BTS SW Costumes: Concepts and Designs (Note: Image heavy, may contain Ep VII spoilers)

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by ATMachine, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. ATMachine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    So something struck me recently when I was doing something besides thinking about Star Wars.

    Remember this old Ralph McQuarrie sketch of Princess Leia from 1975?

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    Leia's clearly wearing a necklace beneath her white dress.... but that's not all.

    If you look carefully at Leia's torso, you can see what appears to be the outline of some sort of space-jewelry beneath her dress; essentially where a brassiere would go in our world. Think of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Dejah Thoris (the book version) and Barsoomian jewelry and you'll get the general idea.

    I've said that before, of course; so why am I repeating it now?

    Here's where I prove my graphic adventurer bona fides.

    --

    Many years ago, Sierra On-Line put out an adventure game called Space Quest IV.

    At the end of the game, players were treated to a little preview of the future of the series: a glimpse of the hero's future wife.

    "Her name was Beatrice...."

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    Look closely at that white dress.

    Actually, for better results, look here, at the original sketch of this scene, seen in the Space Quest IV hint book:

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    Clearly, Beatrice is wearing some sort of Barsoomian space-jewelry under that white gown--almost exactly like Leia's in its design. And her dress is sleeveless, just like in the McQuarrie concept art above.

    But why should this resemblance be a coincidence?

    After all, in my Willow thread, I concluded that Ken and Roberta Williams, the founders of Sierra On-Line, had had access at some point to a secret treasure trove of GL's working notes for a largely-unmade fantasy trilogy.

    Perhaps the same thing occurred with the SW universe?

    PS: Note Beatrice's triple crown.

    Tubo, the leader of a tribe of demons in the 1962 film Jack the Giant Killer, had three horns.

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    In that film, the heroine Princess Elaine (played by Judi Meredith) goes from looking relatively normal--hold the phone, she's actually a near-doppelganger of Carrie Fisher!

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    Anyways, the demons forcibly recruit Elaine into their numbers, and her mirror reflection becomes that of a beautiful and dangerous gray-skinned witch:

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    This seems like a very probable inspiration for Padme's geisha makeup in the prequels.

    But of course, Sierra On-Line wasn't the only game company to employ fans of this movie.... there was another, closer to home.

    Have any of you ever played LucasArts' 1990 adventure LOOM?

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    It was made by Brian Moriarty, the author of the acclaimed Infocom text adventure Trinity--another game which, it appears, borrowed from GL's notes for an unmade Willow trilogy.

    LOOM itself was intended as the first of a trilogy, but the two sequels were never made. I'm sure that's just a coincidence, right?
  2. ATMachine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    Here's something amusing:

    I knew Alex Raymond gave Queen Fria in Flash Gordon Princess Leia-style hair buns because they were actually a stock "medieval" style of haircut in fantasy illustrations.

    Still, it's funny to see that Howard Pyle gave Morgan le Fay the exact same hairdo in his illustrated books about King Arthur from the turn of the 20th century.

    [IMG]
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  3. ATMachine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    Something interesting occurred to me today:

    In this early Nilo Rodis-Jamero concept for Leia's slave outfit in ROTJ...

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    ...her breastplate appears curiously similar to this piece of ancient Phoenician armor.

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    Of course, the most famous Phoenicians were the Carthaginians, who lived in North Africa. And the character of Jabba the Hutt is (by GL's own admission) essentially a riff on the Orientalist stereotypes of Arab sultans and their harems.

    But this got me thinking... can we find any other analogues of real-world ancient armor in the various pieces of Slave Leia concept art?

    Surprisingly, yes.

    In the recent book Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy, I noticed something curious.

    Alongside various other costume sketches, there are two of Leia from ROTJ that stand out. In them, quite unusually, Nilo Rodis-Jamero drew Leia with blonde hair and blue eyes.

    In particular, the two sketches show Leia in the Boushh costume (sans helmet), and wearing her desert poncho from the deleted sandstorm scene that occurred later in the film. In the latter drawing, little can be made out of Leia's underlying slave costume--except for her arms and legs. There, she's wearing tall silver greaves and vambraces, which are very reminiscent of ancient Greek and Roman armor.

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    Several questions remain, however.

