Parka's Reviews > The Art and Making of Star Wars: The Old Republic

The Art and Making of Star Wars by Frank Parisi
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's review
Apr 10, 2012

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bookshelves: art-books
Read in November, 2011

The Art and Making of Star Wars: The Old Republic
(More pictures on my blog)

Here's the art book for the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic, a game from BioWare and LucasArts.

The book collects mainly character designs, environment art, and some spaceship designs. It's also a making-of book that explains at length on the production of a game with scope this big. I like reading insightful productions stories. The remaining text serve as commentary on the concept art.

The art is sci-fi art, of course, for the Star Wars universe. For the character designs, you can see some design clues that are distinctly Star Wars, such as armor and helmet. Sometimes they are also quite different. What you can see are the eight character classes with their few costumes and sometimes weapons. Creature and spaceship designs aren't a lot.

The main draw of the book would be the environment art for the different locations and planets. They are beautiful and gives a nice idea of the place, although I'm not sure if they are the actual place the game characters can run on.

The downside of the book is layout. There are pockets of space on pages which can really be used to pack more art. Text represents a substantial portion of the book, but is interesting to read so it's alright. As a MMORPG, I was expecting a lot more character designs, a whole lot more. There's a nice amount but somehow I don't feel like the universe is very populated. I'm comparing this to the other video game art book The Art and Making of Star Wars Force Unleashed which feels packed in every sense.

I've checked out the website for Star Wars: The Old Republic and there are lots of concept art there. Last time I check, it's over 160 pieces. There many on the website that's not even in the book. Maybe that's why the book can feel sparse at times. Some of the artwork in the book, especially the ones on spaceships are the more detailed pieces but they are printed too small. If you download the high resolution artwork from the website, they are several times bigger than the ones in the book!

This book is mixed bag. It's has good production stories but ruined by bad layout and seemingly incomplete selection of artwork.

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