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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Are you excited to see “Star Wars: The Force Awakens?” Well, it’s time to raise your expectations. If artist Drew Struzan’s opinion is worth anything, viewers will be in for a real treat. 

For those unfamiliar, Drew Struzan is perhaps one of the industry’s most iconic illustrators, known for his work ranging from “Star Wars” to “Indiana Jones” and “Back to the Future.” If you’re a movie fan, chances are you’ve seen the man’s handiwork. And if you’ve been keeping track of “Star Wars” news for the past week, chances are you’ve seen his new poster for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” pop up from D23 Expo. If you haven’t had a chance to see it, take a look below. 

In an extensive phone interview with Movie Weekly, Struzan talked through his process and how he got involved in the new “Star Wars” film to begin with. After all, the man was brought out of retirement to do this illustration. 

“…It started about a year ago or more, a year and a half ago. I got a call from J.J. Abrams who I have never met, and he was in England shooting the film and he goes ‘Hi, I’ve always loved the work’ and Blah, Blah, Blah, sounding like you, you know, like a fanboy (laughs) And we were talking along and he just goes ‘…Well, would you?’ and I said ‘…If I was asked.’ And that was the conversation (laughs). By the end of it, there were no other words. So about a year later, we get together and meet and he says we’re using all the original people – John Williams, Kasdan, Harrison Ford’s in it, everybody’s in it and everybody’s writing and making the music and we have to have your art to make it the real thing. So, of course, I’ve got to do it for George and I’ve got to do it for Star Wars. I’ve never worked with J.J before and so we started working on it and he showed me like half the movie and it was just… a wonderful film and I know it’s going to be grand.”

Apparently when you live as an artist, you never really truly retire, no matter how hard you try. Especially when you’re as talented and well-known as Struzan. Of course in order to be as effective as his job as possible, he had to be familiar with the material, and Struzan went on to say that actually watching the films to his project usually helps a great deal. With that in mind Movie Weekly went on to ask about his impressions of the movie. 

“I got to read the script and subsequently I’ve seen half of it (‘THE FORCE AWAKENS’) and I can tell you and the fans this, honest to god, it is far and away probably going to be THE BEST ‘Star Wars’ you’ve ever seen”

You heard it, folks. The man who’s worked on every single “Star Wars” film is giving it undeniably high praise. This is exciting for fans who have been waiting decades for a return to the aesthetic and style of the original trilogy. It’s no secret that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has a lot of expectations to meet, so hopefully this first impression is a great indication of what to expect.

Drew Struzan's other "Star Wars" pieces.

Drew Struzan’s other “Star Wars” pieces.

I still want to keep my expectations reeled in a bit, however. If you go into the theater wanting to much, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

What do you think of Struzan’s comments? Are you even more excited now, or are you keeping expectations low so as not to be disappointed? Let us know!

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” hits theaters on December 18, 2015.

SOURCE: Movie Weekly

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.