    First: Presumably Nilo Rodis-Jamero drew the sketches with the blonde Leia in a sequence of three--Boushh, Slave Leia, and Sandstorm Leia. Therefore, why is the middle drawing missing--if it was indeed drawn? And, if it was, could it have been deliberately held back from the Costumes book for some reason?

    Second: Given the obvious fact that Leia would still be played by the brunette Carrie Fisher (whose likeness is much more evident in other costume sketches), why did Rodis-Jamero draw Leia as a blue-eyed blonde in the first place?

    To paraphrase TV Tropes: when in doubt, the answer is always Metropolis.

    No doubt Rodis-Jamero drew Leia as a blonde because he was referencing GL's primary source of inspiration for the Slave Leia costume: Brigitte Helm's seductive dance as the Robot Maria in Fritz Lang's 1927 film. In that case, then, it's likely that this triptych was the very first set of drawings made for Leia's dancer outfit.

    But, assuming the middle drawing (the most important of the set) exists... why have we not yet seen it?

    The answer, I think, lies in the nature of ancient Roman armor.

    As seen in the picture above, Greek and Roman soldiers frequently wore bronze muscle cuirasses--chest armor that was deliberately molded to resemble the musculature of the human torso. For thigh protection, however, they generally wore pteruges: a fringed skirt made from strips of buff leather or stiffened linen, which provided mobility while also deflecting glancing blows. And for warmth, the soldiers usually wore a cape, draped over their shoulders.

    This same scheme can be applied, in a sense, to the Robot Maria in Metropolis.... she wears a skirt of silver fringe, a sheer lacy cape (which she immediately discards), and a couple of pasties on her otherwise naked chest.

    --

    So, therefore, it would be logical that, in the missing sketch of Slave Leia, she'd be wearing something like this:

    A skirt of silver fringe; silver greaves and vambraces; perhaps a silken cape; and a very angry scowl.

    After all, one of Rodis-Jamero's other early drawings for Slave Leia gave her a black mesh bikini top, like what Oola wears in the final film, plus a loincloth of woven gold-metal discs. In short, that design left virtually nothing to the imagination. (The sketch in question can be seen on the Blu-Ray box set, and in the Costumes book, but was left out--by design, one suspects--in The Making of ROTJ.)

    Not only that, Rodis-Jamero also did concept art for Oola in which she isn't wearing a top at all.

    (As I've noted previously, the idea of on-screen nudity in SW goes back to costume concepts for the very first film; Leia was going to be dressed to resemble Eugene Delacroix's famous painting of a bare-breasted Liberty.)

    --

    As for the matter of the cape--it's likely that Leia did have one in this earliest design. Very possibly it was made of sheer, pale blue silk, like the loincloth shown in the concept drawing above. Its presence would further imply that Leia was originally meant to be seen herself dancing in Jabba's palace. She'd have discarded the cape when she began the dance, just as the Robot Maria does in Metropolis.

    Funnily enough, the idea of a cape worn over a naked body brings forth yet another association with ancient armor. The Alexander Sarcophagus, an ancient Greek marble coffin, is decorated with relief sculptures of Alexander the Great and his soldiers fighting against the Persians. While the villainous Persians are shown fully dressed, the heroic Greek soldiers are depicted wearing nothing but scarlet capes. (Who knew that 300 was really Art imitating Art?)

    Plus, the idea of Leia wearing a blue cape and a revealing white skirt is something of a black joke. Blue and white are traditionally the colors of the Virgin Mary. Often in Western depictions of Mary, blue is used for her outer cloak, and her underlying robe is shown as white. But of course, as dialogue in Lawrence Kasdan's first draft of the ROTJ script indicates, Leia implicitly suffers sexual assualt at Jabba's hands.

    (To lighten the mood a bit: Insert your own joke here about "Jesus, son of Pantera.")

    --

    Turning to the written word: in the story conference notes excerpted in The Making of ROTJ, Richard Marquand mentions that Leia is going to be "turned into a dancing girl." And in Kasdan's first pass at the script, he too notes that Leia is "dressed in the skimpy costume of a dancing girl." So clearly the idea of Leia as a seductive dancer, Metropolis style, was very much present. Perhaps it was rejected after consulting with Carrie Fisher?
    Last edited by ATMachine, Feb 27, 2015
  4. ATMachine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    I've finally mustered up the courage to scan some SW concept art I haven't previously shared.

