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WARREN FU'S CONTRIBUTION TO THE STAR WARS CANON

“[At Lucasfilm] I started off as an intern, as a lot of people start off. It was a great learning experience because here I was with the best of the best artists. And you know, in elementary school or high school, people were always saying [to me], ‘oh, you're the best artist I know,’ or whatever. And then I get to Lucasfilm, and I was completely shell-shocked by how amazing everybody was.”

Isabella Tan

“But, like I was saying, I'm very observant, and I learned by watching. And so I was this annoying intern that would just clean people's monitors and then ask them how they did stuff or just see how they sketched, and I absorbed little by little from all different types of people. And as I mentioned, I'm a graphic designer as well. I was drawn to the simplicity of design and interested in how to tell a story or get a message across really efficiently. And so I picked up a lot from the graphic design department.”

Courtesy Warren Fu

“A big turning point was at ILM, [where] we were working on post production. George Lucas was working on the prequels for Star Wars, and it was a dream job for a lot of people in the art department to apply for this position to work with George at Skywalker Ranch. And so after I had gotten comfortable at ILM, I applied for the job at Lucasfilm, and luckily, I got in. I got to be part of the ‘JAK Art Department’, which was George Lucas's personal group of artists. He worked on the second floor, and we all worked in the attic at Skywalker Ranch. It was a dream come true, just designing stuff for Star Wars with a bunch of fellow artists and having George Lucas come up every Friday and critique our work. He'd get out a stamp and stamp things that he approved, and then he'd get inspired by artwork, and go back downstairs and write more of the scripts. So I got to do that for Episode II and Episode III.”

Courtesy Warren Fu

“A big milestone in my career was [when] George came up one Friday, and he was working on Episode Three, and he said, ‘I need a new bad guy for the movie’. It's rare that you get a new Star Wars character introduced, so he's like, ‘This is a new character that has to be the lead bad guy in this movie. And he's the leader of the droid army’. And so all of us pulled a bunch of all nighters that week to get a bunch of designs through, and I had a good feeling about one of them. He went to my drawing, stamped it, and that became this [General Grievous] character that 20 years later, I get text messages from friends [with pictures of] their kids dressed up like the character for Halloween. So it's just kind of a crazy, surreal thing, to have something immortalized in this universe that George Lucas created.”

“I got to a point where I felt that the artists at Lucasfilm were better artists than I was, and I felt like there was something more that I had to offer. [There were] so many different types of art forms, like comedy, acting, editing, dance, all this kind of stuff [that I was also interested in]. Something in me just felt not completely satisfied. And so I ended up leaving Lucasfilm and moving to LA.”

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