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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

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    It's worth pointing out that Mollo's sketches of the outer robe in Leia's two-layer outfit greatly resemble a Japanese kimono. That's hardly surprising, given Lucas's overall embrace of the Japanese aesthetic, which is also evident in the costumes of Luke and Ben Kenobi.

    The traditional undergarment worn by Japanese men under their kimono is a fundoshi or loincloth. This was probably in Mollo's mind when it came to Leia's "Tarzan-like" costume. (Japanese women didn't traditionally wear anything that we might consider underwear by modern standards; the closest equivalent was an under-kimono, or a shirt and skirt combination.)

    At Lucas's request, Leia's white dress ultimately went in a much more European direction--"mock-medieval," as Mollo noted--ending up being quite deliberately modeled on a nun's habit.

    Mollo's sketches of Tatooine peasant costume also draw heavily from Japanese clothing. In most of his drawings, the desert planet's inhabitants (including both Ben Kenobi and the still-humanoid Jabba the Hutt) sport white Japanese shirts and hip-length brown waistcoats, worn open. The waistcoats are in fact modeled on the jinbaori, a sleeveless vest commonly worn with shirt and pants by Japanese men as an alternative to full-length kimonos. Jinbaori appear frequently in Kurosawa movies.

    Mollo's Tatooine dwellers also usually wear puttees or knee leggings. Besides the influence of Japanese costume (where knee-length socks are often worn by warriors), the leggings also suggest the clothing of the Saxon peasantry in Dark Age England, when the Normans ruled with an iron fist. (So Walter Scott and Hollywood claim, at any rate.) The Saxon-Norman rivalry of English legend provides a neat parallel with the Rebel-Empire conflict of the SW galaxy.

    Lucas evidently didn't like the Japanese waistcoat idea, because none are seen in the finished film (even Han Solo's vest is quite Old West in its tailoring). Ben Kenobi ended up with long kimono-like robes, although his shirt has a Russian-style asymmetrical collar. The Jabba the Hutt of 1977, meanwhile, ended up in a monstrous shaggy fur coat, which bears little resemblance to the elegant but slightly roué wardrobe usually worn by his principal screen inspiration, Sydney Greenstreet.
     
  2. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Also of note in regards to the costumes of SW 1977 are the Tonnika Sisters, two patrons of the Mos Eisley cantina.

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    The best full-body color shot of their costume I could find is in the 1990s book Star Wars Chronicles.

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    In fact, this outfit (worn in blue by one sister and in green by the other) appears to be the last refuge of Ralph McQuarrie's leotard design for Princess Leia's costume.

    The resemblance to McQuarrie's early drawings of Leia is even more evident in John Mollo's original costume sketch for the Sisters; the vertical stripe down the front of the torso is a detail taken straight from McQuarrie's studies of Leia's leotard.

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    Mollo's initial design differs from the final version of the Tonnika Sisters in terms of hairstyle: he originally envisioned both girls with bald heads and Mohawks. (Presumably that ran into much the same problem that beset THX 1138: what actress would want to shave her head for such a tiny part?) Instead, the Sisters as realized on screen have tall piles of braided black hair atop their heads.
     
  3. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    This early sketch of Princess Leia by storyboard artist Alex Tavoularis (found in The Making of Star Wars) is unfinished, but she's evidently wearing no more than a bikini bottom or loincloth. (Lucky thing it's unfinished, or I wouldn't be able to post it!)

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    (Ignore the upside-down panther head in the upper right corner.)

    Considering this along with John Mollo's costume notes, it seems likely that Lucas initially considered retaining the idea of the bare-breasted Leia from the third act of the 1974 rough draft. But of course GL ultimately rejected that notion, once he decided that SW ought to be an all-ages family film.

    By the time Tavoularis finished his storyboards for the third-draft script, Leia's attire had solidified into the much more demure hooded white dress envisioned by Lucas and McQuarrie.

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    Unlike McQuarrie and Mollo, who depicted her with blonde or light brown hair, Tavoularis drew Leia with dark hair, to echo Dale Arden from Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon Sunday comics.

