The Art of Star Wars - Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
by J.W. Rinzler
Published by Del Rey
Scott's Rating: 4 out of 4
The book chronicles the pre-production process and all the design artwork that is made during it. It follows the development of the planets, creatures, costumes, vehicles, and more. You get to see everything in its various incarnations and even deleted items. The book follows George Lucasí weekly meetings with the art department and includes notes and comments from The Flanneled One and the various artists. Rounding things out are detailed photos of the models, costumes, and sets built for the film.
If youíve bought any of the other ďArt OfĒ books, then you know they are first rate and a lot of fun to look through. Each artist has a different style and adds their personal touch to the Star Wars Universe. Itís exciting to see the final characters, ships, and vehicles in their earliest incarnations. Itís all so amazing and impressive itís hard to believe that Lucas is able to narrow it down to what he does.
One of the highlights for me is to see what doesnít make it into the film, and thereís a lot of it here. For example, you see a deleted scene where Yoda acts insane on Kashyyyk in order to escape clone troopers. You see alternate designs for General Grievous (described as being vampiric) including a creepy evil child version. Also seen is Yodaís arrival on Dagobah which has apparently been cut as well. Look for a race of Lemur people that have been removed, too. I hope some of this deleted stuff makes its way into the Expanded Universe in the comic, novels, or upcoming TV series.
Itís also cool to see the inspirations for some of the things. I was surprised to see that Boga was originally inspired by a Star Wars card by Al Williamson. General Grievousí head was inspired by a spray bottle. Along with this you can see concept art including the Dark Horse Comics character Quinlan Vos. Thereís also a great look at some artwork in the Jedi Temple as well as a bas-relief in Palpatineís office depicting a Jedi battle.
The pictures from the set are a little less exciting, but they give you a chance to look at the decorations in great detail. They alternate from being surprisingly simple to incredibly detailed. You miss a lot of that when it flashes by on the screen.
So as you can see, thereís a lot of cool stuff here. Whether youíre a fan of art, the Expanded Universe, or Star Wars in general, youíll get a real kick out of The Art of Episode III.
I have no real gripes about this book.
Yoda in disguise is quite a sight.