Few films have as much cultural cachet as Star Wars. Since the first film blew audiences out of their seats in 1977, the lexicon and iconography has infiltrated our popular culture, and nobody blinks twice at hearing phrases like “May the Force be with you” or “These are not the droids you’re looking for.” Characters like Darth Vader and Han Solo, weapons like lightsabers and blasters, as well as locations like Tatooine or the Death Star are highly recognizable, even to those who’ve never seen a single Star Wars film.
The multitude of fan art, peculiar merchandise, LucasFilm promotional goods and Hasbro-licensed toys presents a unique challenge for artists working within the Star Wars universe; it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. However, artist Matt Ferguson’s posters from the original trilogy manage to do just that.
Ferguson’s striking pieces (via io9) are sharp and clean, using simple yet iconic imagery Choosing these memorable moments from the original trilogy when creating the prints, he was able to conjure up memories from the films, while still making the posters distinctive and powerful. His Star War prints feature classic scenes such as the Millennium Falcon being tractor beamed into Death Star Docking Bay 327; Darth Vader on the bridge of the Executor in the Empire Strikes Back, and Luke’s shuttle escaping the doomed second Death Star with his father’s body from Return of the Jedi.
Take a look at Ferguson’s lovely posters:
Each Lucasfilm-licensed print measures 12 x 24 inches and comes as a three-poster set on cougar white paper. The posters also came in a limited edition variant — now sadly sold out – featuring muted black and gray or sepia tones and a gold gradient film logo. Unfortunately, Ferguson’s posters are only available for a limited time, as well. But until February 28th at 11:59 pm EST, you can grab a set of posters at Bottleneck Gallery for a cool $100.
Ferguson’s sedate yet evocative artwork hearkens back the beautifully minimalistic poster of Darth Vader’s helmet which teased the forthcoming Empire Strikes Back way back in 1980. Since then, inspired artists have created some amazing movie-inspired posters, from Justin Van Gendersen’s stark travel posters to the lush yet monotone The Force Awakens IMAX posters. Ferguson’s posters also recall the evocative OT posters Olly Moss created for Mondo. Each new wave of fan-inspired artwork – official or otherwise – keeps the fires stoked for another generation of devotees.
That’s one of the truly amazing aspects of the Star Wars universe: the creativity fans of the saga glean from it. Although Lucasfilm effectively put the kibosh on the Extended Universe – at least as canon – Star Wars’ return en force is undeniable.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is now in theaters, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.