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The Empire Strikes Back / B2 / photo style / Japan

27.08.12

Poster Poster
Title
The Empire Strikes Back
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Irvin Kershner
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Photo style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the photo montage style Japanese poster for the second (and best, IMO) film in the original Star Wars trilogy. Noriyoshi Ohrai was responsible for the artwork on the superb alternative style Japanese poster.

This version prominently features Cloud City, an outpost and gas mining colony floating above the planet Bespin, and the place to which Han Solo and Princess Leia flee after the battle of Hoth. Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) is the administrator of the city and an old friend of Han Solo who, unbeknownst to the crew of the Millennium Falcon, has cut a deal with Darth Vader to allow the rebels to be captured in return for continued autonomy from the Empire.

Rather brilliantly the character line-up features a Tauntaun, the bipedal reptomammal used by the rebel alliance as patrol mounts on their native planet of Hoth. Also in the line-up is the bounty hunter Boba Fett, many fans’ favourite character in the entire Star Wars universe.

Nighthawks / one sheet / UK

16.10.13

Poster Poster
Title
Nighthawks
Year of Film
1981
Director
Bruce Malmuth
Starring
Sylvester Stallone, Billy Dee Williams, Lindsay Wagner, Persis Khambatta, Nigel Davenport, Rutger Hauer, Hilary Thompson, Joe Spinell, Walter Mathews
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sylvester Stallone, Billy Dee Williams, Lindsay Wagner, Persis Khambatta, Nigel Davenport, Rutger Hauer, Hilary Thompson, Joe Spinell, Walter Mathews,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Ron Fenton (unconfirmed)
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Can a cop's code of honour win against an assassin's ruthlessness?

This is the scarce UK one sheet for the release of the little-seen 1981 thriller Nighthawks, which stars Sylvester Stallone as a New York City detective who, along with partner Billy Dee Williams, is assigned to a team charged with apprehending an international terrorist played by Rutger Hauer. This is arguably Stallone’s last starring role where he was playing a ‘normal’ man, rather than the invincible tough guys he would later be most associated with – First Blood (Rambo) would be released a year after this film. Nighthawks also marked the first Hollywood role for Hauer following a run of Paul Verhoeven directed features in his native Holland – only a year later he would be starring in arguably his most iconic role as the replicant Roy Batty in Blade Runner.

Nighthawks starts with a bang as Hauer’s international terrorist Wulfgar Reinhardt blows up a department store in London (a scene actually filmed on location in Clapham, I believe) in what is implied to be a job for the IRA. When the bomb causes more carnage than his employers desired – several children are killed – Wulfgar decides to travel to New York City where he plans to carry out a series of attacks to advertise his skills to potential future benefactors. Stallone’s brilliantly named detective Deke DeSilva and his partner Matthew Fox (Dee Williams) are taken off their usual street work and given to the task force charged with hunting down and ‘terminating’ Wulfgar.

What follows is a very solid thriller featuring several well-staged chases and a tense showdown centred around a cable car. The film makes excellent use of real locations and features some great stunt work, particularly from Stallone who apparently did all of his own without the use of a double. It’s certainly an impressive debut feature from director Bruce Malmuth and Hauer, Stallone and Billy Dee Williams give very solid performances that make up for some weaknesses in the supporting cast.

This one sheet features UK-exclusive artwork that was also used on the quad. I’m not 100% certain but I believe it to be the work of an artist called Ron Fenton who also worked on the one sheet for The Long Good Friday that was printed only a year before. Check out the pictures on this page to see the similarities. The only thing is that Nighthawks is missing the signature that Fenton scrawled on the LGF one sheet. If anyone knows for sure that Fenton can be credited with the poster please get in touch.

