To BB-8, or not to BB-8, that is the question.
Ian Doescher’s series of Star Wars and Shakespeare mashups has proved popular with fans of both classic literature and a galaxy far, far away, telling the stories of the Star Wars films in the Bard of Avon’s style. And the saga doth continue on July 10, 2018, with William Shakespeare’s Jedi the Last — Star Wars Part the Eighth, an adaptation of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. StarWars.com is excited to reveal the book’s cover below, featuring Luke Skywalker in Elizabethan garb — not a bad look for a Jedi!
StarWars.com caught up over-email with series cover artist Nicolas Delort to discuss the image and bringing Star Wars characters into the visual world of Shakespeare.
StarWars.com: One of the best things about this series’ covers is seeing Star Wars characters in Shakespearian garb. What was the process for designing Luke’s outfit? Was it a challenge to have it work with with his plain Jedi robes?
Nicolas Delort: It’s always a challenge to “Shakespearify” the Jedi because their robes already look almost medieval. The look here was inspired by the clothes Luke is wearing during his fight against Kylo at the end of the movie, mixed in with the traditional brown Jedi robes. Luke’s “projection” is younger and less scruffy looking, so I wanted to show a peak of an embroidered doublet beneath the Jedi robes to hint as his former greatness.
StarWars.com: I also love looking for the smaller details — in this case, the AT-M6, ski speeder, and Rey, Kylo, and Snoke. How did you decide upon those elements?
Nicolas Delort: Rey and Kylo are really at the center of the plot in The Last Jedi, and on past covers we’ve mostly always used those little statues to show the central conflict of the movie, while the central portrait shows an iconic character. The fight scene in Snoke’s throne room is one of the most fantastic scenes in the entire saga for me and I wanted to hint to it on the cover.
The battle on Crait is at the climax of the movie and it was nice seeing new versions of the classic AT-AT, and the ski-speeders surfing on the red salt was a visually beautiful scene.
StarWars.com: Tell me about getting the Supremacy in there, just above Luke’s head!
Nicolas Delort: That’s Snoke’s giant [ship], the one Admiral Holdo obliterates at the climax of the movie. It was a challenge to fit in because of its shape and design, but it’s a central element in the story, so it deserved to be there!
StarWars.com: Featuring BB-8 on the cover of The Force Doth Awaken was a much more comedic image, while this feels dramatic. What kind of tone did you want to convey for Jedi the Last?
Nicolas Delort: The Last Jedi does have a lot of humor, but the overall tone is still very dark, although maybe not as dark as Empire Strikes Back. It opens with the Resistance losing a lot of lives, showing Luke as a bitter, tired old man, the First Order scoring significant victories and Rey struggling with her temptation to the dark side…and it ends with the loss of Luke, the legendary Jedi. So it seemed only appropriate to have a solemn portrait of him on the cover.
Dan Brooks is Lucasfilm’s senior content strategist of online, the editor of StarWars.com, and a writer. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks where he rants about all these things.