    Fortunately, my books and magazines appear to have weathered the Machine's intrusions with little damage.

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    John Mollo's original sketch for Leia's dress worn during the medal ceremony at the end of SW 1977.

    Note the two crossed straps in an X shape over her chest. Other Mollo sketches for this dress suggest that, while those straps would have been opaque, the rest of the dress's upper portion would have been transparent.

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    In the final film, Leia wore a plain white dress with a semi-transparent cape.

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    Nilo Rodis-Jamero's concept drawing of a blonde Princess Leia in the Boushh disguise from ROTJ.

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    Here are two of Rodis-Jamero's concepts for Leia's cloak from the deleted sandstorm scene in ROTJ.

    Notice in particular the left-hand sketch. Not only is Leia again drawn as a blonde; as I pointed out previously, her silver vambraces and greaves are rather reminiscent of the lines of ancient Roman armor.

    --

    Two Nilo Rodis-Jamero concept drawings for Slave Leia. The one on the left shows Leia wearing a fishnet bikini top and a Red Sonja-style loincloth of woven metal discs.

    Admittedly, that first drawing is a bit NSFW, to which I offer the excuse that it's already been featured both on the SW Blu-Rays and in the OT Costumes book.

    The black fishnet top shown there ultimately went to Oola.

    (Also, as I noted earlier, one probable source of inspiration for Leia's slave outfit was Franz von Stuck's 1906 painting of Salome with the head of John the Baptist. Feel free to Google that for yourselves.)

    --

    I said in a previous post that I imagined Leia in SW 1977 might have worn some Barsoom-style body jewelry beneath her white dress. This cover of a comic book adaptation of A Princess of Mars is exactly the sort of thing I had in mind. (Technically that cover is safe for work, but in my judgment it's actually far more provocative than Nilo Rodis-Jamero's costume concept art.)

    --

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    Here's a sketch by Alex Tavoularis (storyboard artist on SW 1977), focusing on Darth Vader's helmet.

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    Another Tavoularis sketch features a headshot of the female Luke from an unwritten revision GL planned for the 1975 second-draft script.

    The drawing's caption pretty conclusively proves that fem-Luke never had a proper name of her own.

    (The mention here of Alderaan refers to a prison planet that was merged with the Death Star in later drafts. It was a Bespin-type world with a floating "cloud city" high in the atmosphere. Luke's breathing mask was likely due to the thin air at that altitude.)

    Note too "Luke's" dark hair--in contrast to the golden hair given to both Luke and Leia by Ralph McQuarrie. (This is one of the things which suggest to me that the protagonist Annikin Starkiller in the 1974 rough draft likely had dark hair too. So he'd have looked essentially like Madmartigan in Willow, or Obi-Wan Kenobi in Doug Chiang's production paintings for TPM.)

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    Tavoularis would later reuse the same features and dark hair seen above for his drawings of Princess Leia from the 1975 third draft.
    Last edited by ATMachine, Mar 3, 2015
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  5. Ewok Poet Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2014
    star 5
    Thank you so much for sharing this. :)
  6. ATMachine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    By the way, if you like what I've posted here, be sure to check out this excellent blog dedicated to Ralph McQuarrie's Star Wars art. There are loads and loads and loads of his drawings there which I'd never before seen until I found that blog--and I thought I'd seen just about everything publicly available!

    ---

    Speaking of Ralph McQuarrie's art, I've managed to find some of his thumbnails for the Death Star chasm swing painting in higher resolution.

    In one particular sketch Princess Leia's "Tarzan-style" loincloth is clearly visible--and the rest of her dress isn't. (She also appears to be wearing a jeweled necklace on a chain, as seen in the McQuarrie wardrobe concept at the top of page 4 in this thread.)

    Likewise, in another McQuarrie sketch, Leia seems to be using her right arm to cover her exposed chest. She's wearing the same loincloth, and carries a blaster in her left hand.

    In both of the above drawings, Leia appears to be blonde.

