The Force is with this video game art book.
We, as Star Wars fans, have been absolutely spoiled lately. In addition to TV’s animated Resistance, there are multiple new films coming, new television shows streaming on Disney+, new books exploring every inch of the Galaxy Far, Far Away, and my absolutely favorite nugget from the Star Wars universe expansion — new video games! Welcome to The Art of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, an art book starring Respawn Entertainment’s newest offering in the Star Wars universe.
As I look at my collection of other video game art books from geek publishing powerhouse Dark Horse (Dishonored, Uncharted, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and beyond), I was excited to see what this new game has to offer through its art book… and I’ll just say, it’s convinced me to get the game. (Dark Horse provided a PDF for review purposes.)
Lead concept artist Jordan Lamarre-Wan introduces the rich world the Respawn team had to explore through their new game in the foreword. I was delighted to see they started from legendary work of Ralph McQuarrie (whom I admire greatly), but also gave themselves permission to explore the Star Wars universe with fresh eyes. I love it when concept artists push the limits of their imagination while working from a timeless foundation that any fan would recognize.
Exploring the galaxy
The Art of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is absolutely packed with gorgeous, detailed renders, from multiple explorations of character designs (from the light side to the dark side, and everything in between), to weapons, a plethora of creatures, and page after page of incredibly detailed landscape concept pieces.
To be honest, Cal Kestis never struck me as the most engaging character when I first saw his promo art when the game was announced. But after scouring through the designs, I fully admit I’ve been won over. His aesthetic as a Force-user-on-the-run, taking jobs where he can, is fully explored. This is an ongoing theme within, showing the concept artists’ initial ideas about the cast of Jedi: Fallen Order as they’re progressively tightened through to their final in-game versions. Vague foundational concepts are built upon, layer-by-layer, and the world-building shown through the art book is an astounding sight as a Star Wars fan.
I was also delighted that they included concept art that had been scrapped in the game. It was a great dive into the development process, and acknowledged the hard work artists do in that process that doesn’t always make it through the final, playable stages.
Areas of focus
Curious what exactly is featured in the art book? It pretty closely aligns with Dark Horse’s other video game art book offerings, but I did feel like this one managed to pack in a bit more than what I’m typically used to. There were a lot more character designs than I expected (sometimes video game art books can skimp on this), and the other concept art pieces that were featured for other sections felt extremely well curated.
Sometimes, video game art books can feel “padded” with pages and pages of developer diaries that are frustrating when you’re buying the book for the artwork. I didn’t experience that issue here. No space feels wasted, and everything is well formatted. The art book feels nicely laid out, and it was pleasing to flip through.
Inside, you’ll find:
- Adorable droids!
- Cool insider knowledge of the creative process.
- Some familiar faces for Star Wars fans.
- Super-cool concepts that make me impatient to visit Galaxy’s Edge.
Do you need this?
I think both Jedi: Fallen Order players who want to dive more into the creation of the game and Star Wars fans who simply love taking a deep dive into anything and everything that has new Star Wars content wont be disappointed. The Art of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is an extensive, organized and simply beautiful look at how a creative team went from a blank slate to a well-received action-adventure game that aligns with this new side story.
I recommend this art book if:
- You adore video game art books and like sci-fi/fantasy concept art.
- You’re a fan of Jedi: Fallen Order itself and want to explore its world-building.
- You’re a Star Wars enthusiast who wants a hefty new creative tome to add to their collection.
The Art of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
- Writer: Lucasfilm LTD., Respawn Entertainment
- Genre: Video Game, Star Wars, Science-Fiction, Art Book, Action/Adventure
- Publication Date: Nov. 19, 2019
- Format: FC, 240 pages; HC; 9″ x 12″
- Price: $39.99
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