2017 is shaping up to be a massive year for the Star Wars franchise. There is, of course, the December release of the highly anticipated Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which is sure to take over the public consciousness once it comes out. But 2017 also marks a significant milestone in Star Wars history: May 25, 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the original theatrical release of 1977’s A New Hope.
There’s plenty of reason to celebrate Star Wars films old and new in 2017, especially at April's Star Wars Celebration in Orlando. However, one of the more eye-catching events will come at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. SXSW is partnering with the Austin-based Mondo Gallery on the “Star Wars X Mike Mitchell” exhibit, which will display a series of portraits of iconic Star Wars characters by artist Mike Mitchell. But now, fans can take a look of Mitchell’s newest Star Wars prints before they premiere in Texas.
EW revealed Mitchell’s new portrait of Yoda on Tuesday, giving a taste of the artist’s collection that will be on display at the Mondo Gallery starting on Friday. Elsewhere, IGN exclusively revealed a similarly designed print of Obi-Wan Kenobi that will be available for purchase at the festival. IGN’s slideshow of Mitchell’s Star Wars portraits also includes Han Solo, Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian, Grand Moff Tarkin, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and Boba Fett, as well as characters from the new trilogy like Rey and Kylo Ren.
“I have a particular and unyielding love for the designs in Star Wars, and I’m so stoked that I got to spend a year picking out my favorite characters and bringing them to life in my own way,” said Mitchell, according to EW. As reported by IGN, limited copies of Mitchell’s Obi-Wan portrait will be available to purchase at MondoTees.com for $60 from Thursday, March 9 at 1 p.m. ET to Sunday, March 12 at 1 p.m. ET. The Mondo Gallery is holding an opening reception that is open to the public on Friday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. local time.
The weekend of SXSW is sure to be a great event for Star Wars collectors and fans of rare pop art. Mitchell’s collection of portraits would certainly be a worthy addition to any Star Wars fan’s own gallery, especially those who have an affinity for modern stylized artwork like Mitchell’s portraits. The gallery will be an eye-popping celebration of the classic original Star Wars as it nears its 40th anniversary and a bridge to the much-anticipated release of The Last Jedi.
The only downside to the event for Star Wars fans is that it’s only in Austin, Texas. Fans who aren’t from the area or weren’t already traveling for SXSW may be disappointed to find out that their chances of getting their hands one one of Mitchell’s portraits - or seeing them in person - are slim. But they still have a chance to get a copy of the Obi-Wan portrait online, and the classic portraits alone will certainly get Star Wars fans excited as anticipation for The Last Jedi continues to build.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017