    But in the third thumbnail, McQuarrie apparently drew a dark-haired Leia instead. She's wearing a torn dress that appears to be hanging off one shoulder, exposing one breast--very much as in early concept art of Fay Wray's character in the original King Kong. (Notably, the concept artists on the 1933 Kong initially envisioned the heroine as a brunette.)

    --

    Incidentally, there appears to be a coded reference to this idea in the old 1990s Rogue Squadron comics from Dark Horse.

    Diehard EU fans (or, as we must now call them, "Legends" fans!) may recall that this series began the romantic relationship between pilot Tycho Celchu and Princess Leia's loyal retainer, Winter Retrac.

    In the comic's penultimate story arc before cancellation, Winter impersonates Leia at a diplomatic function, which Tycho also attends.

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    They begin to show a real interest in each other...

    (Note that Winter's dyed her normally white hair brown--like Tycho's own hair color.)

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    ...But Winter is kidnapped by the henchmen of a space pirate who wants to hold Leia for ransom. Tycho is abducted into the bargain.

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    He ends up quite badly beaten, since the pirate happens to have an old score to settle with Tycho and Rogue Squadron.

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    Note Tycho's swollen-shut black eye and torn shirt, complete with exposed breast. Both of these, I'm pretty sure, were visuals that GL intended to use for Princess Leia during her escape from prison in the more violent 1975 SW third draft.

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    Of course, in the end, Tycho is the one who engineers the duo's escape--proving himself to be just as capable as his fellow Alderaanian, the Princess.

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    The last panel of this page shows the artist's evident awareness of the secret joke.

    Here, Tycho is reaching out to Winter through the bars of his cell. Clearly they're a man and a woman in love.

    But there's a hidden visual reference here to Michelangelo's famous fresco The Creation of Adam, on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

    Of course, the centerpiece of that well-known image shows God about to impart life to Adam with the touch of a finger.

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    Here, though, it's Tycho's hand which echoes the placement of Eve's arm in Michelangelo's painting, and Winter--the woman--stands in the place of Adam, the first man.

    Additionally, the orientation of the comic panel is backwards from that of the Sistine Chapel ceiling--as if flipped in a mirror.

    (However, one could equally well read the panel in the opposite fashion, with Tycho in the place of Adam... making Winter into a female God.)

    This all goes back to one of GL's favorite symbolic motifs: Jungian psychology. Carl Jung, Freud's chief disciple, posited that every man had a secret feminine shadow-self, known as the anima, and vice versa.

    Oh, by the way... the name of this particular Rogue Squadron story arc in the collected TPB was Masquerade.

    "Hide your face, so the world will never find you..."
    Last edited by ATMachine, Mar 4, 2015
  7. ATMachine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    Further evidence that GL is a huge Metropolis fan:

    I noted earlier that an unused costume concept for Slave Leia in ROTJ featured her wearing a fishnet bikini top. In fact, as this behind-the-scenes photograph reveals, a very similar fishnet top was originally proposed for Brigitte Helm's dance scene as the Robot Maria in Fritz Lang's 1927 film. (In the final film the costume was modified, so that Helm ended up wearing a pair of pasties instead.)

    Like Leia's fishnet bikini in Nilo Rodis-Jamero's concept art, Brigitte Helm's top descends in an inverse V shape from a fastening around her neck.
    Last edited by ATMachine, Mar 10, 2015
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  8. thejeditraitor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 6
    finally watched the long version of metropolis recently. great film.
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  9. ATMachine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    Indeed. I'm so glad that Lang's original cut of the movie survived long enough to be recalled to life.

    Oh, here's another Ralph McQuarrie thumbnail sketch for the painting of the Death Star chasm swing. This last one appears to be work-safe, to my eyes.

    In fact, it appears to show Leia wearing a loincloth and a pair of metallic breastplates--essentially the Slave Leia costume, two films early.
    Last edited by ATMachine, Mar 10, 2015
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  10. I Are The Internets Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 8
    I really need to see Metropolis.
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  11. ATMachine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    A really interesting thought just occurred to me.

    "Deny thy father and refuse thy name."

    Luke Skywalker was always meant to be blond, naturally because of the visual influence of Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon. But his father Anakin, as presented in the OOT, had black hair.

    --

    "The child is father to the man."

