I’m going to go into serious withdrawal once artist Juan Ortiz’s project to created retro-style posters for every episode of Star Trek’s Original Series is finally completed. I’ve gotten used to looking forward to a new cluster of them arriving with every new month, even if I haven’t got near the wall space to store even my select few favorites. In the meantime, I’ll just appreciate them while I’ve got them, especially since August’s releases include the interracial kiss that made history, when Kirk planted one on Uhura (William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols, respectively).
As always, we’ve got the four newest posters below, along with Ortiz’s commentary from StarTrek.com. Scroll down below the posters for information on how to get your own copies of the posters, as well as Ortiz’s book which collects the posters.
Turning to August, first up is “Journey to Babel.” That’s a super-tight close-up of the Enterprise, with the juxtaposition of the shuttle making the Enterprise look massive and the shuttle minuscule. What inspired this poster?
ORTIZ: The word journey in the title implied a voyage aboard a tall ship to me. Since the Enterprise has no tall sails, I compensated by cropping in close and evoking the tall sail image. The shuttlecraft helps add depth and scale and makes up for not being used in my version of “The Galileo Seven” poster.
“The Return of the Archons” has a The Seventh Seal vibe to it. What were you aiming for with this one?
For some reason I pictured an article or story in the Sunday paper with this image of the two sentinels. When I was a kid, I used to love going through all the papers on Sunday. I’m sure it was a ritual in many homes before the computer. Creating artwork for newspapers is what editorial illustration is all about. I would do it every day.
“The Plato’s Stepchildren” poster captures the famous kiss between Kirk and Uhura. Did you immediately want to go with that image or were you hesitant?
That was my first and only choice. This one, of course, was inspired by the Gone with the Wind poster. It’s very iconic and captures the moment.
Once you decided to go with the kiss and the Gone with the Wind inspiration, take us through your choices in rendering the poster.
Sometimes I’ll layout a concept in illustrator and then move from there. But I remember being excited by the eyelashes, of all things. They came out so rough yet simple. It may sound strange, but I knew the poster would work, based on those lashes. The rest of the piece just had to work to accentuate them.
The “Plato’s Stepchildren” print looks worn, like it’s been scratched by being on a wall for a long time. Why?
Originally, the scratches were supposed to imply an old paperback cover, but I feel that the end result is more of an old Roman fresco wall painting. That works for me, too.
The fourth art print is for “The Mark of Gideon.” How did this print come together?
I remember doing several layouts, but not having any luck. The episode itself makes little sense. Why create an entire duplicate of the Enterprise when all they really needed to do was ask to relocate part of the population to another planet. Easier said than done, I guess. That’s why my poster has the Enterprise leaving a desperate population behind.
Of the four, which is the one you’d want to hang on the wall in your home?
My personal favorite is “Plato’s Stepchildren.” Not so much for the illustration, but for the episode’s history behind it. When placed into context, it’s Star Trek at its boldest.
The “Plato’s Stepchildren” poster is definitely great, but for some reason I really like the “Mark of Gideon” one as well. Probably because, as Ortiz says, the episode is pretty forgettable, and I love the striking image of the Enterprise uncharacteristically rocketing away from a field of hands clawing for help.
As with the previous sets, you can nab a full set of these four latest prints for $34.95 in the StarTrek.com store. Or you could, at least, but at the moment their link doesn’t seem to include the set featured above. The link instead goes to last month’s set, which includes Ortiz’s posters for “Tomorrow Is Yesterday,” “The Devil in the Dark,” “Whom Gods Destroy,” and “The Lights of Zetar.” At any rate, that link is for U.S. and Canada residents only. If you’re in the U.K., you can grab the posters from several retailers, including Amazon.co.uk, ForbiddenPlanet.co.uk, and Oneposter.co.uk. You can also pick up Ortiz’s book, Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz, on September 3.
I’ve lost track of how many episodes Ortiz has blown through at this point, but there’s at least one set left, set to hit the web in the beginning of September. Then again, since his book’s about to hit shelves, it would make sense for September to be the final set. We shall see…