An original preliminary design for the Empire strikes back poster by Tom Jung
When The Empire Strikes Back was first released in 1980, the producers of the film (George Lucas and Gary Kurtz for Lucasfilm) and its distributor (20th Century Fox) first wanted to make sure that female audiences would not be turned away by the militaristic aspect of the story. To that effect they commissioned a poster focusing on Han Solo’s and Princess Leia’s love story (a beautiful poster by Roger Kastel).
Naturally, the second step in the promotion of the film focused on action. As usual, Tom Jung, the great American movie poster artist, submitted many different concepts in pencil. His clients chose the most spectacular one, heavily featuring the bad guys of the film.
Tom Jung’s amazing drawing ability is obvious in this final composition. The characters placements are set, all that was left to do for this great master was to have the color codes approved before painting the final illustration.
This poster was used worldwide. It is sometimes referred to as the ’Ten Commandments’ style because Darth Vader’s huge figure in the center is somewhat similar to that of Charlton Heston on the poster of Cecil B. DeMille’s pictures.
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