    What if the original Anakin Skywalker from ROTJ (i.e., Sebastian Shaw) had dark hair and blue eyes for a specific symbolic reason?

    That is to say:

    What if Anakin was meant to resemble physically the dark-haired, blue-eyed fallible hero who was Luke Skywalker's spiritual father... Paul Atreides?

    --

    This would also explain the likely idea of Annikin Starkiller having had black hair in the 1974 rough draft--whose plot was essentially "The Hidden Fortress meets Dune."

    As George Hall (Old Indy in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles) once said: "The old man is the boy repeated."
    Last edited by ATMachine, Mar 12, 2015
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  12. ATMachine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    Here's yet another Slave Leia costume concept by Nilo Rodis-Jamero:

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    At first glance, this design actually appears to be more conservative than what Carrie Fisher wore on screen. Leia's even wearing pants!

    But look a bit closer.

    Right around Leia's metal breastplates, Rodis-Jamero evidently drew a pattern of crosshatching in the underlying pencil outline--which is now partially covered over by the subsequent coloring.

    (There's also the fact that the pencil outlines of the breastplates appear to be, erm, anatomically correct...)

    It seems Rodis-Jamero's original sketch put Leia in a fishnet bikini top, as seen in his other Slave Leia costume drawing which I linked to above. But once the decision was made to keep the film more family-friendly, Rodis-Jamero colored the image so as to show Leia wearing a solid pewter-and-gold bikini breastplate instead.

    Incidentally, I failed to remark earlier that in the surviving sketch of Leia with the black fishnet top, she appears to have had a yellow silk outer cape as well--completing the visual reference to the Robot Maria's dance outfit in Metropolis.

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    A later Rodis-Jamero sketch of Slave Leia moves much closer to the final costume... although she still doesn't have any footwear.

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    Rodis-Jamero's drawing of the finalized Slave Leia costume.

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    A drawing by Joe Johnston for Princess Leia's disguise as Boussh. (In The Making of ROTJ it's mislabeled as being the work of Nilo Rodis-Jamero, but the artistic style is clearly Johnston's.)

    Note Leia's Japanese-style sandals, which reveal her feet and thus give the lie to her being an alien.

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    A Ralph McQuarrie sketch of Leia-as-Boussh bringing Chewbacca before Jabba the Hutt.

    The idea of Leia's footwear spoiling her disguise appears to have been common among the ROTJ production designers--suggesting that it was part of GL and Kasdan's initially proposed plot. Look closely at the black-masked bounty hunter, and it's clear that McQuarrie drew "him" wearing high heels!

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    Early Rodis-Jamero costume concepts for Oola the slave dancer. These date from around October 1981.

    By his own account, director Richard Marquand wanted to take the natural dark hue of actress Femi Taylor's skin and enhance it slightly with makeup: "I wanted to keep the color of her skin, but add a purplish haze with gold dust over it."

    Here are two subsequent drawings of Oola by Rodis-Jamero, from November 1981. Be warned: they're definitely Not Safe For Work, as Oola is shown bare-breasted.

    By this time, George Lucas had directed (over Marquand's objections) that Oola should be painted green. Presumably he had in mind an homage to the green-skinned Orion slave girls of Star Trek.

    To quote Marquand: "George said, 'No, no. She's green!' I said, 'What?' He said, 'Yeah, green.' And then I thought, That really is rather good." (Pardon my French, but what kind of milquetoast director doesn't stand up for his own ideas?)

    Here is a side-by-side comparison of the two Oola designs, from The Making of ROTJ (also NSFW).
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  13. ATMachine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    And now for something completely different... a turn to a subject somewhat less risqué, yet also less germane to the original thread topic: sets!

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    A drawing from May 1981 by ROTJ production designer Norman Reynolds, showing a corridor in the Emperor's castle on Had Abbadon.

    While artists Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston generally portrayed the Imperial Palace as a relatively futuristic, Art Deco-style building, Reynolds' work is unmistakably medieval and Gothic in character.

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    Around the same time, Reynolds sketched this drawing of the Emperor's official throne room.

    The Gothic throne room with its double staircase and two-horned throne evidently draws considerable inspiration from Maleficent's throne room in Disney's Sleeping Beauty:

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    The throne's twin spikes, as depicted by Reynolds, are an allusion to Maleficent's own two horns.

