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Star Wars Celebration 2019 – Doug Chiang’s Master Class and Designing Episode 1

Doug Chiang and I after his Master Class panel doing photos and autographs

Of all the panels that were announced, what to attend and what to miss, these two panels I needed to attend. When you see the early concept of the original Star Wars trilogy, the name Ralph MacQuarrie will come up. When you see the concept art for the Star Wars prequels, Rogue One, Solo, Galaxy’s Edge theme park, and the Rey Trilogy, Doug Chiang name will come up. I’ve been following Doug’s work since I saw his 1st interview on 60 Minutes about Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. When I read that Star Wars Celebration was bringing Doug to do a master class I was very excited. It was on Twitter that I interacted with Phil Szostak, who writes the new Star Wars art books, that I learned Doug had an Instagram account. It was there that I learned his transitioned his “marker technical drawing” from traditional method, to digital on iPad Pro using Procreate. It was during the master class that Doug gave us a walkthrough on how he starts his process, and listening about the key aesthetics to what makes some Star Wars. After the master class Doug was gracious enough to stay after to take photos, and sign autographs. I didn’t know he would be signing autographs. If I’d known ahead of time, I would have had him sign my copy of his art book Mechanika or The Art of The Phantom Menace. Thankfully my friend Jordan was able to get me an official Star Wars Celebration poster from the Exhibition Store, so I had Doug sign that. We had a good laugh when Doug and I briefly chatted. “You know I didn’t draw this poster, haha” he said, “I know, but I thought about bringing me copy of Mechanika or Episode 1” I said. I told him how much I loved his work and I hoped to adopt his style for my next project. It was then he told me he had a reissued version of Mechanika that goes over the new digital process he showed during the master class.

Doug Chiang’s The Art and Technique of Designing Star Wars master class

On Sunday, Doug was doing a panel discussion on the Design of Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. There were a lot of panels revolving around The Phantom Menace, since this being the 20th anniversary of the film. I will say this, I was the first person in line for this panel. So I got for sure a front row seat for this panel. Thankfully StarWars.com has a recording of the panel for you to watch on YouTube, so you can watch for your self. Sorry there are no shots of me in the front row for you to see.

I only anticipated seeing Doug once during Star Wars Celebration. However he popped up at the Disney Park Galaxy Edge panel, and the 20th Anniversary of The Phantom Menace Reunion. It was a great treat to see someone you consider as a mentor, show off their craftsmanship and say thank you. You can purchase Mechanika on Amazon.com I highly recommend it.
-JD