Sketches ‘a very rare sight’
Sketchbook with early ‘Star Wars’ costume designs fetches large sums
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.”
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.