You know a new Star Wars film is out when Time Magazine graces its cover with one of the film’s characters. The tradition dates back to 1980, when Darth Vader occupied the space to coincide with the release of The Empire Strikes Back. The magazine continued the trend for Return of the Jedi, and brought it back for the prequels of Episodes I, II, and III. So in anticipation for the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in two weeks, Time has released the new batch. Take a guess as to which character(s) made the cut.
If you said anything that breathes, you’re wrong. Han, Luke, and Leia are too obvious. Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma, too sinister. Poe, Rey, and Finn, well, they already have awesome names to brag about. No, the best way to mark the return of the series, to bridge the gap between the old and the new, is to bring in the two most recognizable characters of this or any movie: R2-D2 and BB-8. Check out the covers below.
The cover is for the December 14 issue, and Time has released a behind the scenes video of the photo shoot. It’s pretty amazing that those are photos, and the video does a good job showing how elaborate and impressive the non-CGI droids are up close. Even the photographer, Marco Grob, was impressed. This is what he had to say about the little guys:
“The moment you meet BB-8, you almost build some form of weird human connection. It has this really cute way of looking at you…You just get about starstruck when you meet R2-D2.”
While R2-D2 and BB-8 are on the cover, the magazine photographed many of the actors involved as well, which are sure to be found in the issue.
In a separate piece, Time Creative Director D.W. Pine had this interesting take on the history of Star Wars covers:
“…its great that the movies have been prominently featured inside the red border since the very beginning of the franchise. And the cover styles have evolved along with it – from artist Marshall Arisman’s classic Darth Vader painting to a 3-D rendered portrait of Vader [for the prequels] to this week’s stunning photographs of droids past and present.”
The magazine notes that featuring this franchise on the cover over the years “tracks not only the character’s decades-long cultural influence and the progression of artistic trends, but also changes in movie-making technology and even the arc of the story.”
While this practice is not new, apparently the dual cover of R2-D2 and BB-8 is the first time the magazine has offered two covers for editions worldwide, “a decision that reflects the global impact of the new Star Wars movie.” Be sure to grab your copy when the magazine hits shelves in the coming days, prior to the December 18 release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.