A Collection Of Star Wars Concept Art Reveals Worlds That Almost Were

The Force Awakens Blog assembled 100 pictures of concept art from the original Star Wars trilogy. Painted by concept artist Ralph McQuarrie, they span the entire production cycle from some of the earliest drafts of The Star Wars — as it was called at the time — to The Return of the Jedi. Some of the art depicts ideas eventually deleted from all three movies, like early concepts for Cloud City, the imperial capital (when it was called Alderaan in early drafts), and a showdown between “Annakin Starkiller” and Darth Vader.

McQuarrie8But some of the most interesting in the collection come from McQuarrie’s work on Return of the Jedi, which went through major conceptual changes during its development process. According to Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays, the story saw Vader escort Luke to the imperial capital (then called Had Abbadon). It also featured two partially built Death Stars in orbit around the capital, Endor as a moon of Had Abbadon, and the return of both Obi-Wan Kenobi in bodily form to help Luke fight the Emperor.

McQuarrie also provided concepts for the peaceful planet of Alderaan and the Wookie planet of Kashyyyk at various times during the trilogy’s development. Some of his ideas would eventually find their way into various Star Wars projects over the years, but his work offers a fascinating look at the Star Wars that almost happened.

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