Friday, August 27, 2010


They say you can tell what a person is like by the state of their desk and general work area. With regards to the above image showing the incredible art of illustrator/designer and all round iconic visualist Joe Johnston (now a fine director in his own right) on the original STAR WARS and its two classic sequels, his individual area goes beyond anyones expectations and is a treasure trove of imagination, excitement and wonder. This photo is from 1976/77, when STAR WARS was in its post production genesis and shaping, and his wall is full of great and rare material, including the then unused TIE bomber (which would eventually appear in EMPIRE), unused or evolving art for the X-wing fighters, the Blockade Runner escape pod, the Millennium Falcon gun ports, the triangular classic unused (but used) Ralph McQuarrie emblem for the film when it was known as THE STAR WARS, and Johnston's T-shirt art for the X-wing that would be created for a rare T-shirt pressing for select cast and crew members then working on the film. By the wall there's the McQuarrie-like Darth Vader mask which we now know was built for a party at ILM (note the pic of Johnston dressed as Vader with John Dykstra). But, for me personally, the most intriguing item is located at the far left: a lovely piece of art showing Obi-Wan and Luke with the Death Star and a TIE fighter behind them veering upwards into space. Does anyone out there know if this artwork was actually by Johnston, or another equally talented artist, whose work seemingly never made it to fully authorised publicity use? Does anyone know the story behind its creation? Has this piece ever been released as merchandise-as a poster, as a TOPPS STAR WARS GALAXY card, or anything like that?

If anyone can help with more information, please get in touch.

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