Star Wars: Visions was released on its own, and in a deluxe edition with five hand-signed giclees. They include art by Alex Ross, Moebius, Donato Giancola, Daniel Greene, and Jamie Wyeth. The deluxe book also includes 40 extra pages focusing on the artists’ processes, complete with sketches. There were only 500 created.
It sold out immediately, as collectibles of this nature do. We got as many as we could at the time, and of course didn’t open them, that being the privilege of the collector who takes them home. So we never got a close look at the prints. The one copy we still have sits unopened.
The images were curated by J.W. Rinzler, who was the executive editor at Lucasfilm. He is also responsible for New York Times bestsellers The Making of Star Wars and The Making of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, and The Complete Making of Indiana Jones.
George Lucas decided, as an avid collector of both the art used to make and promote the Star Wars films, and fine and illustration art, to go out and find artists he loved in the fine art world to create images relating to his films. This is a great idea, obviously, but here’s a little-known aspect of that project. When an artist creates art relating to Star Wars, they have to, as part of the contract, offer their art to George Lucas as the lowest market price. That is to say, if the artists involved usually work through galleries or agents, Lucas would have to have the right of first refusal for the art before even the galleries or agents had access. This seems perfectly fair for those who usually create art for the franchise. What about those outside the usual Star Wars Universe?
A number or artists used in the book are very famous in the world of contemporary fine art. What a genius move for an art collector to get the lowest possible price for art by these successful artists, while getting them to create unique commissions for him. Win-win? Yes! Indeed there were only a few artists that didn’t sell their pieces for the book to Lucas. As someone who is artist-centric, i’m going to say that’s a solid win for artists everywhere. Now that, years after the release of the book and his acquisition of the art created for it, we know the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will be built in Los Angeles, we can look forward to seeing at least some of these originals in person on its walls.
The beauty of this book, ultimately, is the continuing belief by Lucas, and his support of it through the creation is this art, that there should be no distinction between “high” art and “popular” art. This is a notion I’ve been standing behind for the 25 years i’ve had a gallery dedicated to film, animation, and contemporary art. I look forward to seeing the many paintings he bought from John Alvin, as well as his huge collection of art by Norman Rockwell.
AS TO THE BOOK:
Since the release of the book, Moebius has passed away, so getting a signed limited edition by him as part of the set is reason enough to buy the deluxe edition. We’ve not really been promoting that we have a copy, because we certainly don’t want someone to buy the book and break up the limited editions and sell them separately. This is one of those collectibles best reserved for a collector who will know how nice and right it is to keep them together!
There’s a great video about the collection of the artists HERE.