Although the hype surrounding the 7th installment of the Star Wars saga is as exciting as it is nail chewingly exhausting (hurry up and release already!), we all knew in our hearts that The Force Awakens wouldn't have been the same without Drew Struzan tackling one-sheet duties.
But luckily for us, the legendary illustrator - famed for his iconic art for Indiana Jones and Back to the Future, to name a couple - has slipped his head out of retirement once again to create an absolutely stunning poster for The Force Awakens.
Have a look:
How good is that?! Though this isn't the first time the veteran artist has ventured out of retirement to create beauty - he rustled up the poster for Batkid Begins - this more than marks a head in the right direction for Abrams and co., as they attempt to attain a return to an authentic vintage look for the new saga.
But what is so good about this poster is that it offers us a ton of cheeky little hints as to the goings on in that far, far away galaxy. Let's break it down a little, shall we?
The Theories Awaken
First up, Finn (John Boyega) has a lightsaber. And with its sky blue blade, I think it's safe to assume that this was once Luke Skywalker's and his father Anakin's iconic weapon of choice. So does this mean Finn is Force sensitive, or will he be wielding it as just a mere weapon?
Next up is Rey, with that stern and badass look etched on her face. Her eyes are the most striking thing about her visage on the one-sheet. They're almost obsidian dark! Is that due to the sunshine on Jakku, or is she harboring a dark and terrifying secret? Possibly, especially considering her close proximity to Kylo Ren.
It's been long rumored that Rey and Kylo are related, possibly being the children of Leia and Han Solo. If this is so, they will surely be Force sensitive, but perhaps Rey chose to forgo her abilities, perhaps after seeing how the Force adversely affected her brother?
The squads of X-Wing and TIE Fighter's lingering on the opposing sides of the poster are alluding to the dogfights that will occur when Captain Phasma finally gets closer to capturing Finn, amongst other instances of sure-to-be pant wettingly badass aerial combat.
And Old Man Solo slotted in at the bottom next to the Star Wars logo, is some beautiful fan service. Harrison Ford is Star Wars - apart from Hamill and Fisher of course - and no poster would be the same without an iconic heroic pistol pose from the heroic smuggler.
Finally, what is that structure under Solo's right elbow? Could that be some kind of antennae? How will that be vital to Rey, Finn, Han and Chewy's efforts on Jakku? Is that how Rey and Finn got into contact with the Millennium Falcon in the first place?! AAAAHH, THE QUESTIONS!
Good News, Bad News
Which would you like first? Let's go with bad, that's always easier. The bad news is this poster isn't the official one-sheet for The Force Awakens, that bad boy will be coming later (good news). This poster was commissioned explicitly for the D23 expo. So if you want to get your hands on one, I suggest you head over to eBay/buy a really good photo printer.
A Stunning Legacy
Writing this, I've just managed to deplete my levels of excitement for the week after watching both The Force Awakens trailers 3 times each, and in all honesty, hardly any sci-fi/fantasy features have made me feel as childishly overjoyed as the reemergence of this incredible franchise since... Pacific Rim (giant robots fighting giant monsters! If you didn't lose your shit over that premise, you've got a rock for a heart)!
But having Drew Struzan back on poster duty is truly the icing on the cake of awesomeness. He's made the posters to a lot of movies I saw as a kid and I hold them close to my heart... and The Phantom Menace. And there truly is a magic to the art he creates:
The Star Wars Saga
The Back to the Future Trilogy
An American Tail
Coming to America
And those are just a few. Hopefully this means he's coming back out of retirement for good. But if not, at least he helped to wake up the Force.