The Nature of the Dark Side originates from the novelization of Return of the Jedi by James Kahn:
He contemplated the dense impenetrability of the deep space beyond the window. Densely black as his soul – as if he were, in some real way, this blackness; as if his inner spirit was itself this void over which he reigned. He smiled at the thought; he was the Empire, he was the Universe.
This paragraph was the core of the poster, combined with one of the few feelings Palpatine can feel: the lust for power over all things (the other one would be rage). Therefore, the key messages were: total power and hopelessness.
Instead of pure blackness, I decided to use the galaxy on a black background and merged it with Palpatine to illustrate the sentence “he was the Universe”. Darth Sidious looks like a tumor; his presence distorts the spiral arms of the galaxy and replaces the brightest center of the galaxy with blackness and the Death Star. This is his true aim, the aim of the dark side: replace life with death.
The saga continues with Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones.
I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.
Suggested music for the piece:
While listening to the music, you can compare my Episode II design with the one Drew Struzan, the greatest poster artist created for the official one-sheet. Which characters are present on both of them? What messages are transmitted by the poses and gestures of the characters?
Do you know DreamScope? This site enables us to use DeepDream, Google’s neural network, originally designed for picture recognition. In DreamScope, this artificial intelligence transforms pictures into surreal, psychedelic visions instead of recognizing them.
I used this app to modify some of my Star Wars pictures, including the Saga Poster and a new piece I promised years ago – its original version will be published next week. Click on the images to enlarge!
If you are really brave or you desperately want to know a lot of stuff about the creation of the Saga Poster, click here. You will find there a detailed picture analysis and a change log of the different versions.