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Press Release - April 14, 2021

Original ‘Star Wars’ Art Zooms to Heritage Auctions

Artist created images for more than 200 top films


 John Alvin Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back original painting
DALLAS, Texas (April 14, 2021) — Consider them "promises kept."

John Alvin often said that his work created "the promise of a great experience." For more than three decades, he established himself as the preeminent movie poster artist in the industry, conjuring some of the most memorable images in the history of films for more than 200 movie campaigns, among them Blazing Saddles, E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, The Color Purple, Empire of the Sun and Batman.

He became synonymous with the images associated with many of the top films in the last 40 years, often partnering with Hollywood giants like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. His poster for The Phantom of the Paradise even made it to The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., heralded as one of the best posters of the 20th century.

But an argument can be made that none of his artwork is more instantly recognizable than his Star Wars works, three of which are among the most intriguing lots in Heritage Auctions' Illustration Art Auction April 30.

The films were released over the course of 40 years, spawning generations of fans who instantly identify a stable of characters that goes far beyond the headliners like Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and Yoda.

"The original Star Wars trilogy is a quintessential epic that has won the hearts of multiple generations," Heritage Auctions Illustration Art Consignment Director Meagen McMillan said. "John Alvin, whose evocative style became a mainstay in the industry over the course of his career, is known best for his work with Disney, but over the course of his career produced posters for all of the major film studios."

The event at Heritage Auctions includes three original works Alvin did for video covers of Star Wars films:

Star Wars: A New Hope, International Video Cover, 1995 (estimate: $20,000-30,000)

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, International Video Cover, 1995 (estimate: $20,000-30,000)

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, International Video Cover, 1995 (estimate: $20,000-30,000)

"These were created for the re-release of the films, advertised as 'the final release,'" McMillan said "There is an entire generation of fans too young to remember those Star Wars films being released in theaters, who fell in love with them by watching recorded copies at home. To those fans, these are the images for the films.

"He has a very loyal following among collectors of cinema art, who relentlessly pursue his posters and original art. The artwork for these video covers are images his fans always will remember."

For information and images of all lots in the auction, visit

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world's largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

Heritage also enjoys the highest Online traffic and dollar volume of any auction house on earth (source: SimilarWeb and Hiscox Report). The Internet's most popular auction-house website,, has more than 1,400,000 registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of five million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.

Steve Lansdale, Public Relations Specialist

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