The Empire Strikes Back / one sheet / 1982 re-release / NSS version / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Empire Strikes Back
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Irvin Kershner
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release - NSS version
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Tom Jung
Artist
Tom Jung
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
R820180
Tagline
--

The Empire Strikes Back / one sheet / style B / NSS version / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Empire Strikes Back
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Irvin Kershner
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style B - NSS version
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Tom Jung
Artist
Tom Jung
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
80000?
Tagline
The Star Wars saga continues

Return Of The Jedi / one sheet / style A / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Return Of The Jedi
AKA
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (full title) | Blue Harvest (USA - fake working title) | Revenge of the Jedi (USA - working title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Richard Marquand
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Paykos Phior
Artist
Tim Reamer
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
830013
Tagline
--

Return Of The Jedi / one sheet / style B / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Return Of The Jedi
AKA
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (full title) | Blue Harvest (USA - fake working title) | Revenge of the Jedi (USA - working title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Richard Marquand
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style B
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Christopher Werner
Artist
Kazuhiko Sano
Size (inches)
27" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Easily my favourite of the various Return of the Jedi posters. I found some excellent info on an ebay auction I was watching a couple of years ago:

“The art is by Kazuhiko (Kazo) Sano. The art direction and design were by Christopher Werner. There was some resizing of Lando’s head on this poster, which needed to match the general size of the other actors. Because Sano was in Japan when this decision was made, they had another artist come in to do it.

This retouch artist may have been Vincent Malizia, an airbrush artist in Los Angeles. I have an old newspaper clipping with him standing in front of the Jedi B poster and a caption that reads he was an airbrush artist for this poster.”

LAMP reports that there are three variations of this poster:

This poster was issued with 3 variations. The first variation has ‘Return of the Jedi Style ‘B’ One Sheet’ printed in the lower right corner.The second variation has the same line as the first but the NSS number ‘830013’ was added below the first line and ‘Return of the Jedi’ was repeated below the NSS number.The third variation is the international poster. The international version doesn’t have the white border around the poster and measures only 26 3/4 x 39 1/4. ‘Return of the Jedi Style B International One Sheet’ is printed in silver in the bottom right corner. The PG rating and the phrase ‘May be too intense for very young children’ was dropped from the poster and the phrase ‘Trade marks owned by Lucasfilm Ltd. (LFL) and used by Film Freak Shop under authorization’ was added to the copyright information.

 

 

 

 

The Empire Strikes Back / one sheet / style A / studio version / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Empire Strikes Back
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Irvin Kershner
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style A - studio version - AKA 'Gone With The Wind' style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Roger Kastel
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The Star Wars saga continues

Return Of The Jedi / one sheet / 1985 re-release / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Return Of The Jedi
AKA
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (full title) | Blue Harvest (USA - fake working title) | Revenge of the Jedi (USA - working title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Richard Marquand
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Murray Smith (Smolen, Smith and Connolly)
Artist
Tom Jung
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
R850025
Tagline
RETURN to a galaxy far, far away

Return Of The Jedi / quad / Special Edition re-release / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Return Of The Jedi
AKA
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (full title) | Blue Harvest (USA - fake working title) | Revenge of the Jedi (USA - working title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Richard Marquand
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Special Edition re-release
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1997
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
30 1/8" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
--

Revenge of the Jedi / one sheet / dated version / USA

28.11.12

Poster Poster
Title
Revenge of the Jedi
AKA
Return Of The Jedi (release title) | Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (full title) | Blue Harvest (USA - fake working title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Richard Marquand
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Dated version
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The Saga Continues

The third film in the much-loved original trilogy of Star Wars films was written by Lawrence Kasdan and, in a recently produced documentary, he claims to have suggested that the initially planned title of ‘Return of the Jedi’ was too weak and that ‘Revenge’ would be a better option. A teaser trailer for the film featured the Revenge title and legendary poster artist Drew Struzan, who had worked on the style D one sheet for the first film, was hired to paint this teaser poster.

Lucas eventually decided that revenge was not a Jedi concept so the film was changed back to the original ‘Return’ title and all subsequent posters were renamed too. According to the Star Wars poster book, by the time the title had been changed thousands of Revenge posters had been printed and hundreds had been distributed to theaters. Lucasfilm stopped the shipping of the posters and destroyed all but 6,800 posters, which were sold in three days to Star Wars fan club members for $9.50. (Source: The Star Wars Poster Book).

