posters are a lost art nowadays (have there been any good official posters in the last 10 years?), and I doubt we can make them great again. Same with trailers as well.

 Movie posters tend to not have the same romanticism they used to have - due to their focus on photographic collages, mainly - but you can still find some good ones.

Movie trailers are as good now as they've ever been, which, in my opinion, is not all that good, but that's just me. I don't care about trailers, but most made today are of a fairly high quality.

I agree that Struzan's SE posters are pretty dull, but his PT ones a great no matter what people think of the movies themselves. Anyway, it seems strange to complain about Struzan or even Struzan imitators (I quite liked that Super 8 poster) when they're the only ones trying to keep the old fashioned poster style. I'd rather a second-rate Struzan poster for TFA than a photoshop job.

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Back 20+ years ago, my uncle used to be an artist at Disney, in their department that made the movie posters.  The way they ran it back then, three of their artists were assigned to make a poster for a movie.  They were each pretty much given free rein.  Then the execs would pick the one they liked best out of the three.  I have no idea if they still work the same way today.

Visiting the office was kinda spooky.  The walls were covered with posters that weren't selected, of famous movies.  It was wierd seeing a unrecognizable posters for movies that you were familiar with.  Spooky, and kind of disappointing because some of them were really good.  I especially remember my uncle's poster design for "One of our Dinosaurs is Missing" - it was WAY better than the one that was selected.

"Close the blast doors!"
Puggo’s website | Rescuing Star Wars

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DominicCobb said:

I agree that Struzan's SE posters are pretty dull, but his PT ones a great no matter what people think of the movies themselves. Anyway, it seems strange to complain about Struzan or even Struzan imitators (I quite liked that Super 8 poster) when they're the only ones trying to keep the old fashioned poster style. I'd rather a second-rate Struzan poster for TFA than a photoshop job.

 

Good point. However, if Struzan and his imitators are simply doing photo realistic collages how is that competing with Photoshop-created movie posters that utilize the same style: photos done in collage? It's okay for people like us who are nostalgic but what about the general public?

I'd rather have painted movie posters that were more stylistic and making use of the variety the medium allows then just trying to make something look like a photograph. A style that expresses a certain tone or evokes strong feeling.

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DuracellEnergizer said:

TV's Frink said:

generalfrevious said:

Movie posters are a lost art nowadays (have there been any good official posters in the last 10 years?), and I doubt we can make them great again. Same with trailers as well.

 You think this about everything.

Not true. He thinks pessimism's greater now than ever before.

Stop it. I'm not a punching bag.

Anyways, speaking of trailers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pc71YvWG0GQ