For a number of years, Lucasfilm has been using propaganda-like art across a number of different channels, and now Pablo Hidalgo has compiled these and many new designs into Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy from HarperCollins publishers. Written as an in-universe guide to the many posters and symbols found in the galaxy far, far away, Star Wars Propaganda offers many familiar themes based on real-world examples that were typically seen during the two World Wars.
Painter, poet and sculptor Janyor of Bith opens the book with an introduction that discusses a galaxy of war and art with parts I - V covering The Republic, The Clone Wars, Building the Empire, Rise of the Rebellion and The Next Great War respectively, followed by brief profiles of the featured artists. Each chapter opens with a two-page synopsis of the state of the galaxy and the general mood to explain the artists' inspiration for that given period of time.
Accompanying each piece of art is the title, artist (where known) and a short description that serves to provide some insight into the message that the artist is attempting to convey, be that explicitly or subliminally.
Many of the images will be familiar to keen-eyed fans, with "The Sports Greatest Rivalry" that features Ben Quadinaros and Sebulba having previously been seen pinned above Ezra Bridger's bunk on The Ghost and "Loose Lips Bring Down Starships" used on the Pinewood Studios set of The Force Awakens. Other art has previously been featured in promotional material and books such as The Imperial Handbook.
Included with the book are ten frame-ready propaganda prints featuring designs found within its pages that are sealed within envelopes, one with the Imperial Logo, the other with the Rebel crest, which are stuck to the inside of the front and back pages. The logos are also subtly embossed on the front and back of the book, in reverse order to the envelopes.
The book is jam-packed full of quite sumptuous images from the likes of renowned Star Wars artists Joe Corroney, Russell Walks, Chris Trevas, Brian Rood and Steven Thomas, as well as LFL employees Amy Beth Christensen and Kilian Plunkett to name but a few. And while you are admiring the artwork, Pablo Hidalgo's text also provides further opportunity to pick up little snippets of information and Star Wars lore.
Star Wars Propaganda is available now online and from all good bookstores, priced $40.00 in the U.S. and $50.00 in Canada.
A big thanks to HarperCollins Canada for providing us with a copy of Star Wars Propaganda to review and for all of your monthly roundup of Star Wars publishing news, commentary, and discussion on the latest releases in the realm of novels, comics, and magazines, don't forget to listen to Jedi Journals.
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