    (Come to think of it, the Emperor's twin-lobed forehead may be too... Phil Tippett said the makeup was meant to suggest that Palpatine was evolving into something inhuman.)

    [IMG]

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    Joe Johnston's concepts for the Emperor's throne room on Had Abbadon from spring 1981.

    Although there is a slight Gothic architectural influence, the style of the room seen here is just as much, if not more, drawn from Art Deco, in keeping with the overall aesthetics of the Imperial capital as envisioned by Ralph McQuarrie.

    In the second image Johnston has shown how Imperial shuttles and other air traffic would be composited into the sky seen through the window behind the Emperor's throne.

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    This Norman Reynolds drawing from May 1981 shows his concept for the Emperor's subterranean lava lair.

    While McQuarrie and Johnston chose a more realistic look for this unrealized set, with rock spires projecting up from a lava lake, Reynolds' design here is far more surrealistic, in a manner worthy of German Expressionism. The rock projections are clearly styled to resemble a human ribcage!

    (Nilo Rodis-Jamero would later reuse this basic set design on Star Trek V, for the home of "God" on the planet Sha-Ka-Ree.)

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    A Norman Reynolds concept from May 1981, showing Luke and Vader's lightsaber duel in the Emperor's lava lair.

    Once again Reynolds' take on the Emperor's secret lair is amazingly spooky... here the rock spires evoke HR Giger's set designs for Alien.

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    Two Joe Johnston concepts for the Emperor's lava lair from spring 1981. These look much more naturalistic (and, dare I say it, ordinary) than Reynolds' more bizarre take.

    I do very much like the devilish tall shadow cast by the Emperor's horned throne, though.
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  14. ATMachine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    Here's an early Joe Johnston concept for the Rancor:

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    This Johnston drawing shows the Rancor as a beast with literally flaming skin.

    In fact, this design appears to be based on medieval European bestiaries' depictions of salamanders. Until the Renaissance, salamanders were usually conceived as elemental spirits of fire and immortality. This idea derived from their habit of running away unharmed from newly ignited firelogs (since salamanders often nested in woodpiles).

    To quote Wikipedia's entry on salamanders in mythology: "The salamander is mentioned in the Talmud (Hagiga 27a) as a creature that is a product of fire, and it relates that anyone who is smeared with its blood will be immune to harm from fire."

    Swap out "salamander blood" with "dragon blood" and you have essentially the story of the medieval Nibelungenlied, where the Norse hero Siegfried slays the dragon Fafnir and bathes in his blood, thus becoming nigh-invulnerable.

    Given GL's notable interest in all things related to the Siegfried/Sigurd mythos, it's not surprising that he'd suggest that the Rancor design ought to contain a similar mythological allusion.
    Last edited by ATMachine, Mar 15, 2015
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  15. ATMachine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    Looking again at this Rodis-Jamero concept art for Slave Leia from October 1981, I notice that Leia's pants and sandals aren't actually part of the underlying pencil sketch. Rather, they were added during the coloring stage, which is also when the pewter-and-gold breastplate seen here replaced the original pencil drawing of a fishnet top.

    [IMG]

    It's likely that the initial pencil outline showed Leia wearing a Red Sonja-style loincloth of woven metal discs, instead of the red silken pants seen here. (While essentially the same loincloth shows up in another Rodis-Jamero Slave Leia sketch, as I pointed out earlier, this version was apparently triangular in shape--like Red Sonja's--rather than the alternative squared-off design seen in Rodis-Jamero's surviving sketch of it.)
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  16. Ewok Poet Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2014
    star 5
    @ATMachine - since you're a fan of Joe's, do you have any of his Ewok sketches? :)

    Loved the evolution of slave costume, and Oola's bare breasts got me curious - was she originally planned to be a puppet? How were they going to get away with that?

    Thanks for everything you're posting, it's awesome.
  17. ATMachine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    I have plenty of Joe Johnston Ewok sketches, and some others by Nilo Rodis-Jamero. Would you like me to post them? It'd be a mighty effort, but I'm willing to do it as best I may.

    As for Oola's lack of clothing--it's possible that those particular sketches were never taken too seriously by the production team.

    Equally, however, it's possible that ROTJ was originally conceived as being a more adult film. After all, at the same point in the design process, Leia herself was going to wear a fishnet top that essentially left nothing to the imagination.

    And for quite a while during production of the original SW 1977, it was seriously considered to have Leia be bloodied and beaten from Vader's torture, and stripped down to just a loincloth, during the escape from the Death Star/the Imperial prison planet Alderaan. At that point SW was clearly going to be a much more mature film, in the vein of THX 1138 (or, in more modern terms, V for Vendetta).

    But of course, THX 1138 was originally rated PG upon release in the 1970s. It was only with the updated re-release in 2004 that contemporary society deemed that film's nudity shocking enough to merit a retroactive R rating.
    Last edited by ATMachine, Mar 15, 2015
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  18. Ewok Poet Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2014
    star 5
    To the first paragraph: yes, please do, if possible. :)
  19. ATMachine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    You want Ewoks? Then Ewoks you will have. EWOKS IN ABUNDANCE. :p

    [IMG]

    Early concept by Joe Johnston, showing an Ewok riding a Yuzzem, late 1980.

    Initial story ideas for ROTJ featured the Ewoks and Yuzzem (from Splinter of the Mind's Eye) cohabiting on Endor, but the Yuzzem soon fell by the wayside.

    [IMG]

    Joe Johnston sketches of a Yuzzem (left) and an Ewok (right), late 1980.

    Note that the Ewoks don't yet have any teddy-bear-esque ears.

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    Early concept art by Joe Johnston, before George Lucas decreed that the Ewoks ought to be "cuter."

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    Joe Johnston concept art of two Yuzzems, from late 1980. Johnston specifically noted that the Yuzzem on the left is an adolescent male, while the one at right is an adult.

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    Extremely fanciful sketches of Yuzzems by Nilo Rodis-Jamero, spring 1981.

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    Joe Johnston art from early 1981.

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    Johnston art from March 1981: two Ewoks look on in horror as Imperial trappers capture one of their friends.

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    A sequence of three drawings by Johnston from spring 1981, showing the progression of an Ewok attack on an AT-ST walker.

    "I will show you fear in a bundle of fur."
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  20. ATMachine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
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    Joe Johnston drawing of Teebo the Ewok stealing a speeder bike, from winter of 1980-81.

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    Sketches by Joe Johnston from around May 21, 1981.

    This is the point at which Johnston, following Lucas's direction to make the Ewoks "cuter," gave them ears resembling teddy bears--the direction which their design would take henceforth.

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    Johnston painting from June 1981.

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    Johnston drawing from June 1981, showing an Ewok riding a flying bird.

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    Johnston drawing of an Ewok kite.

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    Johnston drawing of the Ewoks' treetop village.

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    Drawings by Johnston from May 1981.

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    Drawing by Johnston from June 3, 1981. This was around the time when little actors were being fitted for prototype Ewok costumes.

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    Kenny Baker in costume as Paploo.

    Originally, most of Wicket's role (as played by Warwick Davis) was allotted to Kenny Baker--whose character was then the one named Wicket. However, Baker's Ewok suit was the one now recognizable as Paploo.

    Baker fell ill during shooting, and most of his scenes were transferred to Warwick Davis. The two character names were switched as a result, but Baker and Davis retained their respective original Ewok suits.
  21. ATMachine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
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    Concept art for Ewoks by Ralph McQuarrie, from fall 1980.

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    More Ralph McQuarrie concept designs for Ewoks.

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    Design by McQuarrie for an unspecified monster, possibly a Yuzzem.

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    Production painting by McQuarrie of Ewoks carrying C-3PO on a wooden chair.

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    Costume concept for an Imperial trapper by Nilo Rodis-Jamero, 1981. Note the Ewok hides slung over his arm.

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    "Ewoks telling stories," by Nilo Rodis-Jamero, 1981.

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    Ewok designs by Nilo Rodis-Jamero, January 1981.

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    Rodis-Jamero's design for the interior of an Ewok hut, March 26, 1981.

    (The red dot indicates Lucas's seal of approval.)

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    Sketch by Nilo Rodis-Jamero for a gag involving an Ewok and two speeder bikes.

