They were the images that Lucasfilm didn't want you to see, and now they're being released more than a decade later with George's blessing. A sign of new hope that Star Wars is ready for some brand new New Visions, or just more proof that A Galaxy Far, Far Away is aggressively trying to fill your shelves and empty your pockets?
The six paintings were part of a 1990s trading card set, Star Wars Galaxy: New Visions, in which fantasy and comic book illustrators got to give their individual takes on the Star Wars universe without fear of licensor nitpicking... well, unless your names were Kevin Nowlan, Joe Ciardiello, John Pound, Tim Burgard, Chris Moeller or John Rheaume, all of whose work was deemed just a little bit too new, at the time.
With the Star Wars Galaxy card line being relaunched by Topps next year, each of those artists are getting their day in the sun, albeit more than ten years late... and that's only the start. Ira Friedman, Topps' Vice President of Publishing, explains:
We're delighted that Lucasfilm feels the same way we do about these unique illustrations. And their presence in Star Wars Galaxy 4 is only the beginning. Future Galaxy sets will contain additional 'lost' artwork, and other rare items too controversial for the '90s. Clearly, their time has finally come!
Personally, I'm hoping for the lost artwork where someone apologizes for Clone Wars' Ahsoka, but that may just be me.
Rediscovering Long Rejected Topps Card Art [StarWars.com]