Perhaps as much or even more than the films themselves, there are two things I absolutely love about a new Star Wars movie: the music and the concept art. I love getting a peek behind the scenes at the evolution of the creative process. It’s a chance to see how things we saw on screen came to be, and it’s a chance to see what might have been based on excised scenes or earlier drafts of the script. Some of the reveals in these Art of books can be a little bonkers, which is half the fun. I’m pleased to say this one’s no exception.
As with the previous books in this series, I waited until after I saw the film to crack open The Art of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Spoilers, you understand. Likewise, I’m not going to spoil anything here for those who haven’t seen the film. I’ll do that in the film review later (you’ve been warned). For these purposes, I merely want to offer a sampling of some of the art found in this beautifully-rendered tome. Seriously, the art speaks for itself. Every character, planet, sequence, and action set piece is here for examination and appreciation.
The Falcon, of course, is showcased inside and out in spectacular detail at all stages of her redesign into something more indicative of Lando Calrissian’s personal style, including the now infamous cape closet, the ultra clean interiors, and the modified exterior. It’s only right. As many longtime fans point out, she’s as much a character in the saga as Han or Chewie.
Some of what didn’t make it the screen, you ask? This book has the original concepts for what ended up being Qi’ra and Dryden Vos, as well as many staples of the galaxy — aliens, droids, costumes, weapons, and ship designs — that didn’t quite feature as some of this art suggested.
And Wookiee Troopers. I can’t make that up. Roll that around in your head and see if it makes any sense to you on a storytelling level. Changes things quite a bit just in the basic idea. But this is how the creative process works. Brainstorm, visualize, see what sticks and what doesn’t. This is but one of the many surprises found in this collection.
As much as the ideas that didn’t make it to the screen feature in this book, it’s important to remember that everything we do see in the film likewise had to be conceptualized first from the ground up. It’s a blast for me to see that evolution. It’s truly an exercise in creative inspiration to see sequences that we know are in the film illustrated a little differently than the final version.
Simply put, The Art of Solo: A Star Wars Story is a must-have for anyone who enjoys the concept art of the Galaxy Far, Far Away. But that’s just my opinion; clearly I’m biased. Go find a copy and make that determination yourself.