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It's hard to retire when you're a legend. Just ask Clint Eastwood. The man who was retiring from behind and in front of the camera (after Gran Torino) has broken his oath to the point where it'd be smarter for him to just keep working on a light schedule. Much like Eastwood before him, legendary poster artist Drew Struzan is looking to dust off his working hat and set out to create art for a galaxy far far away.
Schmoes Know slipped the scoop this morning that Struzan, the man behind countless double-sided masterpieces, has been asked to come back to the Star Wars family and provide art for Star Wars: Episode VII. The story was provided by a "close source" to Mr. Struzan, who also said that J.J. Abrams gushed like any fanboy would over the famed artist's career as he had contacted him to arrange this new deal.
Drew Struzan's connection to Star Wars dates back to 1978, when he designed a retro looking "Circus" style poster for the film's re-release into theaters. The connection would be more permanent in association when Struzan came back to design the posters for the Special Edition re-releases of the trilogy, which lead to him being brought on board for the prequel trilogy. His unique art style has been used to promote films like Blade Runner, *batteries not included, and even provided art after his 2008 retirement for both TNT's now defunct Mob City and Dreamworks Animation's upcoming How To Train Your Dragon 2.
By doing this, J.J. Abrams has shown his commitment to the Star Wars fandom. If Drew Struzan is confirmed to be on board of Star Wars: Episode VII, he will be the latest member of the legacy team to join up. As we all know, John Williams will be back to score the new film, and Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill are all part of the new film's core cast. All involved are trying to bring the semi bloated franchise back to its more honorable roots, and so far it looks like it's paying off.
I was obsessed with Star Wars during the Special Edition re-releases, and I actually skipped school to see Episode I: The Phantom Menace during the first showing on opening morning. While I like the first and third entries in the Prequel Trilogy, they are nowhere near as thrilling or comforting as the Original Trilogy. I have fond memories of the prequels, but I built a good part of my childhood around the films that started it all. To bring the man who designed several of the posters that kindled the imaginations of fans like me back into the fold is priceless. It's not just a marketing tactic, it's invoking a sacred memory and makes a promise that this time, things will be different. As a fan, and as an outside observer, this is a huge move that could restore a lot of confidence in both the opinion fans have on J.J. Abrams himself, as well as the films he's currently undertaking.
Star Wars: Episode VII thrills audiences worldwide on December 18th, 2015. Our fingers our crossed that Mr. Struzan's involvement will be double confirmed in the near future.