A NEW HOPE
STYLE "D" - 1978
NAME: A New Hope - Style "D"
DIMENSIONS: 27"x41" (One Sheet), 30"x40" (Windowbox), 40"x60" (Two Sheet), 40"x60" (Standee Sheet), 81"x81" Six Sheet
VARIATIONS: Multiple printings, some versions with Fox Records oval in lower left corner (see below). There are also foreign variations.
FOLDED OR ROLLED: Mainly Folded, some Rolled
DOUBLE OR SINGLE SIDED: Single
FAKES: None Known
This poster was produced for the 1978 summer re-release of Star Wars. Charlie White III and Drew Struzan painted it. Struzan would go on to be one of the most prolific Star Wars painters for Lucasfilm creating more posters, book covers, and various other artwork. This was, I believe, his first piece of Star Wars work. Struzan has said in the past that he worked on the character faces while White worked on the other parts of the painting.
Struzan: "I will never fail to give credit to Charlie White for what
he did for me. It may have been a small thing to him, but a life changer
for me. He is an extraordinary artist famed for his airbrush work. He
had the desirable assignment to do the one-sheet poster for the
re-release of Star Wars in 1978. He is marvelous at painting objects,
but was hesitant to paint portraits for the poster. Somehow, he asked
me to paint the portraits while he would paint the droids and the
like...Only an extraordinary individual does anything so generous and
unselfish. It is the individual who deserves the honor. I have no
doubt that there was a desire on Charlie's part to do the best job possible
on the Star Wars project...It was to his advantage to use the best talent
he could find. He also gave the lettering to a great letterer. It made
for an outsanding poster. All of us who worked on it have been proud
ever since to have had the opportunity. It remains a perennial
favorite, even among Hollywood executives. --Airbrush magazine August 99.
Interview with Struzan
The Style D poster is reportedly one of George Lucas' favorite Star Wars posters. The original artwork for it is said to be hung in Lucas' house. He liked the circus poster feel of it. The poster looks like it is peeling back to reveal a wood fence underneath. It is one of the few posters to feature the Jawas, the landspeeder, and the stormtroopers, not to mention Darth Vader with a Dracula-type cape.
The novel idea of making the poster appear as if it were pasted on a
wall came about almost by accident. "We had already done the lettering
of the title, painting it in as part of the poster," recalled Struzan.
"Then, when we got the billing, we discovered there wasn't enough room
for all the credits, so we had to figure out a way to make more space.
We thought, 'Why don't we take what we already have and paint it to
look like it's wild posted on top of other posters?' That gave us the extra
room we needed for the billing at the bottom. It was a case of
Necessity being the Mother of Invention." ..."We had to do other art to fill it out, so we had a chance to include more characters. We added Han Solo in a little vignetted circle, and Alec Guiness was an afterthought. It
kind of grew to include everybody." --Cinefantastique Feb '97
The Star Wars Poster Archive describes the variations on this poster:
Reprints are quite common for the one sheet. The one sheet reprints measure 27x40 instead of 27x41. There was also a 1992 unmarked re-issue for the fan club measuring 27x41. Instead of the 'D' on the original, the R92 has the words "ONE-SHEET STYLE D" (see corner shot.) Most of the R92 had a computer number above the D but a few didn't. The original Style "D" was primarily issued FOLDED, where the Fan Club reissue was released ROLLED.
There seems to be at least 2 different print runs of this style. One with all the normal NSS (National Screen Service) print on the bottom which is usually found folded and one that just says "One Sheet Style "D"" on it. Notice the quotes around the D. These are important because there is a very nice licensed reprint available without the quotes around the D. The NSS version also doesn't have qutoes around the D.
With Soundtrack Oval
Spain - 1979 - 39"x27" (Folded)