[Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](tag:711158)is a visually stunning movie, leading on from the original trilogy in its aesthetic style. A lot of the early story planning was mapped out in the concept art, and there are a few things which could have turned out very, very differently...
Spoilers ahead for Star Wars VII!
When Rey pensively stares out over a dusty horizon, we're reminded of Luke Skywalker watching the double sunset on his own desert planet: Jakku is undeniably similar to Tattooine. But this nearly wasn't the case.
Jakku Was Originally A Swamp
Instead of Rey speeding across sandy plains, we could have seen her paddle through this dark and murky water in between ramshackle swamp houses made from scrap metal and salvaged objects. The swamp Jakku is pretty creepy, as junk walkers loom above the fog...
This is super cool, and something we haven't seen in Star Wars before. Here's hoping Lucasfilm reuse this concept for another world in the upcoming movies!
Scrappy Orphan Rey Is Just Like Han Solo!
When we compare Rey to the original trilogy's protagonists, the first character who springs to mind is Luke Skywalker. But she and Han Solo have more in common than just being ace pilots of the Millennium Falcon!
OK, so we need some context for this. Han Solo was originally going to appear in Revenge Of The Sith, as an orphan on Kashyyyk (the Wookiee homeworld). Abandoned by his parents, Han grew up among the Wookiees. Here's the concept art...
...and here's the concept art for Rey.
Scruffy bobbed hair? Check. Rags for clothes? Check. These designs are so similar I honestly confused the Rey one for young Han Solo. Of course, young Rey appeared differently in the final film, and she wasn't the only character to undergo drastic changes.
Luke Skywalker Goes Dark
A lot of concept art was leaked onto the internet long before Star Wars Episode VII was released, leading to speculation about the plot of the film. One of the more mysterious figures was a character fans dubbed the Grave Robber, who was shown cradling Darth Vader's helmet.
This could have been a precursor to Kylo Ren, as in the film he is pretty obsessed with Darth Vader and even talks to his grandfather's helmet. But the mechanical hand in this image implies that this could have been the original plan for Luke Skywalker. Did an original version of The Force Awakens feature Luke turning to the Dark Side and leading the First Order?
Kylo Ren: Jedi Killer
Jedi Killer was the original title for Kylo Ren, and he went through a few design changes before they hit the right note.
Originally, Kylo Ren's helmet was going to be much more similar to Darth Vader's. And while these designs are cool, I'm pleased they decided to give Ren a more distinctive look. Having said that, you can't really get more distinctive than a red-and-blue, dual-bladed lightsaber, which was what Ren was originally going to wield...
This was apparently intended to symbolize Kylo Ren's inner conflict, as he is torn between the Dark Side and the Light. While this would have made Kylo Ren stand out as a totally new kind of character, his crossguard lightsaber is so awesome, it's good they ended up going with that design.
Actually, there were some other interesting lightsaber designs we almost saw in The Force Awakens...
At one point in the story, the characters were going to come across some ancient Jedi relics, including these primitive lightsabers.
At the heart of every lightsaber is a Kyber crystal, which can be used to channel the Force into the saber's blade. A lot of the lore on how lightsabers work was built up in the now non-canon expanded universe. It would be great to see something like this in future Star Wars movies, so that we could discover more about how lightsabers work, as well as catching a glimpse into the ancient Jedi Order.
... OK, add this to the wish list of things Luke Skywalker should teach Rey about!
Of course there's a lot more art for The Force Awakens, and you can check some of it out here, and here. So would you like to have seen any of these concepts in the final film? Let us know in the comments, or write your own post!