“After two decades of secrecy, the vault has been opened and Illustrator Brian Sauriol has unveiled an incredible cut-away illustration of the iconic Star Wars starship, the Millennium Falcon. Commission by Nonpareil Communications, Inc. and licensed by Lucasfilm, Ltd., this art shows Han Solo’s YT-1300 Corellian light freighter at a level of detail never seen before. Originally intended as a licensed print, this piece reveals the interiors of the fan-fave starship with vibrant rendering and top-notch craftsmanship rarely seen today.
Sauriol is one of the premiere product and advertising illustrators of the modern era. He is also a professor and program coordinator of Media and Communication Arts at Macomb College, where he has molded the careers of many professional concept artists, including Marc Gabbana who worked with Lucasfilm on Star Wars Episodes II and III, and numerous illustrators that have gone on to create licensed Star Wars art for posters, books and apparel, including Matt Busch, Lin Zy, Alex Buechel, Bill Pulkovski, Darin Radimaker, Brandon Gallo and Ryan Waterhouse.
When the art was created in 1993, Sauriol was hand selected to illustrate 4 starships from the Star Wars Universe including the X-Wing Fighter, Imperial Star Destroyer, and Death Star. The Millennium Falcon was the only ship completed, but the intricate work Sauriol put into the art working hand-in-hand with Lucasfilm’s blueprints is unsurpassed. The original art was created right before the industry transition to digital illustration, producing a work that is hand painted and airbrushed. “This is one of the last traditionally illustrated works I’ve done,” comments Sauriol, “and certainly the most involved piece of my career. It’s dear to my heart, so finally being able to share it after all these years is profoundly gratifying.”
While not easy to let go of such an iconic piece, Sauriol is also putting the original art on the market, making it one of the most rare and exquisite collectibles a Star Wars fan could own. The art is gouache and acrylic on 24” x 36” Crescent Illustration Board. The illustrator is also including a plethora of extras, including Lucasfilm approved preliminary drawings, contracts, and even blueprints. Illustrator Matt Busch comments, “It truly is amazing. Hidden in secrecy for almost 2 decades, this stunning piece has finally emerged from the shadows and is available to own! Imagine having this one-of-a-kind painting gracing your collection! Don’t be surprised if you have to fight me for it!”
As to whether this piece will be available as a licensed print as intended, Sauriol is tight-lipped, but does slip that there is at least talk of such a possibility. For now, it’s all about the art itself. Busch adds extra nostalgia, “This is one of the most exquisite paintings I’ve ever seen. It also has sentimental value for me, as I got to witness Brian working on this project back when I was a budding student of his. It was Brian’s mentorship and seeing this piece come to life that gave me the courage and inspiration to follow my own dreams pursuing a career to become a Star Wars artist.” (Click on the picture for a full size image.(
Beautiful, isn’t it? I’ve put in a bid which is a lot for me but unfortunately, I can see this original going straight into Steve Sansweet’s collection as it’s going to be pricey. Still, I really hope that ACME archives are able to release this as a licenced print. Preferably in it’s full size. Here’s the original line drawing.
I’ve just been looking through Brian’s page again and noticed these “Exploded” images that show the detail of this painting.
15 October 2020: Just a quick update that this has now gone up at auction with Heritage Fine Art. As I write this, the latest bid is $18, 000 and ended up being sold for $23, 750.