At last week’s D23 Expo in Anaheim, CA, a new poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was unveiled, and it’s pretty much gorgeous. Just like the previous six films in the Star Wars saga, the poster was done by the legendary artist Drew Struzan, whose photo-realistic yet distinctly handmade posters are behind some of the best and most beloved films of all time. Let’s have a look at that piece of gorgeousness now.
Ah, it’s so beautiful! And very much of a piece with Struzan’s other work. Truly, few people know the names of the artists behind movie posters, but lots of people know Drew Struzan. His posters are characterized by their colorful and playful portraits of several people or characters from the particular film, making them dazzle, for lack of a better term. Within his canvas, Struzan manages to capture the essence of everything having to do with said film and making them all seem a little more magical.
My room was adorned with several of Struzan’s posters growing up and I didn’t even know who he was. But what kid didn’t have, or at least want, the gorgeous Back to the Future posters? His work on the Back to the Future trilogy is a great variation on a theme, cleverly repeating the same aesthetic and idea, but adding a new person each time both to signify the change in time and the number of the films.
In 1997, Struzan was commissioned to do posters for the Star Wars trilogy special edition and those, for a lot young people, were both the first opportunity to see the films and the first must-have posters. Case in point, I had the Empire Strikes Back one.
Struzan’s work is as indelible as the films themselves, often inseparable. Below is a gallery of some of my favorite Struzan posters, but it’s in no way a complete gallery. For that, I urge you to visit Drew Struzan’s website.
Let me know below which ones are your favorites!
IMAGES: All Art by Drew Struzan
Kyle Anderson is the weekend editor and a film and TV critic for Nerdist.com. Follow him on Twitter and tell him any ol’ thang!