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Tom Jung (born February 13, 1942) is an American art director, graphic designer and illustrator. He is noted as the designer of the Style A poster advertising the theatrical release of Star Wars in US cinemas.

BiographyEdit

Tom Jung was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1942. He studied art at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He was drafted into the US Army and was stationed at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina, where he worked as an editorial cartoonist for the Fort Jackson Leader newspaper.[1]

After being discharged from the Army, he was hired by Ben Adler Advertising Services Inc. in 1958 and worked on a number of press books and posters to promote foreign films to American audiences. In 1963, he became freelance art director for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He later as a freelance illustrator for the advertising agency Smolen, Smith and Connolly.[1]

Jung is credited with designing a number of film posters, including Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), Doctor Zhivago (1965), Gone With The Wind (1967 re-release), The Omen (1976) and The Lord of the Rings (1978). He also designed a poster for Raiders of the Lost Ark, but his concept was not used.

Star Wars Style A poster 1977

Tom Jung's 1977 Style A poster for Star Wars

In 1977, 20th Century Fox commissioned Smolen, Smith and Connolly to produce posters to promote the forthcoming film Star Wars, and Jung was chosen to produce the artwork. He was given the brief of "good over evil," and provided with a wealth of photos taken by unit photographers in color and black & white, as well as 2.25-inch stills on contact sheets taken from the original 35mm print of the film. Jung's work was used as the one-sheet Style A theatrical poster for the film's advertising campaign. According to Jung, the unlikely "cross" formed by Luke Skywalker's saber sword set against the ghosted background image of Darth Vader seemed to him like a good solution to the "good" versus "evil" theme.[2][3][1]

A reworked version of Jung's design, the Style B poster, was produced by the Brothers Hildebrandt for the UK release of Star Wars, followed by the Style C poster designed by Tom Chantrell.[2]

In 1980, Lucasfilm commissioned him to design a theater poster for The Empire Strikes Back, depicting a standing Darth Vader with a billowing cape. Jung also he created an unused poster concept for Return of the Jedi, which featured an image of the second Death Star exploding.[2][4]

Jung also drew the covers for several books: Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command. He also drew the back cover for the Star Wars original soundtrack.

The original painting hangs in a private section on the lower level of the Skywalker Ranch.
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