It’s a big week for releases, with two large-scale hardcovers, a novelization paperback, one comic and a trade.
Tuesday brings a big ticket item for the collectors and concept art aficionados, the slipcased set Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie. James talked to the set’s three authors for StarWars.com. For those looking for things that are a little less strain on the wallet, there’s also a new Complete Locations from DK, and the paperback version of Alan Dean Foster’s The Force Awakens novelization from Del Rey, with reprints of two short stories.
This is also the week that the new covers for the Thrawn trilogy paperbacks are officially launching. Note that the new editions use the same ISBN as the old, so some stores may have older stock to sell out before these become available. If you want them for the new art, I recommend buying them in-person.
On Wednesday there’s Star Wars #23 and volume 1 of the Marvel collection of Dark Horse’s Legacy series.
Entertainment Weekly dropped their last 3 Fall Movie Preview stories today. First up, the reveal of Simon Pegg’s role… Sort of. It’s not so much who he’s playing (“he won’t be recognizable,” J.J. Abrams says) but what he was doing behind the scenes.
“He was a sounding board,” Abrams says. “He would drop by the set because he wanted to, and when he could, he would help… We could talk about things, and he was a perfect combination of incredibly smart screenwriter, fan of the series, critical fan of the series, and friend of mine – but not just blindly supportive. He was an honest, critical friend. And he wasn’t so close to it that he became immune to things. He would come in with fresh eyes and very smart ideas. He’s one of a handful of people along the way that has been really priceless.”
→ EW asks who the film’s “Ralph McQuarrie” is. Abrams points not only to the actual Ralph McQuarrie and his work for the original trilogy, but production designer Rick Carter.
→ Abrams adresses the fandom, keeping secrets, Ben Burtt, Andy Serkis and fear. He confirms that some of the things they’ve already put out are red herrings.
→ When will we see a full trailer for The Force Awakens? According to /Film, another trailer will be attached to Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1 – though perhaps it’ll debut at Celebration Anaheim in April, first? And what about the Super Bowl in February, or Cinderella in March? Lots of chances for a second teaser ahead of us.
→ /Film also has a nice feature I forgot to include in yesterday’s roundup – a look at the trailer and Ralph McQuarrie’s unused concept art.
→ Meanwhile, on to the rumors… Jason at Making Star Wars shares some TIE pilot fan art from Tom Hodges that’s “pretty accurate,” and a description of the “Wickermen”.
→ There’s a supposed ‘plot leak’ from 4chan that comes to us via Reddit, which we will be sure to take with the upmost seriousness. Or not. It’s mostly stuff we’ve already heard from Making Star Wars with a few extra additions, and most of the established folks who claim to be in the know are calling BS on it. Message board spoilers, y’all: The lowest of the low.
Tuesday sees the release of a new picture book, The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight. Written by Tony DiTerlizzi and featuring Ralph McQuarrie art, it’s the first fruit of an OT-based program with Disney Publishing.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, comic fans can pick up the collected Rebel Heist. Non-subscribers should start keeping an eye out for Star Wars Insider #152 on newstands.
Is there any clearer sign of how different the media landscape from the days of the prequels than Abu Dhabi set photos showing up on TMZ? I don’t recognize any of our principal actors, so chances are most of the folks pictured are extras. But, if you dare click through, keep an eye out for something straight out of the old McQuarrie concept art.
Today’s featurette has current Star Wars artists, designers and other luminaries talking about concept art maestro Ralph McQuarrie.
StarWars.com has posted two archival videos to their Youtube account. The first, above, is George Lucas discussing the crafting of the story. The second, below the cut, features Ralph McQuarrie on his concept work.
Pros and fans alike have plenty to say on the passing of the legendary Star Wars concept artist. Below the cut, I’ve collected several remembrances of McQuarrie on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere.
It’s a sad day in fandom: The man who gave Star Wars its first images passed away yesterday. Originally commissioned by George Lucas to illustrate scenes from the Star Wars script in 1975, Ralph McQuarrie was the first – and certainly the most well-known – concept artist for the saga. On StarWars.com, Lucas said: “When words could not convey my ideas, I could always point to one of Ralph’s fabulous illustrations and say, ‘Do it like this.'”
In addition to the original trilogy, McQuarrie also worked on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Cocoon, for which he won an Academy Award.
McQuarrie was 82. His official site is asking for memorials to be posted to his Facebook page or via email.
Michael Heilemann takes to the books to explore the origins of our favorite Wookiee.