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    Humorous sketch by Nilo Rodis-Jamero of Ewoks attacking an AT-ST en masse, Feburary 1981.
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  22. ATMachine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
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    Painting of an Ewok on a speeder bike, possibly by Michael Pangrazio, May 1981.

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    Stuart Freeborn testing the fit of prototype Ewok costumes, late fall 1981. These versions have larger toes than would be used on the final Ewok suits.

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    Actor Kirin Shah models a prototype Ewok suit.

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    Stuart Freeborn's sketches for the Ewoks' heads.

    GL pressed Freeborn to make a mechanical apparatus that would allow the Ewoks to blink. Freeborn did his best, but the mechanism failed to work, and Ewoks never blinked on-camera in the theatrical release. (This is the likely reason for the digital insertion of CGI Ewok blinks in the 2011 SE. Lucas has quite a long memory!)

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    Stuart Freeborn's wife, Kay, examines a shelf full of Ewok masks at Elstree Studios.

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    Ewok costumes on the rack.

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    Four actors (left to right: Trevor Jones, Debbie Dixon, Mike Cottrell, and Malcolm Dixon) wear some of the earliest Ewok suits to be completed. The two at right are labeled as "warrior Ewoks."

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    The Ewok village set under construction, November 1981.

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    Makeup artist Alan Brownie adjusting an Ewok costume in an early test shoot, November 25, 1981.
  23. ATMachine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    [IMG]

    Storyboard artists George Jenson and Joe Johnston (in matching Indiana Jones white shirts) pose in front of a wall of Ewok-related storyboards.

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    Actors in Ewok costumes hold the clapper during a second-unit shoot on May 17, 1982.

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    Richard Marquand's diagram for staging the Ewok dance scene at the end of the film.

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    A Joe Johnston storyboard from May 4, 1982 (interesting date!) shows an Ewok getting his head blasted off violently by a Scout Trooper.

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    This humorous "Award of Excellence" from the "Royal Society of Ewoks" was used to honor crewmembers who did exceptionally good work.

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    Concept art by Nilo Rodis-Jamero of Leia eating a meal in an Ewok hut, 1981.

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    In fact, the last image is deliberately designed to mirror this Ralph McQuarrie painting from ESB, showing Luke about to eat a meal in Yoda's house on Dagobah.

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    Additional Ewok sketches from the 1983 tie-in Return of the Jedi Sketchbook.

    The truncated captions on the last page read "Sling Shot" and "More Ewoks."
  24. ATMachine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    Some more Ewok sketches from the 1983 tie-in Return of the Jedi Sketchbook:

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    Note the beaky "Ewoks" at the top of this last page! They seem to be an early Ralph McQuarrie design.

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    This last sketch contains the label "Save for Project X"... which presumably refers to what later became the two TV movies about Ewoks, The Ewok Adventure: Caravan of Courage (1984) and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985)

    If you liked this treasure hoard of Ewok hordes, please support the fine folks at Lucasfilm by buying the digital edition of The Making of Return of the Jedi--my source for many of these images, and a wonderful book in its own right, with lots more details about the film's creation than I can bother to post here.

    (For instance, The Making of ROTJ actually includes an English translation of the lyrics to "Yub Nub.")
    Last edited by ATMachine, Mar 15, 2015
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  25. ATMachine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    [IMG]

    Back to more humanoid costumes (and some forays into set design)...

    This concept drawing by Nilo Rodis-Jamero shows Darth Vader speaking with the Emperor in his throne room on Had Abaddon.

    Note the Emperor's red robes with flared ruff collar--a dead ringer for the classic outfit of Ming the Merciless. (Max von Sydow popularized it in the 1980 Flash Gordon film, but Ming's iconic wardrobe goes all the way back to Alex Raymond's Sunday comic strip and the 1930s serials with Buster Crabbe.)

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    Also, here's one other drawing of the Slave Leia costume by Nilo Rodis-Jamero.

    By this point the bottom half of the costume, featuring a red loincloth, had been more or less settled. But Leia's top in this sketch appears to be made of transparent silk.

    A note at the left of the page specifies "gold lacing" to adorn the edges of her sheer silk top.

    Amusingly, this version of the costume incorporates the iconic hair buns from ANH in Leia's hairstyle.