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    For those of you who are video gamers, it may be amusing to see that Tavoularis's Stormtroopers apparently graduated from the same academy as Mass Effect's Commander Shepard.

    Here are some additional miscellaneous SW 1977 costume sketches by Ralph McQuarrie:

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    A very practical version of Princess Leia's costume, with a hip-length blouse and pants, not to mention a holstered blaster.

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    McQuarrie's designs for Luke's costume around the time of the second draft. As with all of McQuarrie's early costume designs, this one is form-fitting and covered in electronic equipment, an aesthetic that draws heavily from Alex Raymond's work on Flash Gordon.

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    Another look at the McQuarrie drawing of Vader's helmet that I posted earlier, this time with an additional profile view showing off the sharply pointed brow of this particular design.
     
  4. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Mollo's handwritten notes for Leia's costume on one sketch indicate that he hadn't yet decided what type of footwear to give her ("sandals? shoes? boots?"). Pretty much all of his drawings opt for tall boots, however.

    Whatever the choice, it's probable Mollo imagined that Leia's shoes would be taken away, along with her outer cloak, during her captivity. This again goes back to the clothing damage suffered by Leia Aquilae in the rough draft, where she evidently ended up barefoot and naked to the waist. (It also makes the Tarzan parallel much more complete.)

    In this regard it's notable that GL insisted to Carrie Fisher that space princesses don't wear bras. This may be more than an instance of perving on George's part--it presumably came about because he'd actually considered at one point showing Leia in only her undergarments.

    ---

    Disturbingly, the third-draft script has a scene implying that Leia is beaten by Vader and two Imperial officers in the course of an interrogation. When Luke and Han enter her prison cell, they find her unconscious, "bloody and mutilated," suspended upside-down in mid-air by a force field which causes "a strange yellow glow" to radiate from her eyes. Han shoots out the force-field control panel, and Leia begins to fall insensible to the ground, but Chewbacca catches her and carries her as the heroes escape.

    In the second draft, Deak Starkiller too suffers torture at the hands of his Imperial captors. In Deak's case, his wounds are so severe as to be life-threatening. Although Luke heals him with the Kiber Crystal, Deak remains unconscious for the entirety of his time on film after being tortured. Leia's injuries, by contrast, are clearly less severe; she regains consciousness when the heroes stumble into the half-flooded lair of the monstrous Dia Noga, deep in the bowels of Alderaan's prison complex.

    Lucas likely intended some sort of bruise makeup on Leia in these scenes. Such makeup would have had two primary sources of inspiration: Toshiro Mifune's bruises in Yojimbo when he is captured and beaten up by the evil gangsters, and the injuries of Prince Corin of Archenland when he is first introduced in CS Lewis's Narnia novel The Horse and His Boy.

    Mifune in Yojimbo is seen with a nasty swollen-shut black eye, to which Kurosawa draws particular attention with his cinematography. Likewise, when Prince Corin first appears, he has "the finest black eye you ever saw, and a tooth missing." Presumably something similar was intended for Leia.

    The example of Corin in The Horse and His Boy is particularly significant: he's actually the twin brother of the protagonist Shasta, who is really Cor, the lost heir to the throne of Archenland. Thus, in that scene Shasta/Cor meets his own brother for the first time. Aside from Corin's bruises, they are practically identical in every way; both of them share the same fair hair.

    In the same vein, around the time of the third-draft script, Lucas appears to have intended Luke and Leia to be physically nearly identical, with both having blond hair. Not because they were literally twins as yet, though. Rather, Lucas wanted their physical resemblance to suggest the concept of the Jungian anima/animus--the female side buried within a man's consciousness, and vice versa. This "other half" of one's personality must be accepted in order to become a well-adjusted individual. Luke and Leia's great resemblance indicates that they are the missing half of each other's personality, and thus soul mates destined to be romantically linked.

    So in the third-draft script, when Luke first meets Leia in the flesh, she would be almost exactly identical to him in looks--except for having an eye swollen shut and a missing tooth. This actually furthers the Jungian symbolism: Leia's injuries were incurred because she is a warrior and commander of men, as Luke must himself become in order to be a hero.

    In the finale of the third draft, Lucas writes that Leia looks "staggeringly beautiful," which presumably indicates that her injuries have been healed.

