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Greg Hildebrandt (born January 23, 1939) is an artist who commonly worked with his twin brother, Tim Hildebrandt. Together, they are usually known as the Brothers Hildebrandt. They are perhaps best known for their design of one of the earliest theatrical release posters for Star Wars in 1977.


Greg and Tim Hildebrandt began painting professionally in 1959. Their work was heavily influenced by illustration style of Disney animated feature films and illustrators such as Norman Rockwell and Maxfield Parrish. The brothers rose to prominence with their illustrations for a series of Lord of the Rings calendar, for Marvel Comics and DC Comics, and for fantasy books such as Terry Brooks's The Sword of Shannara.

Star Wars poster[]

The Hildebrandts' artwork for the Style B poster for the UK release of Star Wars (1977)

In 1977 the brothers were approached by 20th Century Fox to produce poster art for the British release of Star Wars. A promotional poster had already been produced in US by the artist Tom Jung, but Fox executives considered this poster "too dark". The twins had to work to a very tight deadline, and worked together in shifts to produce a finished product in 36 hours. Their version of the poster, referred to as Style B, was distributed to be used on British cinema billboards for the UK release, and became possibly their best known work. Using the same layout as Jung's Style A poster, it depicts Luke Skywalker standing in a heroic pose brandishing a shining lightsaber above his head, with Princess Leia standing below him, and a large, ghostly image of Darth Vader's helmet looming behind them. The central figures are surrounded by smaller depictions of other characters and a montage of starfighters in combat amid a sea of stars. Both Jung and the Hildebrandts had worked on their posters without reference to photographs of the actual cast, and Fox and Lucasfilm subsequently decided that they wanted to promote the new film with a less stylised and more realistic depiction of the lead characters. Producer Gary Kurtz commissioned the film poster artist Tom Chantrell to paint a new version from film stills and publicity photos. Star Wars opened in British theatres on 28 November 1977, and the Hildebrandts' poster was displayed in UK cinemas for about two months before it was replaced by Chantrell's Style C poster.[1][2][3]

Other work[]

Greg Hildebrandt also completed many images for the Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire multimedia project. His children Gregory and Mary Hildebrandt posed in various production photos for Topps' Shadows of the Empire trading card set.


Notes and references[]

  1. Dass, William: The History of Star Wars Posters (2016-12-14). Film School Rejects. Archived from the original on August 7, 2020.
  2. A short history of the first British Star Wars posters. www.sci-fimovieposters.co.uk. Archived from the original on August 7, 2020.
  3. Evolution of the Star Wars Poster. photosecrets.com. Archived from the original on July 28, 2017.

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