When Stony Plains, Alta. native Robert Bailey received an email from someone at Lucasfilm five years ago asking him to do pencil sketches of the Star Wars universe, he was surprised as any. He didn’t know why he was chosen considering the only Star Wars film he had seen at that point was Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
“They said that [George Lucas] visited my website and he thinks you can do aerial combat WWII, so we think you can do Star Wars and we will send you a big box of reference materials,” tells Bailey in an interview with Pop Goes The World at Comic Con Toronto. “And I’ve been doing Star Wars ever since.”
Those reference materials ended up being books, figures and high-resolution images. In terms of the process of doing one sketch, it takes Bailey between 90 minutes to two hours to do one. It involves not only using those reference materials but also watching all six Star Wars films many times.
Bailey plans on expanding his sketches to include the animated series Star Wars Clone Wars because fans have been asking for those.
When asked if he will be doing any sketches for the new set of Star Wars trilogies to be directed by J.J. Abrams or for the stand alone Star Wars films that would feature Boba Fett and a young Han Solo, Bailey doesn’t know.
“Maybe Kathleen Kennedy (the new head of LucasFilm) will surprise me,” he adds. “If she phones me to do storyboarding, which I have done for other movies, I would be glad to storyboard for the next Star Wars movie.”
Bailey has only been doing the Comic Con circuit since the beginning of 2012 but because of huge fan response he will be attending all of the major Canadian Comic Cons. So if you are unable to catch him and his fabulous Star Wars pencil sketches, he will be at Fan Expo Vancouver from April 20-21, Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo from April 26-28, the Edmonton Comic & Entertainment Expo from September 28-29, Fan Expo Canada from August 22-25, and Hal-Con (Halifax Comic Con) 2013 from November 8-10.