There is more than just amazing concept art in there, it has plenty of facts and trivia about how the film came into being.
Author Mark Cotta Vaz shines a good insight into how director and writer George Lucas would make decisions about what creatures and space ships and costumes would go into the film – it's an iterative process that largely appears to have worked.
It also shows some of the challenges that producer Rick McCallum faced and how his production team overcame them.
1. The Clone Trooper classrooms are a reference to Luca's first film, THX-1138
The cloned troopers (from Jango Fett's DNA) were taught in giant classrooms.
Artist Edwin Natividad stated “it's assembly line learning, no individuality. There's no personal attention, they're just soldiers being trained”. They are literally a factory production line of humans Iain McCaig confirmed the idea was they were going “back to George's THX days”.
These concepts were totally on display in the final film:
There's a lot going on during the Kamino sequence – the introduction of the clones, Jango and Bobba Fett, and throughout it all, a strong thematic parallel with the Empire Strikes Back.
2. The design of Coruscant
The idea of an ‘Imperial City' was dabbled with as an idea by George Lucas during the pre-production of Return of the Jedi. It even had a name, Had-Abbadon. Luca asked his now-famous concept designer Ralph McQuarrie to come up with some ideas:
First mentioned in the Thrawn ‘Heir to the Empire‘ novels by author Timothy Zahn and spied at the end of Return of the Jedi celebration scenes and in a bit of The Phantom Menace (refer to the Jedi Temple scenes with Yoda, Mace Windu and friends), Attack of the Clones was Star War's first chance to truly flesh out the planet of Coruscant.
George Lucas challenged the design team to make the city/planet look better than Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner (which funnily enough starred Harrison Ford who had become a box office A-list celebrity at that point following his two Star Wars roles and his massive Lucas produced hit, Indiana Jones).
A key feature was that personal vehicles could not be found on the lower streets. Only public transport existed. The planet's lower level inhabitants were modelled to look like they were part of a ‘rough trade' or took part in criminal elements. This was in strict contrast to the upper levels where the nightlife was ‘decadent' (Death Sticks anyone?)
Here's an early design idea by Marc Gabbana:
3. Anakin's Yellow Speeder
The yellow ‘speeder' that Anakin Skywalker uses when he and Obi-Wan Kenobi chase the assassin Zam Wesell, is, of course, a reference to the yellow hot-rod that featured in George Lucas's second feature film, the beloved American Graffiti.
He thought maybe Lucas had seen some elements of Anakin's TPM pod-racer, Lucas certainly loved the exposed engines and it was the director himself who ordered the speeder have a paint scheme like the hot rod in his 1973
Fun fact – Ron Howard has a major part in the film. He famously turned down a chance to direct The Phantom Menace however eventually ended up directing the Han Solo film.
4. When a Sith Lord is not a Sith Lord but Ventress
When Lucas was bedding in the script for AOTC, at one point, the Sith Lord that became Count Dooku was considered to be a female. Artist Dermot Power came up with this design:
5. The Arena Battle Monsters are classic John Carter of Mars riffs
|Obi-Wan Kenobi takes on the Acklay|
The Nexu was once a lion that could breathe fire and the ‘Reek' was inspired by the dinosaur species Placerias from the Triassic period.
The Battle of Geonosis
We all get it, and those that don't, well they love it so good for them.
Here's some cool concept designs that went into the battle:
Other fun facts learned from reading ‘The Art of Star Wars, Episode II – Attack of the Clones' :
- Padme's costumes in The Phantom Menance were inspired by actual costumes from Mongolia. For Attack of the Clones, Padme was dressed in a more Elizabethan-era style.
- The centipede like mechanical monsters sent into Padme's room by Zam Wessel are called ‘kouhuns'.
- Jango Fett‘s Slave 1 ship was designed to look similar to the Millenium Falcon as if it had been made in the same era, or even by the same manufacturer.
- Kit Fisto was originally designed in mind as a Sith Lord and only became green once made a Jedi.
Paul Rose Jr has worked as TV News Producer, Forensic Analyst, and Train Conductor, among many other things. He’s the former TV Editor for Infuzemag.com and owns more books, DVDs, and comics than most people have seen in their lifetimes. When he’s not writing articles, he exercises his creative muscle writing screenplays and acting in film and television in Los Angeles, CA.