The Art of Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace by Jonathan Bresman

The Art of Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace

From the moment Star Wars: Episode 1 hit movie screens, the thrilling new chapter in the cinematic saga again transported us to the farthest regions of our imaginations. But the creative process began long before the movie release, as a team of amazingly talented artists gave form to George Lucas's extraordinary vision...This lavish volume features more than six hundred ex...

Title:The Art of Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace
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Edition Language:English

The Art of Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace Reviews

  • Parka

    (More pictures at

    )

    When George Lucas started writing for the Star Wars prequels, he put together an amazing art department to help create and visualise the scenes he needed.

    In this book contains the concept art, sketches, character designs, environment paintings and storyboards created for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The creativity in the designs are phenomenal, and is showcased on every page.

    The art are categorized by locations, specifically The Trade Federation, The

    (More pictures at

    )

    When George Lucas started writing for the Star Wars prequels, he put together an amazing art department to help create and visualise the scenes he needed.

    In this book contains the concept art, sketches, character designs, environment paintings and storyboards created for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The creativity in the designs are phenomenal, and is showcased on every page.

    The art are categorized by locations, specifically The Trade Federation, The Planet of Naboo, Naboo: Otoh Gunga, Naboo: The City of Theed, Tatooine: The Desert Planet and Coruscant: The City Planet.

    The amount of art work churn out is amazing, and I'm pretty sure this book contains only a small portion. Almost every piece of art makes me think to myself,"Gosh, these guys are good." All designs are captioned to explain the story requirements.

    Here are some artists from the concept design team:

    * Doug Chiang - Design director

    * Gavin Bocquet - Production designer

    * Peter Russell - Supervising art director

    * Iain McCaig - Concept artist

    * Terryl Whitlatch - Concept artist

    * Jay Shuster - Concept artist

    * Edwin Natividad - Concept artist

    * Kurt Kaufman - Concept artist

    * Benton Jew - Storyboard artist

    This book is highly recommended to sci-fi artists, concept artists and of course Star Wars fans. It might be hard to find the book since it was published way back in 1999.

    This review was first published on

    . There are more pictures and videos on my blog.

  • Patrick

    Wonderful compilation of concept art for Episode One, though it's a shame some of the ideas that came about in the planning phase never made it into the actual film.

  • Stephen

    Professionally done, and that's undeniable. But just like the movie, it lacked a certain magic. Very studied but not satisfactory.

  • Jeff Lanter

    I don't know exactly how it happened, but I recently stumbled upon art books for movies and my love for them has been rekindled. I probably would have never seen an art book if not for the Star Wars ones I first noticed at a Border's many years ago. So putting behind-the-scenes art and Star Wars together are an excellent combination for me. Phantom Menace has a nice mix of character sketches, ship drawings, paintings of the setting, and even a little bit of storyboards. Many of the images also h

    I don't know exactly how it happened, but I recently stumbled upon art books for movies and my love for them has been rekindled. I probably would have never seen an art book if not for the Star Wars ones I first noticed at a Border's many years ago. So putting behind-the-scenes art and Star Wars together are an excellent combination for me. Phantom Menace has a nice mix of character sketches, ship drawings, paintings of the setting, and even a little bit of storyboards. Many of the images also have background information which shed light on both what George Lucas wanted and the artists' attempts to meet that. This information is really interesting for any Star Wars fan. Some of my favorite parts are seeing the rejected ideas that didn't make the movie. Darth Maul looked a lot like a nightsister initially. Gungans almost had crablike armor. The battle droids nearly had special speeders for their commanders which actually looked really cool. There are also a lot of creatures that weren't in the movie that show up here too. These types of images are difficult to find anywhere else and a treat for a Star Wars fan.

    While I was overall really impressed by this book, I will say it is a shame more of the full-color paintings do not appear in the larger spreads. These are some of the most beautiful images in the book and quite a few of them are relegated to a very small image instead of being big enough for the reader to truly appreciate. This is a relatively small complaint since everything else in the book is excellent. If you like Star Wars enough to want to see how the designs of characters, ships, and planets were created, then I think you will find a lot of interesting information and images in this book.

  • Kenneth

    This is an awesome book, detailing the evolutionary journey of the Phantom Menace's visual design, featuring dozens and dozens of official paintings and sketches from Doug Chiang, among others. Most enlightening is the visual journey of Jar Jar Binks, who started as an amphibious blob to the bipedal, long-eared alien he is today. The palace of Theed, Queen Amidala's gowns, the look of the podracers, the design of Nute Gunray, EVERYTHING about the film is detailed in this book. The book's introdu

    This is an awesome book, detailing the evolutionary journey of the Phantom Menace's visual design, featuring dozens and dozens of official paintings and sketches from Doug Chiang, among others. Most enlightening is the visual journey of Jar Jar Binks, who started as an amphibious blob to the bipedal, long-eared alien he is today. The palace of Theed, Queen Amidala's gowns, the look of the podracers, the design of Nute Gunray, EVERYTHING about the film is detailed in this book. The book's introduction also delves into George Lucas' fix-it-as-you-go philosophy of filmmaking, describes the enormous task of creating a followup to the Original Trilogy of films, and rightfully describes how no other film up to this point was as visually overwhelming as Episode I. The film took over four years of visual planning, which was unheard of at the time. For Star Wars lovers, art lovers, and movie lovers, this book will satisfy. The only reason I do not give it a full five stars is because I would liked to have seen more text and paragraphs describing artists' thought processes.

  • Matthew Lloyd

    is a much thicker book than the preceding two volumes and as such covers a much broader scale than either

    or

    . It does not escape a few of the criticisms that I levelled at those books, and the thickness of the paperback volume means that those matte painting which cross the page line are even more difficult to see in full. However

    is a much thicker book than the preceding two volumes and as such covers a much broader scale than either

    or

    . It does not escape a few of the criticisms that I levelled at those books, and the thickness of the paperback volume means that those matte painting which cross the page line are even more difficult to see in full. However, there are far fewer images which are too small to see, and the volume's emphasis on ship, character, and set design - as well as the use of CGI rather than matte painting for much of the film - means that larger images are presented on single pages rather than across the page line. Aside from the images, the text once again discusses the process of creation and the thought behind designs such as the cities of Naboo, the planet Coruscant, and the Jedi and Sith rather than including the script of the film - which I can only assume is as bad as the film itself. As a book of art,

    is the best of the

    that I have read.

    Indeed, there is only one major problem with

    , and that is the film on which it is based. I found that this volume made me appreciate the scale of that film, the lighter tone it attempts over the previous three films (and, it transpired, the subsequent three films), and the level of the variety and depth which the art of the film adds to the galaxy in which these films are set. However, it also highlights how (for me) the visuals triumphed over the story, that depth of world-building is not the same as depth of character or interest, and how boring some of the features of the film (especially the podrace) are. While reading about the Gungan army I was reminded less of

    and more of the army books created for the Warhammer table-top battle game. None of these are particular problems with the volume - indeed, one sees how much worse the Gungans could have looked, with only the changes to the Nemodians and the lack of a Sith Witch are elements of the design process which one would have hoped could have come to fruition.

    actually makes me realise how much of interest was added to Tatooine and was crafted for Naboo, and how much more variety was injected into the

    galaxy in this film as in no other. For that, it deserves credit.


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