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Drew Struzan calls The Force Awakens the "best Star Wars you've ever seen"

08.19.2015

The first glimpse of Drew Struzan's art for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS arrived last Saturday at the Disney D23 2015 Expo as an exclusive for Expo attendees. Struzan's journey began a year and a half ago when he got a call from J.J. Abrams who expressed to Struzan how much he loved his work and asked whether he would be interested in doing the poster art for the new film. Naturally Drew Struzan was game to return to the Star Wars franchise and the artist spoke with Movie Weekly recently to lay out just how the poster came to be; he also threw some extremely positive praise at J.J. Abrams film, saying that it is "probably going to be THE BEST Star Wars you’ve ever seen."

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.

That's certainly some lofty praise, I guess we'll have to wait to find out if it's warranted or not. Struzan's D23 Expo poster was the first design he did for the film, but the artist continued working on further concepts for seven months. Upon presenting his ideas to the the STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS team, they picked that first one. That always seems to happen.

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.

As there are plenty of new Star Wars film in the pipeline after THE FORCE AWAKENS, Struzan was asked whether he would be open to creating posters for those films as well and he replied "I have hope and desire if they should ask and want me back, I would consider it. If I’m able and capable…you’ll find me here (laughs)." It's very cool to have Struzan back and I'd love for him to continue on with the series as long as he felt able, but I'd hope that Disney and Lucasfilm would continue to embrace the hand-painted poster even without him. There are a lot of talented artists out there who'd absolutely love that opportunity.

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS opens on December 18, 2015.

Do you think that STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS will be the "best Star Wars" ever?

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Source: Movie Weekly

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2:22PM on 08/20/2015
Of course he's going to say it's the best ..... his work is associated with the film. He's pimping the brand.
Of course he's going to say it's the best ..... his work is associated with the film. He's pimping the brand.
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10:43AM on 08/20/2015

MAYBE!

If the Disney logo is in this movie, then I will see it!
If the Disney logo is in this movie, then I will see it!
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6:02AM on 08/20/2015
Surely it cannot be better than Empire Strikes Back, and please do not tell me that this is going to be the official poster. ( I know its the D23 Expo one)
Surely it cannot be better than Empire Strikes Back, and please do not tell me that this is going to be the official poster. ( I know its the D23 Expo one)
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2:59AM on 08/20/2015
It can't be better than the original because when I saw the Original it was new and fresh and I was young. When you see something for the first time as a kid it has the potential to blow your mind.
Now. even if ithe new ones will be better than the original it won't cause the same effect. At least not for us oldschoolers.
But hopefully the kids will enjoy them like we did the original trilogy.
At least they can't be worse than the sequels...
It can't be better than the original because when I saw the Original it was new and fresh and I was young. When you see something for the first time as a kid it has the potential to blow your mind.
Now. even if ithe new ones will be better than the original it won't cause the same effect. At least not for us oldschoolers.
But hopefully the kids will enjoy them like we did the original trilogy.
At least they can't be worse than the sequels...
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9:48PM on 08/19/2015

There is no way it's the best Star Wars ever

The first film might be the most important genre movie ever made' and Empire might be the best genre film ever made. There's no way the seventh film of the same franchise can have the same kind of impact.
The first film might be the most important genre movie ever made' and Empire might be the best genre film ever made. There's no way the seventh film of the same franchise can have the same kind of impact.
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9:25PM on 08/19/2015
Clearly this guy never saw the original trilogy.
Clearly this guy never saw the original trilogy.
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+0
9:03PM on 08/19/2015
This poster looks like someone attempted to copy Struzan's style from the original posters... Still excited for the film, but not impressed with the poster. Looks like fan art to me.
This poster looks like someone attempted to copy Struzan's style from the original posters... Still excited for the film, but not impressed with the poster. Looks like fan art to me.
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6:43PM on 08/19/2015

Struzan is one of the best illustrators ever...

...but what did he say about the Prequels? Was that ever on record?
...but what did he say about the Prequels? Was that ever on record?
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5:30PM on 08/19/2015

Cautiously optimistic, but...

