Drew Struzan has been creating legendary posters for the Star Wars films since the beginning, so longtime fans should take notice when he shares his opinion on what's next for the saga.
Recently, the artist revealed the D23 Expo 2015 poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which many of us have already seen, dissected, and canvassed for easter eggs.
In an interview with Movie Weekly, Struzan elaborated his thoughts on Force Awakens based on the concept art, script, and portions of the film he's already seen.
Here's what he had to say:
"So about a year later, we get together and meet and he says we’re using all the original people – John Williams, Kasdan, Harrison Ford’s in it, everybody’s in it and everybody’s writing and making the music and we have to have your art to make it the real thing. So, of course, I’ve got to do it for George and I’ve got to do it for Star Wars. I’ve never worked with J.J before and so we started working on it and he showed me like half the movie and it was just… a wonderful film and I know it’s going to be grand. I got to read the script and subsequently I’ve seen half of it and I can tell you and the fans this, Honest to god, it is far and away probably going to be THE BEST Star Wars you’ve ever seen. … Well it’s beautifully made and it’s a wonderful story."
This praise of course comes with a few caveats. Struzan is somewhat involved with the production, so this isn't an opinion from a completely outside perspective. Though to be fair, these thoughts are coming from a seasoned artist who, most would argue, cherishes the original films and what made them great.
Another caveat, as Struzan himself mentions, is that he's only seen half of the film. He's read the script, of course, but that doesn't mean what works on paper will translate well to film.
It's helpful to remember that the second half of any great movie can utterly stain the rest. A good example is the recent film, Straight Outta Compton. Overall, it's a good movie, maybe great. But what holds it back for a lot of viewers is how unbalanced the second half is when compared to the first.
I hope this isn't the case with The Force Awakens, and to be fair, there's no indication of this based on what we've seen and learned so far.
For those of you who are still craving more information on the film, Struzan let us know via Movie Weekly that the poster he drew up was his attempt at representing what's great about it.
"I worked for seven months on all different kinds of concepts with the studio and J.J and if you really want to know the sacred truth, after I got started and I saw the film and read the script, I was going over it in my mind for weeks – How do I feel about it? How can I represent this film really well? And I did this, like many creatives do, I came up with the concept in my sleep. Just like John Lennon used to write his best music in his sleep, I designed my painting in my sleep. That was the first one I did and I went for seven months doing stuff and in the end, guess which one they picked? The very first thing I did (laughs). So trust your sleep because that’s what I came up with and that’s what they loved from the very beginning. To me it represents the film. The spirit of the film, the new characters, the battle again to find the truth, to grow up, to find the purpose in life. It’s all those things that Star Wars had to be and is still. And I hope to represent that again to a new generation."
You can read the rest of Struzan's interview on Movie Weekly.