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

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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 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 examples of the art created for The Phantom Menace—each a masterpiece in its own right: conceptual illustrations, sequential art, and brilliant, fully executed paintings. Digging deep into the exclusive Lucasfilm archives, The Art of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace details Episode 1's revolutionary use of traditional and high-tech media. Inside you'll find: Magnificent paintings that capture the exotic environments of Naboo, Tatooine, and Coruscant Key action sequences, including the Podraces on Tatooine and the riveting ground and space battles Fascinating insights and photos revealing the secrets of the artists at work The earliest conceptual drawings, following the evolution of Darth Maul, Qui-Gon Jinn, Queen Amidala, and Jar Jar Binks Exciting new poster art, created expressly for Episode 1 Now you can explore the creative impulse behind all the astonishing, masterfully crafted designs of the moview blockbuster with The Art of Star Wars: Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.


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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 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 examples of the art created for The Phantom Menace—each a masterpiece in its own right: conceptual illustrations, sequential art, and brilliant, fully executed paintings. Digging deep into the exclusive Lucasfilm archives, The Art of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace details Episode 1's revolutionary use of traditional and high-tech media. Inside you'll find: Magnificent paintings that capture the exotic environments of Naboo, Tatooine, and Coruscant Key action sequences, including the Podraces on Tatooine and the riveting ground and space battles Fascinating insights and photos revealing the secrets of the artists at work The earliest conceptual drawings, following the evolution of Darth Maul, Qui-Gon Jinn, Queen Amidala, and Jar Jar Binks Exciting new poster art, created expressly for Episode 1 Now you can explore the creative impulse behind all the astonishing, masterfully crafted designs of the moview blockbuster with The Art of Star Wars: Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.

30 review for The Art of Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace

  1. 4 out of 5

    Parka

    (More pictures at parkablogs.com) 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, (More pictures at parkablogs.com) 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 parkablogs.com. There are more pictures and videos on my blog.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Vogt

    I get it, The Phantom Menace is a prequel film through, and through - with lots of flaws and very little character development. It's disappointing to see what the Neimoidians could have been, or the lady Darth Mauls that never were (until The Clone Wars cartoons). BUT! This book has made me appreciate the process that these talented people went through, and the art is amazing. It's awe-inspiring to see the different alien concepts, the costume concepts, the thought processes for why something be I get it, The Phantom Menace is a prequel film through, and through - with lots of flaws and very little character development. It's disappointing to see what the Neimoidians could have been, or the lady Darth Mauls that never were (until The Clone Wars cartoons). BUT! This book has made me appreciate the process that these talented people went through, and the art is amazing. It's awe-inspiring to see the different alien concepts, the costume concepts, the thought processes for why something became the way it was, and the inspirations for the settings. It makes me appreciate The Phantom Menace that much more. This is my first foray into Art of Star Wars books, and it's led me to start a new collection of books. No matter the general consensus of the prequels, I like to think that I've reformed my perspective, and appreciate it for the joy it brought my childhood years - Jar Jar made me laugh! There I said it! I would never want to diminish these fine artists' work, and the best analogy I have is this - On Star Wars Minute (It's a podcast, check it out) they had a guest on who was talking about Ahmed Best's work as Jar Jar and that he had been built up and built up as the IT creature of the new Star Wars generation - he was on the cover of Rolling Stones - He. Was. It. And then how crushing it must have been for Ahmed Best when the character was panned and trolled ad infinitum. I refuse to do that to Jar Jar who made me laugh, and these artists who do things with computer graphics, paper, and clay that I could never in twenty lifetimes of learning do. Therefore Brava! This book was a highlight of a sometimes tedious prequel deep-dive.

  3. 4 out of 5

    C

    Not as good as some of the other Art of Star Wars books. This is a collection of concept art from The Phantom Menace, featuring buildings, vehicles, characters, creatures, and droids. There are many black and white sketches, some colored sketches and paintings, and some digital art. There are brief explanations and behind-the-scenes details on the artistic side of the movie-making process, but not as much as some other Art of Star Wars books, unfortunately. It doesn't reveal new details about th Not as good as some of the other Art of Star Wars books. This is a collection of concept art from The Phantom Menace, featuring buildings, vehicles, characters, creatures, and droids. There are many black and white sketches, some colored sketches and paintings, and some digital art. There are brief explanations and behind-the-scenes details on the artistic side of the movie-making process, but not as much as some other Art of Star Wars books, unfortunately. It doesn't reveal new details about the story as some other Art of Star Wars books do. Several sketches show that Jar Jar could have been even more cartoony and ridiculous, if you can believe that. I laughed when I read, "George Lucas, however, felt that too many science fiction and fantasy films focus on the visuals, without paying enough attention to the story." It's ironic, given how the prequel trilogy was heavy on visuals and light on story (and especially on dialogue). Notes "The Gungans would have organically-based machinery and the Naboo would have actual machinery that appeared organic." Ralph McQuarrie created Coruscant concept art for RotJ, but it wasn't included until the Special Edition.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Peter Taylor

    As with all of the other Art of Star Wars books this is a wonderful dive into the behind the scenes world of making a Star Wars film. The hard work that goes into visualising new characters and new locations is shown in beautiful detail here. Whatever your opinion may be of the prequels its always interesting to see what could have been. Which tweaks Jar Jar received before hitting the screen. The way George worked to get the feel he wanted. Every one of the Art of Books is a gem, and this one is As with all of the other Art of Star Wars books this is a wonderful dive into the behind the scenes world of making a Star Wars film. The hard work that goes into visualising new characters and new locations is shown in beautiful detail here. Whatever your opinion may be of the prequels its always interesting to see what could have been. Which tweaks Jar Jar received before hitting the screen. The way George worked to get the feel he wanted. Every one of the Art of Books is a gem, and this one is no different.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Star Wars Escape Pod (Josh)

    I own this with my limited edition VHS release box

  6. 4 out of 5

    DoomFist7

    This comics are so fantastic!!!.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Lloyd

    The Art of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace is a much thicker book than the preceding two volumes and as such covers a much broader scale than either The Art of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back or The Art of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. 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. Howev The Art of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace is a much thicker book than the preceding two volumes and as such covers a much broader scale than either The Art of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back or The Art of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. 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, The Art of The Phantom Menace is the best of the Arts of Star Wars that I have read. Indeed, there is only one major problem with The Art of The Phantom Menace, 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 Star Wars 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. The Art of The Phantom Menace 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 Star Wars galaxy in this film as in no other. For that, it deserves credit.

  8. 5 out of 5

    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.

  9. 5 out of 5

    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.

  10. 4 out of 5

    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. 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.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

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

  12. 4 out of 5

    Travis

    Some very pretty pictures, reminding us, that even though the prequel movies are wildly uneven when it comes to the writing, they are nice to look at.

  13. 5 out of 5

    John

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dustin Lutterman

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kilewy

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jakob Wasserhoevel

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jim Robson

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nathinuts

  21. 5 out of 5

    Moethedog

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jim Hughes

  23. 4 out of 5

    kenneth D. Wygle

  24. 4 out of 5

    Flower

  25. 4 out of 5

    Chance

  26. 4 out of 5

    Angela Elizabeth Romeo

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amber

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lane Randall

  29. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Renegade Wanderer

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