Book Review: Star Wars Art - Illustration / Author: Lucasfilm, Steven Heller (Introduction), Howard Ruffman (Foreward) / Publisher: Abrams / Release Date: October 1st
This paving stone of a book collects together the best of thirty years' worth of illustrations from Star Wars novels, video games, magazines and merchandise. And very lovely it is too, although hefting it about will make you sweat worse than a wampa in a sauna.
With over 150 sumptuous colour plates, it's very much a feast for the sci-fi addict's eyes. It's also surprisingly informative. Each of the plates is meticulously annotated in a way that will be useful for collectors, and there are detailed artist biographies and a short but helpful foreword outlining the story behind the illustrations.
Although the bulk of these date from the early ‘90’s onwards, most draw their inspiration from the original trilogy, with characters from the later, inferior movies scarcely getting a look-in. The one exception is Amidala, something of a muse for this bunch of artists and looking rather more bootylicious here than she did in the films. But if you're an ardent Princess Leia fan, be warned, of the four attempts to portray her in her famous slave costume, only one is half decent, a baffling dereliction considering the number of beautifully rendered dewbacks, Ewoks and Tusken Raiders you'll find in these glossy pages. The stand-out works are the dramatic panoramas of Dave Dorman and Terese Nielsen's Frazetta-like character studies, but as a collection, it all helps to bring that galaxy far, far away a little closer.