The excellent resource site Movie Poster Collectors has a page on the poster that confirms:

The vast majority of posters that escaped destruction have the tagline “Coming May 25, 1983 to your galaxy” at the bottom.  According to reports, a very few – perhaps 100 – omit that tag line. The posters without the release date command somewhat higher prices than the “Coming May 25” posters.

Unfortunately because of its collectable nature there have been several fakes printed over the years and the MPC page features details on what to look for if you want to make sure you purchase an original.

The poster is one of Struzan’s most iconic designs and brilliantly depicts a moment from what would eventually be revealed as a fight between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. The colours and use of painting techniques are fantastic and you should check out the detailed images to see these up close. The poster features on his own website. The design was later adapted for a British advance quad featuring the Return title.

This teaser one sheet was officially reprinted by Kilian Enterprises on the film’s tenth anniversary but with the Return title instead. This page on Learn About Movie Posters details the various versions that were released.

The other posters I’ve collected by Struzan can be viewed here.

Return of the Jedi / B1 / Rebels style / Poland

16.01.15

Poster Poster
Title
Return of the Jedi
AKA
Revenge of the Jedi (pre-release title) | Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (full title) | Blue Harvest (USA - fake working title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Richard Marquand
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Rebels
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Witold Dybowski
Artist
Witold Dybowski
Size (inches)
26 6/16" x 38 2/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is one of two posters printed for the original Polish release of Return of the Jedi in 1984. Although ROTJ, the third in the original trilogy of Star Wars films, was often maligned by fans who complained it was a weak end to the series and derided for featuring the child-friendly Ewoks, all was forgiven with the release of the 1999’s The Phantom Menace and its ‘galactic trade disputes’ and the risible Jar-Jar Binks. Now, although certainly not as highly acclaimed as the original 1977 film or the classic The Empire Strikes Back, ROTJ is still beloved by fans of the series. In 2015, director JJ Abrams will release Episode VII into cinemas, mooted as a direct sequel to this film and much anticipated by fans worldwide. JJ is seen as a much safer pair of hands than George Lucas after his shepherding of a well-received reboot of the Star Trek franchise.

Even if the Ewoks are loved and hated in equal measure, ROTJ still features many memorable, fan favourite characters, locations and scenes, including the attempted rescue of Han Solo from Jabba the Hut’s palace leading to a memorable showdown above a Sarlacc pit monster (which features the ignominious exit of fan favourite Boba Fett). Later the film sees the passing of Yoda along with more revelations about the Skywalker family, and an excellent scene that sees Luke Skywalker confront the evil Emperor Palpatine with Vader standing by. Meanwhile, the Ewoks (essentially child-sized teddy bears) join forces to defeat the ground forces of the Empire on the surface of the planet Endor.

This poster, depicting four members of the rebel alliance, including Luke Skywalker (centre top) and friendly robot C-3PO, and was designed and illustrated by Witold Dybowski who, according to the short biography on his official website, was born in Sopot, Poland and went on to study at the College of Design in Gdansk. After graduating he worked as a graphic designer, illustrator, art director and creative director in Poland, Germany and Austria. During the 1980s he worked on a number of Polish film posters advertising both native and Hollywood productions, which include this and one other poster for Return of the Jedi (to be added to Film on Paper later this year), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and the ‘bubbles’ style poster for Aliens. Since 2010 he has been working as a freelance photographer and his official site features galleries of his work.

I also have the Darth Vader style Polish B1 designed by Dybowski.

The Empire Strikes Back / one sheet / 1982 re-release / studio version / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Empire Strikes Back
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Irvin Kershner
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release - studio version
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Tom Jung
Artist
Tom Jung
Size (inches)
27 3/16" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back / double bill / quad / UK

02.09.14

Poster Poster

Following the unprecedented success of the original Star Wars, released in 1977 to worldwide audience acclaim, expectations were high for the sequel which was put into production a few months after its release. Three years later, The Empire Strikes Back arrived in cinemas and was met with huge audience and critical acclaim, firmly cementing the series’ place in the hearts of millions of fans across the globe. A less well-received third part of the original trilogy, Return of the Jedi, and a lacklustre set of prequel films failed to dampen audience enthusiasm for the franchise and a new film adventure is set to be released at the end of 2015.

