At 79 years old, world-renowned artist, Greg Hildebrandt has recreated the original Star Wars: A New Hope movie poster painting in exactly 36 hours – the same amount of time he created the original with his twin brother, Tim, in 1977. According to the artist, he was inspired to see if he could, “do it alone” after all these years, even if it means a missing finger or two.
It has been 41 years since Greg and Tim painted the style B poster for Star Wars: A New Hope. The style A poster designed by artist Tom Jung had a dark, dramatic look. Producers later recruited the Brothers Hildebrandt to create a more comic book-like style, so the brothers turned around a new version of the original composition in just 36 hours. This piece was initially used for American merchandising, but the main purpose was for the U.K. release of the Star Wars film later that year. According to Hildebrandt, what amazes him is that the Hildebrandt Star Wars poster was only on display in the U.K. for two months before it was replaced with the style C poster by Tom Chantrell, yet it is one of the most iconic Star Wars images to this day.
Just as Star Wars influenced its many fans, as he approaches 80, Hildebrandt has been revisiting classics that influenced him for his “What If” series. Now, he is revisiting yet another classic – Star Wars. Hildebrandt recently decided to present himself with a new challenge regarding this iconic imagery – could he recreate this image by himself in the same 36-hour timespan? After all, he’s had four decades of painting experience since he and Tim took the Star Wars job.
What could be possible? Because he never paints exactly the same thing twice, Hildebrandt made a few changes to his approach. First, the painting is being done on a “black board,” a black piece of illustration board that allows him to use the back of the board as his darkest value. This means that when an area of the painting is very dark or would be black, he does not mix any paint, he just relies on the board to show through. Second, the black board is slightly smaller than the original he and Tim painted. This is mostly because of the size that he buys the boards at 20” x 30.” The one thing Hildebrandt didn’t change: one of the figures is missing a finger! But he hasn’t revealed which one.
Though many fans will want to own this painting, they will only have one chance to view it live. The recreation will be on display all four days of New York Comic Con at the Spiderweb Art Gallery booth 1764 before it is sent to the “Gotta Have Rock and Roll” auction this November.
This painting is a big deal for Hildebrandt, who has done numerous projects since Star Wars. “If I’m going to revisit the Star Wars image after all these years, I have to know if I can do without my brother,” he said.
This is the only time Hildebrandt has painted this Star Wars image since he first created it with his brother, Tim in 1977. Although he has been asked to recreate this painting numerous times in the years since then, only this painting has been created. A painting like this will never be seen again in this galaxy!