Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Beach Blanket Star Wars!

Last week Disney released the official poster for their upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story film. Brace yourselves, because it's a doozy.

Wow. This may be one of the worst examples of movie poster art I've ever seen. Hard to believe it comes from Disney, a hundred billion dollar media conglomerate (emphasis on the glom).

If you told me this was a piece of fan art created by a mediocre student just learning to use Photoshop, I'd place my hand against my chin as if stroking an invisible goatee, nod knowingly and say, "I have absolutely no problem believing that statement."

Rarely have I seen such a poor design. It looks for all the world like the artist had a month to design the poster, goofed off until the day it was due and cobbled it together on his laptop on the way to his meeting with Disney. It gives new meaning to the word "slapdash."

Despite the fact that the Death Star is looming large over the horizon, this does not feel like a Star Wars poster to me. Where's the epic scope? Where's the classic space opera feel? Most glaring of all, where are the iconic character portraits illustrating the heroes and villains of the film? 

I get that this film is a side story that features all new characters, so Disney might be wanting to distance it from the main Star Wars saga. If so, they went way too far in the opposite direction. Instead of an epic space adventure, this poster tells me the climax of the film apparently involves a beachside volleyball game between the Empire and the Rebels.

This is a textbook example of how not to create a movie poster. The colors are pale and lifeless, the figures are so small they're hard to see, and the layout is nonexistent. Worst of all, the figures in the foreground, which I assume are the main characters, are showing their backs as they run away from the viewer. That's a huge no-no in poster design!

My favorite little detail in the poster— the palm tree on the left side that's cloned, flopped and placed on the right side. If there was ever a doubt that this monstrosity was hurriedly pieced together in Photoshop, that little detail settles the argument. They might as well have typed "MADE WITH ADOBE PHOTOSHOP" across the top of the poster in 200 point text.

I'm assuming the massive size of the Death Star in the poster is supposed to be symbolic rather than literal. It pretty much has to be! OK, this movie's all about the construction of the original Death Star that we first saw in A New Hope. A quick check around the interwebs tells me that the Death Star was about 75 miles across. The Earth is about 8,000 miles across (give or take). See the illustration above for an idea of those two scales.

So how close would the Death Star have to be to that planet to look that big in the sky? Even if this Beach Planet is substantially smaller than Earth, the Death Star would still almost have to be touching the surface to loom that large.

Where's Drew Struzan when you need him?

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