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The Many Beautiful Posters of STAR WARS

Six Star Wars films have been released so far, but there are dozens and dozens of posters for those films. Between teasers, theatrical releases, re-releases, and international versions, it’s easy to focus your collection on the film posters and only the film posters. Actually, easy isn’t the right word to use. Tracking down posters and making sure they aren’t fakes is tricky, and then there’s the challenge of storage. Unless you have a giant mansion with empty wall space, you’ll have to come up with a system of flat files, racks, or portfolios. Fun, right? That’s why I like to enjoy the many posters of Star Wars virtually. Here are some of my favorites from each film:

A New Hope

This poster by Tom Jung is likely the most recognizable one of them all. It’s very space opera-y (technical term). Luke and Leia don’t look like Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, but that doesn’t bother me. I love the layout, the way the X-wings are angled towards the Death Star, all of it.

This poster released in 1978 in Japan mixes a variety of elements including art from other posters and photos. The X-wing formation is similar to the Jung poster, for example. The Death Star is upside down, but hey, maybe they were just alluding to the fact that the Empire was going to lose.

The Empire Strikes Back

The Gone with the Wind style poster done poster done by Roger Kastel is my absolute favorite Star Wars poster of them all. Partially because a tauntaun is front and center.

Yeah, I really like Tom Jung’s posters. Other than the weird placement of Vader’s leg, I love the shape and lines of this poster. The lens flare on the Stormtroopers’ armor makes me particularly happy.

The Return of the Jedi

Poland pretty much nailed it with this Return of the Jedi poster by Witold Dybowski. Released in 1984, it features Darth Vader’s exploding head. It’s not subtle.

The teaser poster for Jedi was made before the final title was announced so, Revenge of the Jedi it is. The illustration was done by Drew Struzan, and it does a nice job of communicating Vader’s presence. It’s simple but not simple if that makes sense.

The Phantom Menace

This teaser poster for The Phantom Menace featuring young Anakin with the shadow of Darth Vader gets me right in the feels. And I don’t even like young Anakin Skywalker that much. This might be the most poignant poster of them all.

This gorgeous, rich poster can be summed up with a few words: Struzan is a frakking genius. Having Darth Maul’s eyes looming over the entire cast is so chilling and so good.

Attack of the Clones

Struzan infused his Attack of the Clones poster with emotion. Anakin and Padmé seem like a team here in a way they never did in the films, and I like seeing the peek of the clone army in action.

The prequel trilogy’s teaser posters were rather striking. They don’t have a ton of imagery and certainly can’t hold a candle to the masterpieces painted by Struzan, but they have their worth and make an impression.

Revenge of the Sith

Revenge of the Sith only gets a single poster on this list. Struzan’s work is incomparable, and I don’t hold any of the other posters on the same level. The storytelling is particularly strong in this illustration and so is the use of light. I’m completely taken with it.

Which posters do you like best? Share links to photos in the comments or give me a shout on Twitter.


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