Book Review: The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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Wow. This artbook is better than I expected, but it's also a bit different than the ones for Episodes I, II and III.

The content is interestingly arranged in chronologically in order of the film production, so you can follow along as the art and concepts are developed from January 2013 to January 2015. You'll be able to see the early concepts for Rey and Finn who in the beginning are drawn like they are for some teen movie, and then much later on when it makes more sense to cover up Rey in survival gear-like clothing.

So there's no specific section on character designs, environments or vehicles. Everything is just mixed together as and when they were being developed. It's an interesting approach that I'm not sure if it's good or bad.

The artworks are fantastic. Most of them are of scene paintings and environments. And these would be the highlight of the book. They are very detailed and beautiful. I think they capture the mood of the film well and the worlds created look really believable and beautiful. One good thing is the artworks feel like they are from Star Wars and not some first-person-shooter sci-fi video game. There's also insightful commentary from the art department.

I'm surprised there aren't more character and creature designs though. For example, you won't get to see the different variations of suits for Poe, Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren or other characters for that matter. Most characters and aliens when they do appear are in the scene paintings. Maybe more will be included in the making-of book.

If you want to learn more about the characters, then get Star Wars: The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary. Or for vehicles, get Star Wars: The Force Awakens Incredible Cross-Sections. This artbook together with the two other books will make for a complete visual collection.

And because the book's arranged in chronological order by film production and not the storyline, it can be difficult to locate the information that you want. For example, Rey's art is scattered throughout. Overall, it's not a big deal, at least to me.

As a 256-page hardcover artbook, it's really worth the money. Highly recommended for the fans.

The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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