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Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Manuel Sanjulian (Spain, 1940)

A few days ago we got one of the most amazing paintings we were looking for.
It’s the artist version of his original work for George Lucas and Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back in 1980.

The iconic Sanjulian’s Star Wars Art

After the success of Star Wars in 1977, Sanjulian received a commission from George Lucas to create the movie poster for his upcoming film “STAR WARS: The Empire Strikes Back.”

The master Sanjulian created a detailed preliminary pencil drawing based on a few images from “Gone with the Wind” and character studio preliminary sets of analog photos.

This composition later served as the reference for Roger Kastel to create the final version of the legendary Star Wars poster, including the iconic love scene from Howard Terpning’s “Gone with the Wind.”

This year, Sanjulian has created the oil version inspired by his original proposal from years ago.

The result is this stunning 90 x 70 cm (35.4 x 27.5 in) oil on canvas.

Han Solo and Leia

These two characters are represented with a love scene inspired by Gone with the Wind by Howard Terpning.

Luke Skywalker

Luke riding a Tauntaun at Hoth planet at the beginning of the movie has become an iconic scene.


Yoda makes his first appearance in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) when Luke arrives on Dagobah to seek his guidance at the behest of Obi-Wan’s Force spirit.


Chewbacca and Han are planning to leave the Rebellion to pay off a debt to Jabba the Hutt, but are drawn back into the war when the Empire assaults the Rebel base.

C3P0 and R2D2

C-3PO is a droid programmed for etiquette and protocol, built by the heroic Jedi Anakin Skywalker, and a constant companion to astromech R2-D2.

Light vs Darkness

The lightsaber Duel on Cloud City between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader where Vader famously revealed that he is Luke’s father. Iconic!

Darth Vader

Darth Vader is represented by Sanjulian as the figure that envelops everything and represents the dark side that dominates the scene.

Lando Calrissian

He is introduced in The Empire Strikes Back as a friend of Han Solo and the administrator of Cloud City on the planet Bespin.


2-1B was a medical droid that treated Skywalker after his hand was amputated in a duel with Darth Vader on BespinBespin.


The exogorth first appeared in the 1980 original trilogy film Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. Concept art of it was made by Ralph McQuarrie.

Manuel Sanjulian is a Spanish illustrator known for his fantasy art and iconic magazine and novel covers. He was born in 1940 in Barcelona.

He worked for Fox and Bruguera before joining the art agency “Selecciones Ilustradas” and later, Norma Editorial, a comic publisher.

Sanjulian is famous for illustrating covers for magazines such as Warren Publishing, DC Comics, and Creepy, and his illustrations for the Vampirella and Conan the Barbarian series gained him international recognition. He has also worked on historical novels and collaborated on projects such as The Empire Strikes Back.

He is a member of the Society of Illustrators and continues to produce high-quality art in pencil and oil painting styles, known for his unique combination of realism and fantasy.

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