Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy. By JW Rinzler, in 2014. (RIP)
Description: ‘For the first time, Lucasfilm has opened its archives to present the complete storyboards for the original Star Wars trilogy A New Hope and its operatic sequels, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi–as well as never-before-published art from cut and deleted scenes. From the opening chase above Tatooine in A New Hope to the Battle of Endor in Jedi, this book presents the visual inspiration behind now-iconic moments. Readers can finally see a full set of storyboards by legendary artist Joe Johnston, as well as early boards for Episode IV by Alex Tavoularis and Ivor Beddoes, rarely seen Episode IV boards by Roy Carnon and Ralph McQuarrie’s art for Episode V.’
Review: I adore this book. Although it is in hardback I’ve already thumbed it a LOT. It provides great insight into some early creative development by the very talented people involved in the OT. Along with some of the original concepts that gave Star Wars the look and feel we have come to know and love, and some contrasts between ‘what could have been’ and what became Star Wars.
Most images are quite large and the detail in them is well presented, so you don’t have to squint or get the magnifying glass out to vie or appreciate the love that went into drawing these. There are 15 artists total, with the likes of Joe Johnston, Ralph McQuarrie, Nilo Rodis-Jamero, Roy Carnon. Paper quality is good, and will should last many years. The space and creature scenes are the highlight for me, but there are many other great scenes and sequences covered as well. It really is a visually appealing and fun read, when engrossed you’ll be forgiven for thinking it is an audio book too, although that is probably just me making the sound effects myself reading along.
My only nitpick is that while there are some notes and text on how the artists came to these visual concepts, it would have been nice to have more. And if the book had featured the scripts for the 3 OT films, it would be near perfect.
Overall, it was a fast enjoyable read for anyone who wants to relive that feeling that the OT gives us, just like when we saw the films for that first time (and times after!) If you see this book on sale, or at a good price, go get it.
a 2 minute video highlighting the book contents: www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1YsYutN08c