The Champaign County Arts Council gallery in downtown Urbana was transported to a galaxy far, far away when “Star Wars: The Exhibit” began a six-week run last Saturday.
The exhibit, which features 22 original production drawings and hand-painted color cels (an abbreviation for celluloid background for animation art) used to make the 1985-86 ABC-TV series “Star Wars Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO,” will end on Friday, Dec. 18, the same day the latest Star Wars movie, “The Force Awakens,” will open in theaters.
Steve Stout, sports editor of the Urbana Daily Citizen, is providing the pieces used in the exhibit from his personal collection of original animation art.
In addition, one of the original production pieces in the exhibit – an 11-by-14-inch matted and framed pencil drawing of R2-D2 – is currently being raffled off as a fundraiser for the CCAC.
Raffle tickets are available for $1 each or six for $5 at the CCAC office. The winner’s name will be drawn on Dec. 18.
“We’re very pleased to have this wonderful exhibit in our gallery, especially with all the excitement building up to the opening of the new Star Wars movie next month,” said CCAC Executive Director Heather Brackney. “Several of the pieces in the exhibit show the original pencil drawing and also the color cel that was painted from it and used in front of the camera to make the show, so you can really see how the animation process works.”
Some of the original pencil drawings of R2-D2 and C-3PO were models in which the animator has written numerical instructions for which colors to use in the painting of the cel.
An open house for “Star Wars: The Exhibit” will be held at the CCAC on Thursday, Dec. 3 from 5 to 7 p.m.
About the TV series
“Star Wars Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO” ran for 13 episodes on ABC-TV in 1985-86 and was one of the most expensive animated programs ever made at a reported cost of $250,000 per episode.
Produced by George Lucas and his company Lucasfilm, the show depicted events in the 19-year time period that took place between “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” and “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.”
The series featured Anthony Daniels as the voice of C-3PO, who also portrays the character in the movies.
The Champaign County Arts Council gallery is located at 119 Miami St. in Urbana