To capitalise on the successful release of the films, particularly before home video was a reality, distributor 20th Century Fox decided to release a double-bill of both Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back in to cinemas towards the end of 1980. This event was repeated across the world but this British quad is unique to this country and is the result of the amalgamation of the original quads for both films, plus an extra photographic element not included on either in the figure of Jedi master Yoda, which was probably added due to the characters’ popularity.

The original Star Wars quad was designed and illustrated by the late, great British artist Tom Chantrell whose dynamic and colourful work featured on hundreds of posters over a forty year period. The artist sadly passed away in 2001 but last year his widow Shirley launched his official website, which showcases his work and features a great biography written by Sim Branaghan, author of the must-own book British Film Posters. Chantrell illustrated many classic poster designs, including several Hammer posters such as the brilliant quad for ‘One Million Years B.C.’, and he was also responsible for many other pieces of iconic poster artwork. I have a number of other designs by Chantrell on this site and you can read an exclusive interview with Shirley by clicking here.

The Empire Strikes Back quad features the artwork painted for the US style B one sheetwhich was by the American artist Tom Jung, perhaps best known for his iconic ‘style A’ one sheet that he painted for the release of the original Star Wars. Jung was a prolific designer and illustrator for film campaigns from the 1950s through to the 1980s. IMPAwards features a gallery of his work and his Wikipedia article has a selected list of the posters he worked on. The other posters I’ve collected by him can be seen here.

Another special quad was put together for a triple-bill event after the release of Return of the Jedi, which again featured elements of the artwork from all three separate release quads. Note that this poster can be found undersized at around 28″ x 40″ and this was because several hundred copies were machine trimmed to be used in special frames on the London Underground, a fate which befell a number of posters around the end of the 1970s and early 1980s.

 

The Empire Strikes Back / one sheet / 10th anniversary / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Empire Strikes Back
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Irvin Kershner
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
10th anniversary re-release (Killian)
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Lawrence Noble
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

The Empire Strikes Back / Turkey

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Empire Strikes Back
AKA
Imparator (Turkey)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Irvin Kershner
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz,
Type of Poster
Turkish
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Turkey
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Omer Muz
Size (inches)
26 15/16" x 39 9/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Empire Strikes Back / B2 / artwork style / Japan

14.12.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Empire Strikes Back
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Irvin Kershner
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Artwork style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A fantastic illustration on this Japanese B2 for The Empire Strikes Back by the Japanese artist Noriyoshi Ohrai which, in my opinion, is the best artwork for the best film in the six film saga. I’d have a hard time choosing between this and Tom Chantrell’s classic design for the greatest overall Star Wars poster artwork.

As well as this Japanese B2, the artwork featured on a Japanese B1 as well as several other international posters, including an Australian one sheet. Sadly it was not to be used for the US or UK campaigns. Last year, for the ESB 30th anniversary, Lucasfilm released a limited edition one sheet of the poster taken from the original artwork transparency – see this article for more info.

Noriyoshi Ohrai is my favourite Japanese artist and certainly in my top five greatest film poster illustrators of all time. He’s responsible for a number of other Star Wars related posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film. He is also know for a series of Godzilla posters, some of which can be seen here. In March 2014 a retrospective exhibition was held in Japan of Ohrai’s work and I made the trip over to Miyazaki to see the exhibition and I’m very glad I did as it featured most of his original artwork and a whole array of posters and book covers. A full report will follow soon.

The posters I’ve managed to collect by him can be seen by clicking here.

