August 22, 2006
Fans who grew up with the original trilogy and the poster campaigns that advertised them should enjoy the new menus devised for the bonus discs bundled with the original trilogy DVD singles being released on September 12.
New Wave Entertainment, who has developed a long-standing relationship with Lucasfilm on several Star Wars projects over the past decade, has created a series of stunning retro poster artwork menus for the original theatrical editions of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, all of which have been enhanced with animated movement and a three-dimensional look.
New Wave, whose "Studio" department designed the Clone Wars Volume II menus and were involved with the more recent Episode III bonus disc menus, turned out to be the perfect choice to create poster-inspired menus for the new original trilogy bonus discs. New Wave's Creative department, after all, was responsible for designing both the domestic and international poster campaigns for Episode III.
Paul Schneider, DVD Senior Producer for The Studio at New Wave, says the idea to go with animated versions of the classic poster designs came from a desire to preserve the spirit of the films as they were originally presented. "During our initial creative conversations with Lucasfilm, we talked about the different ways we could celebrate these three original releases exactly for what they were, when they first burst onto the scene. We got very excited about capturing the nostalgia, and the way the fans felt about them as truly monumental 'moments of time' in film history. Lucasfilm mentioned to us that the posters were available for use on the menus, and while other options were discussed and even tested, the final decision was to go with these vintage film posters."
New Wave went to work fleshing out the concepts, including designs, storyboards, and animation tests to bring the classic artwork to life. For A New Hope (or rather Star Wars in '77-speak), the Main Menu opens with an animated trucking shot of the Death Star trench battle, culminating with the X-wings and TIEs falling into the familiar composition of Thomas Chantrell's classic Style "C" poster design, with a bit of Tom Jung's Style "A" half-sheet artwork thrown in for balance. Another welcome inclusion is the original "space-crawl" Star Wars logo, which has not been used for a video release since the early '90s, and never for DVD.
Keeping with the theme of classic poster artwork, fans will also be happy to see Tim and Greg Hildebrandt's stunning British quad artwork utilized for the Options Menu, John Berkey's frenzied Death Star dogfight for Chapters, and the ubiquitous Tom Jung Style "A" one-sheet artwork when the DVD is launched from a computer.
Look for Part II in next week's coverage of The Empire Strikes Back DVD.
(Edit) And yup, there are dvd chapters: