You have to love that, even decades after the last chapter of the original trilogy, we’re still encountering things from Star Wars that we’ve never seen before. If nothing else, it shows just how thorough and in depth George Lucas and the team behind those films went in the process of bringing that far, far away galaxy to life, not to mention the depth of the fan love. And in this spirit, here is a look at some newly uncovered poster art from the 1970s and 1980s for you to check out.
These images come from a line of Star Wars Art books—this one marks the fifth and final book in the series—and features rare, heretofore unseen vintage pieces that are pretty damn awesome. All of these artifacts were created as part of the marketing campaign surrounding the release of all three of the films—you can see A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi all represented here, as well as before the name change and the third installment was still called Revenge of the Jedi.
Jonathan Rinzler wrote and edited the book, and says, “This was not really a research book; George really wanted to show the posters without credits. He wanted to highlight the art. So my job was to try and find the actual artwork or layered artwork so we could take off the credits so you could see the artwork for what it is.”
Some of these are rougher around the edges than others. You can see that the artists were in the stages where they were trying to lay down a general concept and conceit in pencil. Then you move on to filling in colors and finalizing the composition of the poster. Everything is there, but rather than precise detail, they are more blotches of color and coarse shapes that stand in for the various characters and items from the film. But there are also those that very polished and seem damn near finished, like you might see them on an actual poster.
Star Wars mania has never really gone away, but we’re obviously riding a particularly strong wave right now as the new Disney-owned Lucasfilm just released Star Wars Rebels, the first addition to the canon in quite some time, and as production continues on J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII. We just can’t get enough of this kind of thing, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon.