If you’ve been paying attention to Star Wars social media for the last few months, you’ve no doubt seen some breathtaking artwork inspired by The Mandalorian. Even before the series debuted on Disney+, the images seemed to bring to life its dusty, gritty, kill-or-be-killed world. They were made in different styles, featured different characters, and told unique stories, but all were powerful and made us feel like we knew what this series would be. And they all came from one design studio: Poster Posse, whose illustrators created the artwork based solely on trailers and stills. StarWars.com loved the art so much that we wanted to shine a light on the talents behind them — the best in the parsec, one might say — and recently asked each for insights into their work; you can check out every stunning image below, along with the artist’s own commentary.
“I was inspired to create something the second I saw the trailer. I loved the clear Western style/influence (which is what i loved about the original movie trilogy, as well). I set about creating a piece that was a spiritual homage to Sergio Leone Western and [Akira] Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, but also conveyed the sparse space desert landscape and showcased a few of the main characters in a way that didn’t spoil any plot points or focus to closely on a major scene. I cant wait till this hits the UK so i can watch it all.” – Matt Needle
“Because my artistic style is heavily rooted in comic art, I wanted to create something that wouldn’t look out of place on a double-page spread of a comic book. A single image that tells a story while also setting the scene of what is about to come. I used a heavy perspective, strong composition, dramatic lighting from the sun and put the threat of the troopers at the front and the Mandalorian in the background to add to the drama of the scene. Overall, I just wanted to create a piece of art that makes people say, ‘Whoa, that’s cool,’ in the same way Star Wars has done for me my whole life.” – 17th & Oak
“Inspired by the metallic Mandalorian helmet and the earthy pigments from our galaxy, I created my Mandalorian artwork using traditional paint methods: a pinch of rust red, a hint of metallic silver with a helping of sandy iron-oxide, and yellow ocher pigments dug-up from our Earth itself. I poured my newly-mixed paint onto the canvas using a few acrylic mediums to help swirl the paint together carefully — yet carelessly — to create an organic multi-color background. I then hand-painted the iconic Mandalorian helmet on top, using acrylic paint, with a careful splattering of white paint for the stars within the helmet. A raw artwork for a bold new chapter — a portrait of the lone gunfighter making his way through the outer reaches of the galaxy, the Mandalorian.” – Nicky Barkla
“My favorite posters tend to be character studies, as I place the highest value in any story on character development. Attempting to encapsulate a figure by a single expression and pose, working through their costume piece-by-piece, figuring out a backdrop that is supportive but non-competitive, has always been a deeply satisfying way to begin to know who they are — and who doesn’t want to know more about the newest addition to the badass women of Star Wars?” – Tracie Ching
“Ambush. That’s the theme of my piece. Those poor stormtroopers, looking all confused. They know something’s not right, they heard something coming from the stone pillars, wish the light was better, half of the team [is] missing. It was just supposed to be a routine dusk-run. Another noise — this one sounds familiar, though. That a blaster being loaded…?” – Chris Malbon
“As a huge Star Wars fan, I was thrilled with the news that Poster Posse will be creating illustrations to promote The Mandalorian. This series is a space western, a tale of a lone warrior. The starting point for creating this illustration was to present the central characters of the series. For the mood and colors, I was inspired by the movie poster for The Pale Rider with Clint Eastwood.” – Rafal Rola
“The Star Wars [galaxy] is iconic, so it was clear to me that I wanted to create something minimalistic yet striking, something that doesn’t tell too much about the story but reaches you immediately. And when I watched the trailer I saw that one shot of the Mandalorian walking through the desert in that beautiful light, and that was it. Those colors and that feeling, that I tried to capture. The birth of another icon.” – Eileen Steinbach
“Being asked to create art in the run up to The Mandalorian being released on Disney+ was a huge honor! After watching the trailers numerous times there was one scene that I kept coming back to, and it was the Mandalorian walking past carbonite [slabs], which I just thought was really cool. I created some mockups that were action-based or set in a different location, but the one that stood out was the Mandalorian looking down at his stored bounty. Having numerous carbonite [slabs] emphasized his efficiency in his trade. The art was created using a mixture of techniques and software. Once an idea is fully formed in my head, I will then start blocking elements out using digital 3D sculpting and modeling. Once I have a few elements in place, I will get the camera and perspective in place and try various lighting set ups. Once I have the basic setup, I render out an image and then take it into a digital painting app, where the bulk of the work is done to add detail and life into the art.” – Chris Skinner
Visit Poster Posse at PosterPosse.com.
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.
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