When George Lucas set out to make Star Wars, he enlisted the aid of conceptual artist Ralph McQuarrie to help design the creatures, weapons, ships, and worlds that would populate the film. Many of McQuarrie’s ideas made it into the finished product (released in 1977), and its sequels, but as such creative enterprises go, a lot of what he first came up with also changed during the production process. Now, however, an enterprising group of graduate students have reimagined what Star Wars would have looked like had it followed McQuarrie’s initial blueprints, via an entertaining (and professional-looking) new trailer.
As first reported by Arts Technica, the graduating classes of Orlando’s Digital Animation and Visual Effects (DAVE) School have brought to life McQuarrie’s The Star Wars, which boasts a female Luke Skywalker, a C-3PO with a pointier head, stormtroopers wielding lightsabers and a towering alien that was eventually transformed into Chewbacca. R2-D2, as well as the various X-wings, Y-wings, and TIE fighters racing around space, also looks quite different in this homage/trailer, which is heavy on sharp CGI work and, more importantly, presents a unique window onto what might have once been the look and feel of Lucas’s galaxy far, far away.
Of course, Lucas’s Star Wars was something of a success, so it’s clear his further development of these early drawings and ideas were anything but a mistake. Still, the trailer’s evocation of an alternate Star Wars reality remains a fascinating watch, especially as the franchise’s latest saga, The Last Jedi, prepares to debut in theaters tomorrow.
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