Sketches ‘a very rare sight’

Sketch­book with early ‘Star Wars’ cos­tume de­signs fetches large sums

Weekend Witness - - Classifieds -

A SKETCH­BOOK con­tain­ing draw­ings and notes for Star Wars Episode IV — A New Hope has sold at Bon­hams in Lon­don for £125 000 (around R2,25 mil­lion).

Ti­tled Notes & Sketches 1, Os­car award-win­ner John Mollo’s cus­tom-bound vol­ume con­tains de­tailed work­ing sketches and cos­tume de­signs for many of the film’s char­ac­ters, as well as pro­duc­tion di­ary en­tries, meet­ing notes, time­lines and cos­tume de­scrip­tions. The ma­jor­ity are ren­dered in black ink, with some in colour.

Mollo was em­ployed as a cos­tume de­signer by Ge­orge Lu­cas for Star Wars re­leased in 1977.

Some 190 pages of the 450 in the sketch­book are de­voted to the Lu­cas­film Ltd and 20th Cen­tury Fox pro­duc­tion, in­clud­ing cos­tumes for Darth Vader, Luke Sky­walker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, ObiWan Kenobi, Chew­bacca, the Tusken raiders, stormtroop­ers, Jawas, cantina aliens, im­pe­rial guards and gun­ners, Tie fighter pi­lots, rebel-fighter pi­lots and oth­ers.

There are also in-depth de­signs of belts, fas­ten­ings, hel­mets, in­signia and footwear.

While Mollo had very lit­tle ex­pe­ri­ence or un­der­stand­ing of the science-fic­tion genre, hav­ing pre­vi­ously only worked on film pro­duc­tions as a con­sul­tant for his­tor­i­cal mil­i­tary ac­cu­racy, this proved to be an ad­van­tage.

Lu­cas wanted a more reg­i­mented look for Star Wars, as the film was orig­i­nally ti­tled.

While there is drama cre­ated by Vader and the stormtroop­ers, com­edy and quirks from C-3PO and R2-D2 and ex­trater­res­trial imag­in­ings in the form of the cantina alien rab­ble, they are set against reg­i­mented Ger­man-in­spired im­pe­rial guards and gen­er­als, let­ting the au­di­ence fo­cus on the sets, fight scene and space­ship mod­els.

“It is very rare to see any­thing (like this) come up at auc­tion,” Kather­ine Schofield from Bon­hams Auc­tion House told Reuters. The Star Wars

“To have some­thing of this mag­ni­tude, of this scale, from the es­tate of some­body who worked on the film and was so im­por­tant to the film that he won an Academy Award for it, is re­ally ex­cit­ing.” — Arts Ed­i­tor.

“There are also in-depth de­signs of belts, fas­ten­ings, hel­mets, in­signia and footwear.”

PHOTO: REUTERS/ TOBY MELVILLE

A man wear­ing a stormtrooper cos­tume holds a sketch­book be­long­ing to cos­tume de­signer John Mollo, and show­ing il­lus­tra­tions for cos­tumes, which was sold at an auc­tion at Bon­hams in Lon­don.

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