Star Trek: The Art of John Eaves
by Joe Nazzaro
“Over the past few decades, John Eaves has had a major impact on the look of the Star Trek Universe and played a pivotal role in shaping Gene Roddenberry‘s vision. Starting with his work on Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Eaves has worked as a production designer, illustrator and model maker across the franchise. He has been responsible for creating many of the props and ships, and helped develop the Federation design, from the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-E to the U.S.S. Discovery NCC-1031.
“Star Trek: The Art of John Eaves represents the most extensive collection of designs and illustrations created by Eaves across the Star Trek Universe. Featuring fascinating pencil sketches and stunning concept art, this visually dynamic book gives fans a unique in-depth look into Eaves’ creative vision and the wealth of his remarkable work at the centre of this spectacular franchise.”
- Forewords by Greg Jein and Herman Zimmerman
- Chapter 1: To Boldly Go: Life Before Star Trek
- Chapter 2: The Movies
- Chapter 3: The Television Series
- Chapter 4: The Kelvin Timeline
- Chapter 5: Star Trek: Discovery
- Afterword by John Eaves
The book begins with John Eaves describing how he got into his career. He began early with drawing and moved on to more complex things, supported by his parents. Like most kids in the 1960s and early 1970s, he was a fan of NASA and its various missions. When it came to movies, Star Wars was a huge influence on him.
In due course, he ended up in Los Angeles where his career took off. His biography is interesting and helped to humanize the man behind the face, including the fact that he was red-green colorblind, which is surely a bit of a handicap for an artist.
Next, it’s on to the movies and Trek series on which Eaves worked. Here is where the book shines. The chapter on the movies includes Star Trek V, Generations and the three The Next Generation movies. The next chapter includes four earlier Trek series on which he worked, including Deep Space Nine, The Next Generation, and Enterprise. Then comes the three Abrams-verse movies and finally, Star Trek: Discovery.
Along with the descriptions of working on each project, there are pictures galore. There are early sketches, concept designs, blueprints, and final designs. These include ships (both Federation and otherwise) both outside and inside, and various props. I must confess, I’m not a big ships person, but this was the kind of book that brought them to life. Once I picked up and started this book, I couldn’t put it down until I had finished it.
One of the more interesting things to me was Eaves’ explaining why he made certain shapes for various items, and on what he based those ships and props. A few of the various inspirations were horseshoes, Catholic Church architecture, a grand piano and a vacuum cleaner!
If you’re a fan of John Eaves and his art, this lovely book from Titan Books is for you. With all of the pictures, it would seem to be a quick read but you should plan on plenty of time to explore the art on every page.
Author: Joe Nazzaro
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: November 27, 2018
Star Trek: The Art of John Eaves is available as a hardcover for $39.95 ($17.41 on Amazon). To order, head to the link located here.