More than perhaps any other franchise, the ranks of Star Wars fans is filled with obsessive nerds. This is not really a bad thing. Nerds are good people because they’re our people.
And if you’re a Star Wars nerd chances are you know about Ralph McQuarrie. The uninitiated might not be aware, but McQuarrie was the concept artist for the original 1977 film. His sketches and paintings would set the tone for perhaps the biggest piece of pop culture we’ve ever witnessed.
Much of McQuarrie’s aesthetic was translated directly by George Lucas for A New Hope. However, there’s a swath of his designs that didn’t make the cut. Han Solo instead having skin with green scales, stormtroopers with light sabers, and Luke Skywalker originally as a female character named Luka Starkiller.
Thanks to the students at the DAVE School of digital animation and visual effects in Orlando, Florida, we can now get a taste of McQuarrie’s original concept. Here you’ll see Luka Starkiller, a shinier C-3PO, a battle-ready R2-D2, and more. For the true Star Wars heads, this is like Christmas coming early.
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Special heads up. Watch out for your favorite Wookie character Chewbacca who is more powerful and bestial in McQuarrie’s sketches. To quote Han Solo, let the Wookie win.