The One that Swoons

WIP update: Still battling through the revision of the first chapter, hoping to finish it by tonight. I think I'm through the worst of it, though. Alas, it's been a bit of struggle not to go ahead and info dump all over the place. Okay, so, I've talked about this a hundred times before, but my Dad has been a Star Wars collector since I was about... whatever age you are when you're in first grade. Pretty much my entire life, you could say. It's been interesting to see my Dad go through different collector phases. For example, when he first started collecting, he was very much into the new toys that were being released by Kenner in the 90's (the ones that apparently tried used the same body and face molds for all of the characters, including poor Hulk-alicious Princess Leia), but when it became pretty clear there would never be any real way of keeping up with all the new releases. So from there he moved on and started focusing more and more on the vintage toys from the 70's and 80's, and then the foreign versions of those same toys, and then the super mint condition versions of all of those same toys...

But I think my favorite part of his collection--and honestly, it's probably his favorite part, too--is his poster collection. Dad's got a real sharp eye when it comes to them now, to the point that he can spot fakes and accurately appraise their value. He has a lot of really weird one-sheets, from all over the globe. Take for instance The Exploding Darth Vader Head Return of the Jedi poster that came out of Poland (the pictured isn't his, but the guy having his fingers all over the corners is still stressing me out), or the birthday cake poster, or this gem:


...which mysteriously appeared on my bedroom wall just before winter break sophomore year and features Luke in what looks like a lime green romper. It is a truth universally acknowledged in the Bracken household that once you vacate your room for college, your walls are fair game. (I have no idea why the Italians insisted on recoloring their clothes in pastels, by the way, but it's pretty funny.) But, yeah, imagine an unnaturally tan and buff Luke Skywalker staring down at you every night as you try to fall asleep. Also, to put the size of that poster in perspective: I'm 5'10. That bad boy is almost as tall as I am.

Anyway, I got to thinking about posters today after The LA Times posted the original version of the famous (and in my nerdy little opinion) Hildebrandt poster for A New Hope. While it's not my favorite (see below), it's still has a special place in my heart as it was one of the first posters to show up in our then-playroom.

My favorite poster (I've called dibs on it!) is the "Gone With the Wind" Style A that Kastel did for The Empire Strikes Back:


The JPEG doesn't do justice to it at all, but it's so, so, SO gorgeous in person. (Style B is just not quite as epic, I must say.) It's so rare to see an illustrated movie poster these days, and when you do it's usually tongue in cheek or on the dismally fug side. But that poster tells you everything you need to know about The Empire Strikes Back--that it's dark and moody, that Han and Leia get their "I Know" on, and that Luke, much like proverbial cheese, stands alone, and that Lucas didn't write OR direct it. ;) It seems to me that before trailers took over in marketing importance, the movie poster functioned in a similiar way to book covers--they were the average person's first glimpse at some new, shiny story waiting for them in the near future. (It's obviously not a perfect comparison, if only because the goal of book covers is grab the attention of a buyer long enough for them to pick the book off the shelf--I'm just thinking aloud here :)) I can't help but think they no longer function in the same way, and that their importance has lessened as time has gone on. Well, the good news is, people are still making some truly beautiful and cool posters for us all to gawk at while we're heading into the movie theaters.

Ah, sorry for rambling! Have you guys seen any particularly great movie posters recently?

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