Anytime I hear someone say "best ever" in a series, I'm sorry it will just never surpass a classic (Empire, Godfather, Die Hard, etc.). I'm sure it'll be better than any prequel (like that is hard to beat to begin with), but I'll hold my judgement as to how close it comes to the original trilogy, after I seen the new trilogy.
Anytime I hear someone say "best ever" in a series, I'm sorry it will just never surpass a classic (Empire, Godfather, Die Hard, etc.). I'm sure it'll be better than any prequel (like that is hard to beat to begin with), but I'll hold my judgement as to how close it comes to the original trilogy, after I seen the new trilogy.
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6:19PM on 08/19/2015
I agree man. It's the best ever. Well it's not better than empire so whatever. It may end up being amazing but I doubt it's gonna beat the originals.
I agree man. It's the best ever. Well it's not better than empire so whatever. It may end up being amazing but I doubt it's gonna beat the originals.
4:41PM on 08/19/2015
I'm jacked we are getting a new Star Wars movie, I just may be on the hype train, but I can't wait.
I'm jacked we are getting a new Star Wars movie, I just may be on the hype train, but I can't wait.
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4:07PM on 08/19/2015

Still not convinced

It's not the best poster I've ever seen, still don't like Ford's posture in it and Finn looks too similar to a young Denzel but what is really starting to freak me out is that Kylo Ren looks like a really evil duck!
It's not the best poster I've ever seen, still don't like Ford's posture in it and Finn looks too similar to a young Denzel but what is really starting to freak me out is that Kylo Ren looks like a really evil duck!
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4:09PM on 08/19/2015
Super excited for the movie, but the poster is kind of weak. Also, I will never be able to see Kylo Ren as anything besides an evil duck now.
Super excited for the movie, but the poster is kind of weak. Also, I will never be able to see Kylo Ren as anything besides an evil duck now.
4:17PM on 08/19/2015
This post was only for the Disney event that was last week and not the official movie poster
This post was only for the Disney event that was last week and not the official movie poster
5:11PM on 08/19/2015
I would say Ford's posture is pretty accurate for his age. Look at him at events. Even in Expendables 3 he really showed his age. Struzan is just being artistically honest.
I would say Ford's posture is pretty accurate for his age. Look at him at events. Even in Expendables 3 he really showed his age. Struzan is just being artistically honest.
5:11PM on 08/19/2015
I would say Ford's posture is pretty accurate for his age. Look at him at events. Even in Expendables 3 he really showed his age. Struzan is just being artistically honest.
I would say Ford's posture is pretty accurate for his age. Look at him at events. Even in Expendables 3 he really showed his age. Struzan is just being artistically honest.
5:22PM on 08/19/2015
If indeed these 4 characters are in the final poster then I'm calling it now that Ford will die in this movie - of all 3 of the returning cast why feature him, he also wanted to be offed in earlier films and I think there has to be an emotional investment for the audience to get behind - killing off Ford seems the most obvious choice as he can't return ie such as Luke as a force ghost.
@darthmo I'm not questioning the 'artistic honesty' especially as it looks nothing like John Boyega either -
If indeed these 4 characters are in the final poster then I'm calling it now that Ford will die in this movie - of all 3 of the returning cast why feature him, he also wanted to be offed in earlier films and I think there has to be an emotional investment for the audience to get behind - killing off Ford seems the most obvious choice as he can't return ie such as Luke as a force ghost.
@darthmo I'm not questioning the 'artistic honesty' especially as it looks nothing like John Boyega either - my point was I didn't like it, as I stated the other day he looks more like E.T
7:29PM on 08/19/2015
Yeah, he's stooping over like he's getting alert but just doesn't translate well in this poster. And yes, it was Ford and Kasdan who wanted Han to die in Empire so they may finally have their wish in this film. Probably explains Ford's enthusiasm of late!
Yeah, he's stooping over like he's getting alert but just doesn't translate well in this poster. And yes, it was Ford and Kasdan who wanted Han to die in Empire so they may finally have their wish in this film. Probably explains Ford's enthusiasm of late!
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