The great thing about Star Wars, especially the original trilogy, was how gritty and lived-in everything looked. Everything felt solid. Now, at last you can see the actual blueprints that made that galaxy look like a place you could visit.
J.W. Rinzler, the man who brought us The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, has put together a new book, Star Wars: The Blueprints, coming this fall from Epic Ink Publishing. And yes, it's just what it sounds like: all of the blueprints for the sets and props like R2D2. There are blueprints for the Death Star as well as for a TIE fighter (above). And a look at the planning for the Battle of Hoth.
You've already seen tons of Star Wars concept art, but this is different. As Rinzler says in a press release:
The unsung heroes of the art departments are the draftsmen, who drew in collaboration with their art department heads, but who also added their own ideas. Their blueprints have an attribute that concept art lacks-a sense of the real.
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Here's a promo video for the new book, which will be limited to a print run of 5000 copies:
And here are a few of the many amazing images on the book's website:
The Battle of Hoth
Death Star Power Trench
Carbon Freezing Chamber
And here's the full press release:
This fall, Epic Ink - a new publisher of high-end collectible, limited edition books - bursts onto the publishing scene with STAR WARS: THE BLUEPRINTS by J. W. Rinzler, (http://www.theblueprintsbook.com/) a first-of-its-kind collection featuring more than 200 of the original production design blueprints created for all six films of the STAR WARS Saga.
STAR WARS blueprints have long been sought after, both by fans and within the narrative. Who can forget the fate of the Bothan spies who died while delivering the Death Star plans to the Rebel Alliance? Luckily for STAR WARS fans, getting hold of those plans now isn't quite as dangerous.
The blueprints, filed away until now in the Lucasfilm Archives, are being released for the first time, and will be showcased in a single, epic limited edition featuring more than 500 photographs and illustrations. Though there have been many art-of STAR WARS books, only a few blueprints - almost always too small to be read - have ever been published.
The Rebel Blockade Runner hallway, the hold of the Millennium Falcon, the Death Star, the Emperor's throne room, Jabba the Hutt's Palace, X-wings, TIE fighters, and the Tatooine homestead-all of these places and hundreds more had to be designed, built, painted and dressed, with technical drawings showing the way.
Featured blueprints include:
The Millennium Falcon
Droids, including R2-D2
The Y-wing and the X-wing starfighters
The Rebel Blockade Runner
The Death Star
The Ewok forest, the battle of Hoth and much more!
"The common thread running through all six of the films was technical drawing-and that will hopefully never change. Everything every fan has loved about the STAR WARS films, from sets to spacecraft to vehicles to props, down to even the tiniest of control buttons, has at some point been carefully and thoughtfully drawn. That's how important it is," says Gavin Bocquet, draftsman on Episode VI and the production designer for Episodes I-III.
Each image was selected by New York Times bestselling author J. W. Rinzler in collaboration with an expert panel of Academy Award®-winning visual effects artists: Dennis Muren, visual effects supervisor for the original STAR WARS trilogy; John Knoll, visual effects supervisor for Episodes I-III; and Lorne Peterson, model shop leader for all six films.
Rinzler delved deep into the archives, revealing the incredible story behind each print while linking them to images of concept design, production models, and film stills.
"The unsung heroes of the art departments are the draftsmen, who drew in collaboration with their art department heads, but who also added their own ideas," said Rinzler. "Their blueprints have an attribute that concept art lacks-a sense of the real. It's been an amazing adventure to bring these blueprints to light after all these years."
Presented in an oversize folio and housed in a cloth-lined clamshell case, each copy is hand-numbered and only a total of 5,000 English language collector's volumes will be printed. The first 125 will be signed by the three surviving Academy-Award® winners for Best Art Direction for the original STAR WARS film: Art Director Norman Reynolds, Art Director Les Dilley and Set Dresser Roger Christian.
This incredible collector's item also includes interviews with Norman Reynolds, the Academy Award®-winning production designer and art director for the original STAR WARS films, and with Gavin Bocquet, the production designer of Episodes I-III, as well as interviews with Roger Christian, Les Dilley, and supervising art director Peter Russell.
Also featured are new interviews with many of the original draftsmen, providing more original material about the STAR WARS films and detailing how many facets of the galaxy evolved from concept to blueprint to set to screen.
STAR WARS fans will enjoy the creativity, innovation and superb quality of this tome as they gain new insights into the very blueprints of the STAR WARS galaxy. And now, STAR WARS fans can also watch a short teaser trailer about STAR WARS: THE BLUEPRINTS on http://www.theblueprintsbook.com, where they may also pre-order their copy.