It's been nearly 40 years since the original Star Wars pretty much invented the modern blockbuster. And to celebrate, Disney is hard at work producing a new trilogy for the next generation of fans.
But while they invent the future, I thought it would be fun to celebrate the past. Many agree that Ralph McQuarrie is the guy who created the look and feel of Star Wars, which is pretty clear in the concept images I'm about to share with you.
Also, I should say that I'm not sharing this art to say, "Hey look at how awesome Star Wars used to be! The prequels suck!"
Honestly, I think these images do more than that. They sort of reinforce my love of Star Wars as a franchise, beyond how I may feel about the various iterations that didn't work. And yeah, I hope they use these images as a guide moving forward.
Stormtroopers with lightsabers?
I like to think they took this idea out of the films because the stormtroopers would probably end up mutilating themselves with these things. Clone troopers would probably be legit with lightsabers, though.
A different look, Yoda nearly had.
The same pointy ears are there, but this goblin-esque version of Yoda is definitely far from what we ended up with (not that I'm complaining).
Luke might have kept his hand.
In this pivotal scene from Empire Strikes Back, Luke noticeably still has his right hand as he awaits a rescue from the Millennium Falcon, sort of showing that the symbolic injury was probably a late addition.
Endor could have had more inhabitants...
Now this is something they should have kept.
Return of the Jedi nearly took place in Mordor.
The Emperor almost looked like Saruman the White, and the final battle nearly happened in some kind of volcanic cave. At the very least, we now know that a Mustafar environment was always on George Lucas's mind.
Luke the Bounty Hunter?
Is that Luke Skywalker or some kind of bounty hunter facing off against Vader in (presumably) Empire Strikes Back? I have no clue.
Egypt-like pyramids were nearly a location.
I'm assuming this is one of the carousel planets we cycle through in Return of the Jedi, though those two suns could suggest Tatooine.
Is that Alderaan?
George Lucas never gave us a real glimpse of life on Alderaan in the original trilogy, but I'm sure they thought about presenting a planet in order to create more impact when it was destroyed by the Death Star in A New Hope.
And these images lead me to believe (based on Leia's classic look in the second image) that these are what McQuarrie envisioned for the planet if they decided to show it.
Luke almost wore his Rogue Squadron gear when fighting Vader.
Of course, he ended up wearing his spacer jumpsuit, but that wasn't always in stone, it seems.
Last, but not least...
This is my favorite of the bunch, only because it just captures that awe and wonder of seeing the Falcon for the first time.
There are literally dozens more (about 100 total) for you all to check out here. Be sure to post your favorites in the comments!