Back in May, LucasFilm announced that Orlando, Florida will play host to the 2017 Star Wars Celebration. The convention will take place April 13-16, 2017, at the Orange County Convention Center. While LucasFilm hasn't announced any events for this year's Celebration quite yet, the studio did unveil 12 pieces of badge art, which feature iconic Star Wars characters from both the big and small screen. These photorealistic sketches of characters from the Star Wars Universe were drawn by artist Paul Shipper. Here's what he had to say about these designs, which will help celebrate the 40th anniversary of this iconic franchise.
"The main thing for me was pleasing everybody at Lucasfilm. And then in turn, because they would like them, then hopefully the fans will enjoy them, as well. It's a case of trying to do something that would be very different from anything that's maybe been done before, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Star Wars."
StarWars.com revealed the badge art, which features John Boyega's Finn, Daisy Ridley's Rey, Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker, Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron and Adam Driver's Kylo Ren from the new Star Wars trilogy, along with Felicity Jones' Jyn Erso from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars Rebels characters Ezra Bridger (Taylor Grey), Hera Syndulla (Vanessa Marshall), Kanan Jarrus (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Sabine Wren (Tiya Sircar), Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) and Zeb Orrelios (Steve Blum). Paul Shipper revealed there are actually 18 pieces of badge artwork in total, but it remains to be seen when the final six will be revealed. Here's what Paul Shipper had to say about what his favorite designs were, revealing that one of the final six images will be the beloved ball droid BB-8.
"I think the Poe Dameron one is one of my favorites. I really like how BB-8 came out, and Kylo Ren I was really pleased with. The first ones that I got the reference images for was for the Rebels characters, so they're the ones I first did. Yeah, it was a bit of a challenge. I don't draw many animated characters, really. Most of them are from film or TV or real people. So it was slightly different, and it was a funny place to start. But that's what I had to work with to start, so it was like, 'Okay, let's go for it.'"
The artist added that he grew up with the Star Wars franchise, recalling his days playing Star Wars in the playground at his school. Each character is centered on their relevant insignia, either the Imperial cog or the Rebellion starbird, creating a visual continuity. Paul Shipper is a trained "pencil-and-paper illustrator," although he created all of the images digitally, stating they were all, "hand-drawn, in the computer." Here's what he had to say about the unique look for all of these badges.
"The main thing is, really, the traditional aesthetic that I want to keep alive. Despite it being digital, I don't want it to look like it's been created on a computer. I want it to have the same feel as a traditional piece of art. So when you zoom in close, it's rough around the edges, it's not perfect."
There have been rumors that the first trailer for the next Star Wars adventure, Star Wars 8, will debut at Star Wars Celebration, but that hasn't been confirmed yet. Many fans were hoping that the first trailer would debut during the smash hit Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but a recent report claimed the trailer would drop in the Spring of 2017. Stay tuned for more on Star Wars 8 and Star Wars Celebration 2017, and take a look at the artwork below.