For those who remember the pre-CG days (primarily before the release of Jurassic Park), appreciating special effects also meant appreciating a certain level of model making skill that has sadly been replaced by the latest in CG technology.

While a well-executed CG job can do wonders for a film, it’s oftentimes the models that really blow audiences away due to their more realistic appearance—not to mention an appreciation for the skill that went into creating a new ‘world’.

Such is the case for the original Star Wars trilogy and the models built by George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic visual effects company. Working with one of the best—if not the best—model makers in the business, Phil Tippet, George Lucas created a believable world that took audiences into a galaxy far, far away with the same methods used by model shops today to create product design prototypes.

Aiming to celebrate the craftsmanship that went into creating a Galaxy of handmade models, the Lucasfilm archives have released a book that features more than 300 full-color photographs and illustrations from all six Star Wars films.

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In addition to the photos and illustrations, Star Wars Sculpting a Galaxy Deluxe Limited Edition features interviews with the concept designers and sculptors, an overview of the Industrial Light & Magic Model Shop from 1976 through today, as well as detailed descriptions behind the process of how various iconic models were made.

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…but with this being one of the most celebrated franchises of all time for collectors, Lucasfilm wasn’t going to leave you hanging with just a book.

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The Deluxe Limited Edition also includes:

  • A tipped in vellum sheet for number and signature, 5 gatefolds, 4 bound-in postcard sheets, a bound-in 12 page booklet describing the “white” model process, an accordion foldout containing all cut-outs of the ships, a bound-in Model Shop booklet detailing the model shop evolution, and a gatefold of “The Family Tree” of all the model makers involved in the 30 year process of creating the Star Wars legacy.
  • A “make your own” Millennium Falcon model kit.
  • DVD of model shop documentaries.
  • A 32 page book showcasing all of the computer graphics surrounding the models and the special effects of the films.
  • An 8 page booklet that will serve as a guide to all the model pieces included in the limited edition (includes a certificate of authenticity).
  • A Landspeeder Model with detachable rear fin – based on the original cast and painting by Peterson.

“I think that’s what made the Star Wars universe work, because people could sorta kinda recognize these things even if they didn’t know what they were.”

-Prop Maker Sean House

Star Wars Sculpting a Galaxy Deluxe Limited Edition is available for $395 over at ThinkGeek.

Author

Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.