THE PHANTOM MENACE
STYLE "B" and "C"
NAME: The Phantom Menace - Style "B" and "C"
DIMENSIONS: 27"x41" (One Sheet), 30"x40" (Quad), Mini-sheet
VARIATIONS: Foriegn variations, Style "C" Variation (see below)
FOLDED OR ROLLED: Rolled
DOUBLE OR SINGLE SIDED: Single and Double
REPRINTS: A licensed Zig Zag reprint from Germany and a 24"x36" reprint.
This final release poster for The Phantom Menace was illustrated by Drew Struzan with Ellen Lee as graphic designer, George Lucas and Doug Chiang as art directors, and Jim Ward as marketing director. The poster was offered in single sided format by the Star Wars Fan Club. It sports a Lucasfilm watermark on the back that is revealed with a blacklight and confirms authenticity. The watermark on the single sided version is VERY difficult to see.
We tried making it visible with a blacklight bulb and it didn't show up. We then tried with a flourescent blacklight and it faintly showed as you can see below...if you squint. Interestingly, this watermark is 2.25"x1" with the copyright text and is located at the very bottom and middle of the back of the poster. This is the same size as the watermark on the Attack of the Clones posters. So far we
have not confirmed if there is a watermark on the double sided version of this poster.
Double sided prints went to theaters and are harder to come by. Many foriegn variations are available.
Star Wars Galaxy Collector #7 reported the following about the Style "C" version in an article by Chris Gove:
There is now a Style C variation, too. The Style B printing didn't inclue the MPAA rating logo. The version with Style C printed at the bottom left was also done in single- and double-sided versions, although in much smaller quantities.
You can read about the development of this poster at StarWars.Com. Drew Struzan talks about how it was made and step-by-step pictures of its creation are show. Here's a sample:
Part I: The Plan
The traditional illustration of the Episode I poster is indicative of Lucas' strong admiration for the art-form. "I like to move one step away from photo realism to something that's a little grander, a little more glorious, something a little more romantic than what you get with just simple photographs." says Lucas, on The Art of Drew Struzan: The Star Wars Portfolio CD-ROM.
Even though the marketing campaign would be carefully tailored to different parts of the world, the Episode I poster design would retain a unified look globally. Since the poster would represent the film worldwide, there was a lot riding on this one image. Great care was taken to protect this image as the representative icon for the film. To that end, this poster would not be used on spin-off products - novels, storybooks, comic books or toy packaging.
"This poster for Episode I was a first in many ways," says Struzan. "I was told that in the sixty-odd countries in which it screened, the poster went unchanged. The same poster, the same art represented the film in every country."
Part II: Research
The first stage of research for Struzan was a visit to Skywalker Ranch to see a rough cut of the film. "When I got the call to do the job, I was elated," says Struzan, who knew nothing of Episode I's content before the screening. "Imagine getting to sit in a private showing of the most anticipated movie ever, months before the public gets to see it, and to see it in Lucasfilm's screening room."
The version Struzan saw was a work-in-progress, with several scenes missing or in various stages of completion. Many of the complex computer-generated effects were only in skeletal, wire-frame form, or scenes would have a single computer generated character where later there would be hundreds. "It was fascinating to watch the actors working on backgrounds which were just production drawings. It's a good thing I have an imagination!" says Struzan.
The screening gave Struzan an understanding of the characters, dynamics and feel of Episode I. He was also provided with a number of pictorial references, and the initial design developed by Doug Chiang.
"I was surprised," recounts Struzan, "when I later went to a screening of the finished film. Not only were the additions and completions made to the film, but the whole film had been re-edited. I feel like I had been privileged to have seen two different Episode I's."
Part III: The First Sketch
Beginning with direction from Lucasfilm, Struzan drew a pencil illustration to present the basic composition and characters in the piece.
"It was a derivation of some previous designs done for Star Wars," explains Struzan. "The black frame is from the Special Edition. The big eyes of Darth Maul came from a successful book cover I did for a previous Star Wars adventure, Vision of the Future."
After the drawing was completed, Struzan sent it to Lucasfilm via overnight courier. The illustration was approved in general, but there would be a number of small but important changes before the painting process began.
UK Quad - 30"x40" - Double Sided
Italy - 13"x28"
Unknown Origin - 24"x36"