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Joe Johnston has had an eclectic, not to mention pretty damn awesome, career. He’s directed movies like Captain America: The First Avenger and The Rocketeer, worked in various capacities on Raiders of the Lost Ark and Willow, and he’s the one who designed Boba Fett. That’s not a bad run.
Johnston also worked in the visual effects department on Star Wars: A New Hope (as well as Empire and Jedi). Part of his duties included doing the storyboards for the film. He created storyboard art like these samples from Episode IV.
Looking at this first image, you can’t help but be thankful that they decided not to have Han Solo wearing a helmet. So much of what makes that character are the sly looks on Harrison Ford’s face as things go to hell around him. You’d lose a lot of his cocky swagger if you covered that up with a slick, reflective facemask. Also, why does Chewbacca look like ALF? You have to be glad that they made him look more like a ragged mop than whatever this is supposed to be.
You can imagine the soaring sound effects that accompany this shot of Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing Fighter zooming across the screen overhead. I love the framing and the way these pictures handle the spatial relationships on the screen.
These next to images are taken from the final battle at the Death Star. This first is of Luke peeling off from the rest of the squadron, presumably to start his run towards the exhaust vent.
And this last one is especially cool because, even more than the others, it gives you a glimpse at how storyboards are used to not just set up a shot and a frame, but also how they play into elements like camera movement.