Who is Joe Johnston and why is he so important to Star Wars?

May 25, 2019
Joe Johnston Star Wars

Whadda ya know, Joe?

Joe Johnston is fairly famous in Hollywood circles as a director of some pretty big movies. Jumanji. The Rocketeer. Jurassic Park III and a small film called Captain America: The First Avenger. 

Before all of that, Johnston actually made his name as an effects artist hired by George Lucas to work on the Star Wars films.

Here's some key points:
  • While Ralph McQuarrie is known as the concept artist, it was Johnston that designed many of the space ships. 
  • Boba Fett fans love Joe because he played a large part in the design look of Empire’s most popular bounty hunter. He also was influential on the design of Yoda.
  • As an effects artist and art director he made his mark and Lucas made sure to keep him around him – so much so that Lucas gave him the job of Art Director for Indianna Jones for which he won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
  • Johnston in some form or another worked with Lucas and Steven Spielberg for much of the 1980s before he made the leap from Art Director to simply being a director for Honey, I shrunk the Kids.
  • A final piece of triva is that Joe appeared as an Imperial Gunner and Storm Trooper in A New Hope. 

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