Pilot and Star Wars have a long history of doing phenomenal work together which continues to this day.  The development of trade dress images for packaging over the years has been no exception. My role within these jobs has been complex but incredibly fun. It is very gratifying to finally be able to see the results of all our hard work on shelves.

Rex Trade Dress Development

This particular image was started in 2009 for 2010 packaging.  Right before I had gotten there, Lucasfilm and Pilot had decided on a line look and had nearly finalized an idea. Not satisfied with the current direction, we had decided to pull the whole process into a u-turn during a conference call and introduce a whole new concept. This process always starts with a couple dozen poses and concepts of the chosen character. Here are a few wild ones I did that kicked the process off.

A little battlefield idea, waaaay too busy for a trade dress.

A little battlefield idea, waaaay too busy for a trade dress.

And some epic in your face foreshortening. It was a little too extreme for our packaging requirements though.

And some epic in your face foreshortening. It was a little too extreme for our packaging requirements though.

After quite a few more we finally got a great heroic pose nailed.  Once we showed how versatile this sketch could be in a trade dress format, this sketch was chosen to go to final. Unfortunately though, we had to lose the gun.  The parameters of demographics are never tighter than the demands of trade dress.

After quite a few more we finally got a great heroic pose nailed.  Once we showed how versatile this sketch could be in a trade dress format, this sketch was chosen to go to final. Unfortunately though, we had to lose the gun.  The parameters of demographics are never tighter than the demands of trade dress.

The final pencil when the idea was still to have Rex to be a little torn up from battle.

The final pencil when the idea was still to have Rex to be a little torn up from battle.

The final paint job. In the end, Lucasfilm decided the painters at Pilot should work over a model to stay as true to the forms of the character as possible.

The final paint job. In the end, Lucasfilm decided the painters at Pilot should work over a model to stay as true to the forms of the character as possible.

The final product on pack.

The final product on pack.

Darth Maul Trade Dress Development

I could not have been more excited to get to work on Darth Maul. He is such a fun character to work on. The black hood and robes, the tattoos, the horns, the martial arts, he's got it all. I got so pumped that I skipped a few rounds of poses and did this quick color study just for fun. It was fast and goofy looking but it was a quick way to vent out my excitement. It gives me a little practice with the character and lets me grab an idea and run with it, which always feels good. I'm sure my boss would have preferred I stay on track but sometimes you just gotta let ideas ride.  

It's really more of a flashlight than a lightsaber at this point but it was a lot of fun to do! After that we got on track with a few dozen poses and ended up with something that really wasn't too far off from my original idea. 

It's really more of a flashlight than a lightsaber at this point but it was a lot of fun to do! After that we got on track with a few dozen poses and ended up with something that really wasn't too far off from my original idea. 

He doesn't look like much now but after scoping him in the trade dress format we knew he had great potential. We took the lightsaber and moved it to the back of the pose. Sabers put such a hotspot in the illustration and in the context of the entire package, it often draws the attention from everything else.  It's a great graphic tool to work with but it's easy to have too much of it.  

He doesn't look like much now but after scoping him in the trade dress format we knew he had great potential. We took the lightsaber and moved it to the back of the pose. Sabers put such a hotspot in the illustration and in the context of the entire package, it often draws the attention from everything else.  It's a great graphic tool to work with but it's easy to have too much of it.  

After a few quick approvals from Lucasfilm (and more than a few Ray Park head studies) I got this guy to the end of the conceptual line with a smooth final pencil for the painters at Pilot to work from.

After a few quick approvals from Lucasfilm (and more than a few Ray Park head studies) I got this guy to the end of the conceptual line with a smooth final pencil for the painters at Pilot to work from.

The final paint job.

The final paint job.

The final illustration in the context of the final packages.

The final illustration in the context of the final packages.

Yoda Trade Dress Development

Yoda had, in Episode 2-Attack of the Clones, been redefined. Instead of an old wise man content in leading and teaching, he was turned into a man of action! A bounding flipping whirling ball of force power! This presented us with a whole new set of challenges in presenting a character from the first trilogy in a new and dramatic way.  I started right away on poses that would reflect his high energy but still carry both his demeanor and power.

 

Vader Trade Dress Development

Vader. There is no greater challenge in the Star Wars universe. Lucasfilms' demands for this trade dress were simple...ACTION!  Although already recognized as a character well versed in combat, Lucasfilm felt Vader really needed to be brought into the newer children's market with a fresh new splash; much like what Pilot accomplished with the Yoda trade dress. The recipe had been recognized and they demanded it again. We readily accepted. I started with more Vader poses than you can count. Both in and out of the trade dress the sketches piled up and piled up.

After choosing number 11 out of that series, I did a slightly quicker sketch with a more in proportion helmet and better hand, and it was approved.

After choosing number 11 out of that series, I did a slightly quicker sketch with a more in proportion helmet and better hand, and it was approved.

After approval, it goes on to my favorite stage where I get to give it the cleanest final pencil I can.

After approval, it goes on to my favorite stage where I get to give it the cleanest final pencil I can.

After this gets one more round of approval from all parties involved (Pilot, Lucasfilm, Hasbro, and all the marketing guys) it finally gets back to Pilot for painting.

After this gets one more round of approval from all parties involved (Pilot, Lucasfilm, Hasbro, and all the marketing guys) it finally gets back to Pilot for painting.

The final all suited up and ready for the ball.

The final all suited up and ready for the ball.

The final packages.

The final packages.