John Cassaday Leaves Star Wars After Issue 6

Posted on Facebook today, John Cassaday conveys the bad news, by way of a process post on the cover to the first issue.

While wrapping up my final issue (#6) and the first arc of STAR WARS, I thought I’d be remiss to not show the process of our very first cover.

With this being the first issue, I needed to show the cast but didn’t want to go the movie poster montage route (of course, there’d be time for that later). There was a lot to fit in, so I went with what reminds me a lot of the publicity shots the cast did, especially for the first two films. Action poses from all, sort of backed into a corner and essentially contained to the space of an 8X10 glossy… Maximum impact in a small space.

And what’s a Star Wars first issue cover without star fighters? So X-Wings and TIE fighters made their way in. Notice I initially had a set of Vader style TIE fighters in the center, but our friends at Lucasfilm balked at having more than one (there was a fleet constructed, in my mind), so I scrapped them in favor of more standard issue ships.

As a framing element I wanted the ever recognizable silhouette of Darth Vader. At first, I was just going to place a star field in there, but in the end, I couldn’t resist using the lightspeed effect. It’s just so symbolic of the franchise. I also like how it emanates from Luke, reinforcing the Christ-like “chosen one” aspect. Digital coloring by Laura Martin.

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About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.