There’re few people who have looked at Tom Chantrell’s original 1977 Star Wars poster art and not been blown away. With framing that invokes the same magnetically camp energy as any given pulp adventure cover and beautifully textured brush strokes, it’s hard not to gawk, really.
Beyond the world of Star Wars, Chantrell’s career gave audiences and film buffs so much more than just wistful gazes into the distance and deftly rendered laser rifles, he was, for all intents and purposes, the master of making films overall — from British sex comedies and musicals to exploitation films and hammer horror — something desirable and eye-catching.
Through his incredible 50+ year career — arguably cut short by both the dwindling of the genres he was most fond of and the trend of computer-based publishing in the 1980s— it’s undoubted that Chantrell had a gift of the imagination. From the bottom of the barrel productions to the big name Westerns and Hollywood hits, Chantrell’s contributions to film advertisement provided not only an unbiased joy, but incredible skill and an unmatched attention to detail regardless of his subject.