Sunday, January 28, 2018

Book-A-Day 2018 #28: The Star Wars Poster Book by Steven J. Sansweet and Peter Vilmur

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a man in possession of an impressive collection, must be in want of a book to display it in. When push comes to shove, sometimes that man will even write the book himself to show it off.

So thus with The Star Wars Poster Book, which was assembled by Steven J. Sansweet (Lucasfilm head of fan relations, at least as of 2004 when this book was published) and Peter Vilmur (Lucasfilm content developer, timing ditto) from their combined collections and a few additional materials.

As you might guess from the title, it is a book with a lot of pictures of posters that all promoted various Star Wars properties, primarily the main movies (with some side excursions into books and videogames -- not their covers, but posters promoting them, because fans are fanatical about categories). Since it was published in 2004, it covers the original trilogy and the unfortunate prequels, but not the current flourishing of Star-Warsian IP.

I'm pretty sure I had a copy of this because we did it in the SFBC, back when it was published, and so I put it on a shelf. Back then, I figured on reading everything: the books we did, the books we couldn't fit in, the books we lost at auction, and the ones that weren't even my genre but I liked 'em. It didn't work out that way, because it never does. But it was a glorious dream.

This is even more a book for poster collectors than for Star Wars fans -- and in particular the overlap of the two categories. The authors include a helpful listing of all known Star Wars posters in their backmatter, and show pictures of all of the major variations along the way, including a lot of really weird variations for the early movies. (By the prequels, messaging control had been achieved: all posters worldwide were identical in everything but text.)

The pictures are generally pretty, and, for many of us, they will be a reminder of days of youth, and that is probably the purpose for a lot of people. I'm not that emotionally invested in things owned by other people, but there's a lot of interesting designs here, and I did manage to get a big, heavy book off the shelf after fourteen years. So a win all around.

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