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Australian Star Wars Movie Posters Guide

By on October 20, 2012

This guide provides information specifically on original Australian Star Wars Movie posters. I may look at the Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and reissues in the future in another guide but there has been some controversy regarding variances with original Star Wars Australian one sheets and daybills and this guide is intended to provide a reference point so that collectors can easily identify the various posters that used for the original release.

Most of the information in this guide comes from my experience as a movie poster dealer but I have also consulted a well known collector and a former employee of M.A.P.S printers.

The information supplied is to the best of my knowledge. If anyone has any further information that may be relevant by all means contact me. I hope you find it useful.

Australian Daybills and One sheets

Two styles of art were used for original Star Wars posters in Australia. The first was the Tom Jung art, generally referred to as Style A after the US version and the second style featured art by the British artist Tom Chantrell. This is generally referred to as Style C, again, named after the US version.

Tom Jung (Style A) Art

Australian Star Wars postersThe true first release daybills featured artwork by Tom Jung. There are several things to look for when identifying the daybills that were printed first.

  • the blue ratings box
  • the smaller Star Wars logo
  • the words c. 1977 Twentieth Century-Fox (Note: It is unusual to see the date on an Australian daybill. Most daybills are undated with Star Wars being a notable exception.)

The one sheets featured the same art with

  • the blue ratings box
  • the smaller Star Wars logo
  • the words c. 1977 Twentieth Century-Fox

The daybills and one sheets were printed by M.A.P.S. Litho Pty Ltd and these would be the most desirable original Australian posters. I have seen original daybills and one sheets that feature the Tom Jung art with slight variances in printing quality.

Daybills were also printed without a ratings box for the New Zealand release. The posters were exactlly the same in every other way but the NZ censors added their stamps when the posters arrived in NZ. One sheets used in New Zealand simply had NZ censor details added.

See my guide on New Zealand censorship for more information.

NOTE: It is possible that a daybill with the Tom Jung art could turn up occasionally without a ratings box or censor stamp. Remember that some posters were printed for the NZ release without a ratings box and the censor stamp would be added later. It would be likely that such a poster would have been linen backed and the New Zealand censor stamp removed during the linen backing process. See my guide on linen backing and restoration for more on this.

The Second Printing

Australian Star Wars postersStar Wars was a huge box office success from the moment it hit the screens and a second print run of posters was required. A further run of the Tom Jung art daybills was ordered but with some subtle differences:

  • a pink ratings box was used
  • the Star Wars logo was significantly larger
  • the words c. 1977 Twentieth Century-Fox were omitted.

One sheets were also printed with

  • a pink ratings box
  • the Star Wars logo significantly larger
  • the words c. 1977 Twentieth Century-Fox were not omitted.

Daybills and one sheets in this format are considered to be a later printing but still original release.

The Tom Chantrell (Style C) art

Australian Star Wars postersWhen supplies of the Tom Jung art daybills became low, a Tom Chantrell version was released and this replaced the earlier versions. The Chantrell art was considered more effective. One theory is that the Tom Jung art, although striking, did not display very effectively when viewed from a distance as would be the case with movie posters in the foyers of cinemas. The background image of Darth Vader, for example, was not easily recognizable unless the poster was viewed closely.

Whether the theory is true or not, the Chantrell art daybills and one sheets replaced the Tom Jung art. These daybills and one sheets and are far more common than the Tom Jung art versions.

One sheets and daybills are generally found folded but they do occasionally turn up rolled usually in the Chantrell style.

I would personally prefer the Tom Jung art but both styles are very impressive. Australian Star Wars posters are becoming harder to find with more collectors than ever seeking them out. I would expect the value of these posters to significantly increase as time goes by.

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