The Empire Strikes Back / quad / 1997 re-release / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Empire Strikes Back
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Irvin Kershner
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1997
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
30 1/8" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
--

The Star Wars Trilogy / one sheet / 1997 re-release / campaign A revised / international

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Star Wars Trilogy / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster

The Take / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Take
AKA
--
Year of Film
1974
Director
Robert Hartford-Davis
Starring
Billy Dee Williams, Eddie Albert, Frankie Avalon, Sorrell Booke, Tracy Reed, Albert Salmi, Vic Morrow, A Martinez, James Luisi
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Billy Dee Williams, Eddie Albert, Frankie Avalon, Sorrell Booke, Tracy Reed, Albert Salmi, Vic Morrow, A Martinez, James Luisi,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 4/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Return Of The Jedi / B2 / Sano artwork style / Japan

11.08.14

Poster Poster
Title
Return Of The Jedi
AKA
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (full title) | Blue Harvest (USA - fake working title) | Revenge of the Jedi (USA - working title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Richard Marquand
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Sano artwork style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Kazuhiko Sano
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

This is one of four B2 posters printed for the original Japanese release of Return of the Jedi in 1983. Although ROTJ, the third in the original trilogy of Star Wars films, was often maligned by fans who complained it was a weak end to the series and derided for featuring the child-friendly Ewoks, all was forgiven with the release of the 1999′s The Phantom Menace and its ‘galactic trade disputes’ and the risible Jar-Jar Binks. Now, although certainly not as highly acclaimed as the original 1977 film or the classic The Empire Strikes Back, ROTJ is still beloved by fans of the series. In 2015, director JJ Abrams will release Episode VII into cinemas, mooted as a direct sequel to this film and much anticipated by fans worldwide. JJ is seen as a much safer pair of hands than George Lucas after his shepherding of a well-received reboot of the Star Trek franchise.

Even if the Ewoks are loved and hated in equal measure, ROTJ still features many memorable, fan favourite characters, locations and scenes, including the attempted rescue of Han Solo from Jabba the Hut’s palace leading to a memorable showdown above a Sarlacc pit monster (which features the ignominious exit of fan favourite Boba Fett). Later the film sees the passing of Yoda along with more revelations about the Skywalker family, and an excellent scene that sees Luke Skywalker confront the evil Emperor Palpatine with Vader standing by. Meanwhile, the Ewoks (essentially child-sized teddy bears) join forces to defeat the ground forces of the Empire on the surface of the planet Endor.

The artwork on this poster was painted by the late Japanese-American artist Kazuhiko Sano and also appeared on a US one sheet and multiple other posters around the world. As detailed in the notes for the one sheet, I discovered the following information about the artwork from an ebay auction description:

‘The art is by Kazuhiko (Kazo) Sano. The art direction and design were by Christopher Werner. There was some resizing of Lando’s head on this poster, which needed to match the general size of the other actors. Because Sano was in Japan when this decision was made, they had another artist come in to do it. This retouch artist may have been Vincent Malizia, an airbrush artist in Los Angeles. I have an old newspaper clipping with him standing in front of the Jedi B poster and a caption that reads he was an airbrush artist for this poster.’

Kazuhiko Sano was born in Toyko in 1952 and studied oil painting before moving to Los Angeles in 1975 and majoring in illustration at the Academy of Art College. He graduated in 1980 with a Master in Fine Art qualification and soon began working in commercial illustration, working on book covers, editorial illustrations and film posters for a whole range of internationally famous clients. He also returned to the Academy of Art College in 1986 to teach and worked there until his death in 2011. Unquestionably his most famous film poster work was this one for Return of the Jedi but there are a handful of others too.

The Empire Strikes Back / B1 / advance / Japan

04.11.13

Poster Poster

This is the B1 advance poster for the Japanese release of The Empire Strikes Back, which by 1980 was one of the most anticipated sequels in the history of cinema following the continuing international success of George Lucas’ original Star Wars (1977). This image of bad guy Darth Vader’s helmet was also used for the North American advance one sheet and is a photograph of a prop helmet created to be worn by Dave Prowse in the original trilogy. The photo shoot for this poster was apparently done by the respected poster designer and artist Bob Peak, who was responsible for many classic 70s and 80s posters, including Apocalypse Now, The Spy Who Loved Me and Superman.

