Why the Star Wars: The Force Awakens poster is disappointing

Digital Arts | 19 October 15

Click for the hi-res Star Wars: The Force Awakens poster

Lucasfilm announced the first official cinema poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and predictably, the Internet got very excited. But for me, it was a disappointing too.

What works are the questions it inspires: what's the giant Death Star-type it's-not-a-moon-it's-a-space-station? Who's that little Greebo-type creature? Who's the super-shiny Stormtrooper? Where's Luke?

However, another big questions is: why didn't Lucasfilm get Drew Struzen to paint the poster art?

Drew painted all of the previous Star Wars poster artworks – as well as iconic posters for Indiana Jones and Back To The Future. His work has a photorealism that's clearly closely taken from photographic reference, but balanced with expressive brushwork that brings out the characters.

The Star Wars: The Force Awakens poster has been digitally worked up from photos to produce a more techical style that probably has a more modern feel – but lacks the charm and emotiveness of Drew's work.

Drew did produce a Star Wars: The Force Awakens poster for the recent D23 conference (below), which – if a little rough – gives you some idea of what Drew could have achieved with the official poster. It's also amusing that Harrison Ford looks a lot more like his real age (73) in Drew's poster than the ultra-airbushed guy in the poster above.

The poster was released to promote tickets going on sale for The Force Awakens today at 9am, which took down most cinema chains' websites.