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Book Review: The Art of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge

The Art of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge by Amy Ratcliffe gives you a look behind the curtain at the development process as Imagineers created the Star Wars worlds for Disneyland and Walt Disney World.   The book contains over 300 pieces of art on 256 pages from throughout the creative process to illustrate the evolution and detail of Black Spire Outpost.The Art of Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Cover

The narrative includes a foreward by Scott Trowbridge who was the creative executive for Galaxy’s Edge as well as quotes and insight throughout from several dozen other Imagineers and Lucasfilm individuals involved in the project.   The text documents the announcement history, some of the decision points the team faced and provides a description for the land.   The backstories for the various establishments are also highlighted.

The book not only documents Black Spire Outpost locations, it also includes a look at the costumes, datapad application and other elements that bring Galaxy’s Edge to life.    The two attractions are  explored from their exterior to interior to the attraction story itself.    The final chapter is entitled Boarding the Halcyon.  It explores the upcoming Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser experience that will be coming to Walt Disney World.

The artwork is group into the following chapters:

  • Who’s Who
  • An Outpost at the Edge
  • The Fight Continues
  • Stand with the Resistance
  • A Ship in Need of a Crew
  • The Local Watering Hole
  • A Refined Collector
  • Experiences Like No Others
  • A Bustling Place
  • Batuuan Fashion
  • Galactic Snacking
  • Pluggin In
  • Beyond the Parks
  • Boarding the Halcyon

The artwork shows the evolution of some of the components as well as some concepts that did not make it into phase one of the land.  For example the Kalikori Club dining location, Explorers shop or the Elee creature attraction which was to give guests an opportunity to ride an Elee around the land.

I always enjoy seeing the evolution of projects and the amount of thought that goes into them by the teams involved.   The sections I found most interesting were the various pieces looking at the changes to the same area/concept as well as seeing how the art changed for the public releases at D23 Events.   Seeing how the team changed course and refined their vision as the project went on.   I also enjoyed seeing some of the concepts and parts of the project that did not make it into the final project.  It will be interesting to see if any of those resurface in later changes.  The narrative provided some color and background but it is secondary to the images as you would expect given the title of the book.   I thought the quotes by the Imagineers and other creatives on the project were highlights of the text.

The Art of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge should be high on the list of possible additions to your library if you are a fan of the new lands or of Disney Concept art.  Having a book full of concept art on a single project is a great resource.  One final note.  The book does not contain any photography of the finished land, the images are all artwork of various forms spanning the development time of the lands.

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