This image was only used for the B1 size Japanese poster, with a photographic montage being used for the standard B2 whilst Noriyoshi Ohrai was responsible for the artwork on the superb alternative style B2, which was also printed as a B1 size poster.

To see more posters by Bob Peak in the Film on Paper collection click here.

 

The Empire Strikes Back / B1 / Ohrai style / Japan

21.03.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Empire Strikes Back
AKA
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Year of Film
1980
Director
Irvin Kershner
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Ohrai
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
28 11/16" x 40 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
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This is the artwork style Japanese poster for the release of George Lucas’ sci-fi classic The Empire Strikes Back, which features a fantastic illustration by the Japanese artist Noriyoshi Ohrai which, in my opinion, is the best artwork for the best film in the six film saga. I’d have a hard time choosing between this and Tom Chantrell’s classic design for the greatest overall Star Wars poster artwork.

As well as this Japanese B1, the artwork featured on a Japanese B2 as well as several other international posters, including an Australian one sheet. Sadly it was not to be used for the US or UK campaigns. In 2010, for the ESB 30th anniversary, Lucasfilm released a limited edition one sheet of the poster taken from the original artwork transparency – see this article for more info.

Noriyoshi Ohrai is my favourite Japanese artist and certainly in my top five greatest film poster illustrators of all time. He’s responsible for a number of other Star Wars related posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film. He is also know for a series of Godzilla posters, some of which can be seen here. In March 2014 a retrospective exhibition was held in Japan of Ohrai’s work and I made the trip over to Miyazaki to see the exhibition and I’m very glad I did as it featured most of his original artwork and a whole array of posters and book covers. A full report will follow soon.

The posters I’ve managed to collect by him can be seen by clicking here.

Return of the Jedi / B1 / Vader style / Poland

22.04.14

Poster Poster
Title
Return of the Jedi
AKA
Revenge of the Jedi (pre-release title) | Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (full title) | Blue Harvest (USA - fake working title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Richard Marquand
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Vader
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Witold Dybowski
Artist
Witold Dybowski
Size (inches)
26 6/16" x 38 4/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
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This is one of two posters printed for the original Polish release of Return of the Jedi in 1984. Although ROTJ, the third in the original trilogy of Star Wars films, was often maligned by fans who complained it was a weak end to the series and derided for featuring the child-friendly Ewoks, all was forgiven with the release of the 1999’s The Phantom Menace and its ‘galactic trade disputes’ and the risible Jar-Jar Binks. Now, although certainly not as highly acclaimed as the original 1977 film or the classic The Empire Strikes Back, ROTJ is still beloved by fans of the series. In 2015, director JJ Abrams will release Episode VII into cinemas, mooted as a direct sequel to this film and much anticipated by fans worldwide. JJ is seen as a much safer pair of hands than George Lucas after his shepherding of a well-received reboot of the Star Trek franchise.

Even if the Ewoks are loved and hated in equal measure, ROTJ still features many memorable, fan favourite characters, locations and scenes, including the attempted rescue of Han Solo from Jabba the Hut’s palace leading to a memorable showdown above a Sarlacc pit monster (which features the ignominious exit of fan favourite Boba Fett). Later the film sees the passing of Yoda along with more revelations about the Skywalker family, and an excellent scene that sees Luke Skywalker confront the evil Emperor Palpatine with Vader standing by. Meanwhile, the Ewoks (essentially child-sized teddy bears) join forces to defeat the ground forces of the Empire on the surface of the planet Endor.

This poster, depicting the exploding head of Darth Vader (featuring real-life camera parts), was designed and illustrated by Witold Dybowski who, according to the short biography on his official website, was born in Sopot, Poland and went on to study at the College of Design in Gdansk. After graduating he worked as a graphic designer, illustrator, art director and creative director in Poland, Germany and Austria. During the 1980s he worked on a number of Polish film posters advertising both native and Hollywood productions, which include this and one other poster for Return of the Jedi (to be added to Film on Paper later this year), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and the ‘bubbles’ style poster for Aliens. Since 2010 he has been working as a freelance photographer and his official site features galleries of his work.