Star Wars fans love to argue about every little thing in the sequel trilogy but there’s one place we can all agree it falls short: its posters. Over 45 years ago, George Lucas and his team hired artists such as Drew Struzan, Greg Hildebrandt, Roger Kastel, and Kazuhiko Sano to paint unforgettable images that were burned into our brains. However, the theatrical posters for the sequel trilogy were, by and large, picture collages. They were okay but nowhere near as iconic as the originals or the prequels.
Artist Ethan Pro wanted to change that. He’s created posters for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker that mirror the posters Struzan did for Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. Each poster works on its own, showing us all the memorable characters, ships, and moments from each film. But when put together, you can also see there’s an overall plan and vision too. (Wow, sounds like a lesson the films could’ve benefited from too, right?)
“The official posters for these films did not feel like proper continuations of the classic Star Wars film posters that were established by artist, Drew Struzan,” Pro told io9 over email. “[So] with these Star Wars posters, I felt it was vital for me to create something really special.”
And that he did. Check out Pro’s stunning fan art, in full, right here.
And no, those aren’t photos. Those are paintings. Let Pro explain. “The process for these posters was very similar to the method used by Struzan as well,” he said. “It begins with thumbnail comps sketches, then once a digital comp is approved, I proceed to hand-painting the final poster. This is a three-step process that starts with an underdrawing on a gessoed 30”x 40” board. Once that stage is completed, I will transparently add acrylic color with an airbrush. Finally, I use Prismacolor pencils and opaque paint to bring out the lights.”
And, of course, then there’s this: “With these three Star Wars posters, I really strived to make them work as a triptych when hung side-by-side. I was especially proud of this accomplishment.”
You can see that above—but here’s another look, including Pro himself and the actual paintings.
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