The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Star Wars Rogue One) Hardcover – 16 Dec 2016
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'some magnificent production and concept art . . . Fans of the film who are intrigued to find out more about the genesis of the film should have this on their bookshelves.' --Tripwire
'The Art Of Rogue One is another excellent addition to the coffee table of not only Star Wars fans, but also filmmakers and Science Fiction art enthusiasts, too. Sumptuous art, wonderfully presented.' --Sfcrowsnest
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Let me start by saying that not only is the artwork used on the dust-jacket lovely, but the artwork it protects that's printed on the hardcover itself is perhaps one of the most beautiful of any official Star Wars film art book. I won't spoil the surprise of what it actually is, and let you discover it for yourself as I did.
The commentary featured in the book is as always, concise and insightful, and the book's contents are arranged into Planetary chapters, which is already a vast improvement on the narrative chapters of the Force Awakens, which resulted in repetition and a constant flipping back and forth to re-find complementary characters and environs.
The book is packed(!) with artwork, from concept drawings done with pens and markers that we used to see in the Original and Prequel trilogy "Art of..." books, which showcase the variations and development of main and background characters - from costume, to hairstyles and in one case, even exploring whether or not a character would be human (indicated by the inclusion of the actor's face in the concept, which maybe an indication of a shift in approach due to casting). The joy as a reader/fan of being included in these kinds of pre-production decisions is seeing them play out on the big screen - as I re-called rejected concept designs for some of the main characters were still used for background characters that show up memorably in the film.
It's also such a relief to see more precisely rendered digital artwork - as oppose to the loose-brush storyboard-like splash pages of recent years - which includes and is not limited to the architecture, spaceships and the terrain of planets. These are the kind of details we wish we could have freeze-framed while watching the movie, to just sit and stare in awe for a few minutes at the logic and beauty the many artists instilled into these imagined worlds we then believe in. They're scaled into grids in the book, which again is a welcome change to the full-bleed Vaseline-smeared digital sequentials that used to take up in some cases, 10 pages at a time of an 'Art of...' book.
There are even maquettes - which is shocking to me in the most positive and childish excitement kind of way - as these are things I've written about desperately missing in reviews for previous Star Wars and Marvel 'Art of...' film books - and all of a sudden every medium and style I've missed has been featured in the best possible way here in the 'Art of Rogue One'.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough - it's everything an artist, designer or film fan could want in a book about a film / franchise they love or at the very least, like.
I only hope this is the beginning of a shift in the type of content included in the 'Art of...' Star Wars and Marvel film books published in future. If so, they'll be getting a lot more money from me and I'll happily house them, pride of place, next to their exemplary forebears in my library.
*Salutes publishing team*
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