    Leia's bruises in the third draft take the place of something even worse in the 1974 rough draft, in which it is implied that Leia Aquilae is gang-raped offscreen by a gang of nine alien trappers. None of these ideas would make it to the finished film, of course--by the time of the fourth draft in January 1976, Lucas had decided to make SW a family film suitable for children.

    ---

    If you look at John Mollo's various costume designs for the Imperials and Rebels, it's clear that he created consistent insignia for the Empire and the Rebellion which are quite different from those used in the final film.

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    Here we can see Mollo's take on the Imperial insignia: a black arrowhead within a white circle. The arrowhead is rather reminiscent of the insignia of the Enterprise in Star Trek (which became the symbol of Starfleet as a whole in the Trek movies). One wonders if this wasn't actually a subtle commentary on how the Empire is a degradation of an earlier, benevolent Republic, rather like the Federation of the Star Trek mythos.

    According to Mollo, Lucas rejected the red armbands seen here as too obviously Nazi in inspiration.

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    Mollo even considered having Vader's armor be adorned with the Imperial insignia.

    In this particular sketch, Mollo has patterned Vader's chest armor after the plate armor of a medieval knight. The cape with the Imperial arrowhead on the left breast is also quite medieval in inspiration.

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    The insignia seen on these Rebel troopers is also different from what was later used. Here, the Rebel symbol is a red trefoil--three circles joined together.

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    The red Rebel trefoil is also seen in Mollo's initial drawing of a Rebel pilot uniform (at left). Following the examples seen in Ralph McQuarrie's paintings, Mollo has dressed the Rebel pilots in gray uniforms with orange highlights. In the final film the entire uniform would be orange, much like US pilot and astronaut jumpsuits of the time.

    In this drawing Mollo has also given the Rebel pilots full face-concealing helmets with breath masks. This detail appears as well in Joe Johnston's early storyboards of the climactic Death Star trench run.

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    Here, for instance, is Luke Starkiller in full pilot uniform, in his X-wing cockpit.

    Lucas ultimately dropped the breath masks from the Rebel pilot helmets, because obscuring the heroes' faces would make it more difficult to follow the action. The Rebels' open-face helmets also have the effect--which Sergei Eisenstein used to such great purpose in the climactic battle scene of Alexander Nevsky--of allowing the audience to identify with the heroes in danger, while symbolically dehumanizing the villains, who in both movies wear ominous face-concealing helmets.
     
  5. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Lucas told Mollo that Luke Starkiller should have a long, hooded desert cloak, similar to that worn by Ben Kenobi.

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    In this drawing, Luke's desert cloak appears in the lower right corner. Mollo's handwritten note suggests that it should have a "technological clasp." As with the rest of Luke's clothing, the cloak is white in color.

    Early in the conception of the third draft, it may have been intended for a half-naked Leia to cover herself with Luke's white cloak once the heroes got back to the Millennium Falcon. (In the actual film, Leia covers Luke with his own poncho, to comfort him after Obi-Wan's death--which of course wasn't added to the script until well into shooting.)

    In any case, the cloak didn't make it to the final film. Instead Luke sports a brown poncho, clearly inspired by Clint Eastwood's attire in Sergio Leone's Dollars Trilogy. Luke's poncho, however, is much less flattering than Eastwood's, befitting his status as an inexperienced youth who has yet to fully become a hero.

    Ben Kenobi's own desert cloak, as drawn by Mollo, had a flourish that the final film version lacked: a small silver tassel on the point of the hood.

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    If you look closely at Mollo's drawing of Luke's hooded cloak, a similar tassel is present in the same place.
     
  6. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Some interesting unused costume concepts by John Mollo for ESB:

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    An early design for Luke's snowsuit. The triangular hat was a recurring feature in Mollo's designs for this costume. It's very reminiscent of the work of the famous French comic artist Moebius (Jean Giraud), whose illustrations had already begun to influence the visual style of SW.

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    Mollo initially proposed that Han Solo should wear a coverall jumpsuit, a utilitarian outfit suitable for the constant maintenance which Han gives the Millennium Falcon throughout the movie.

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    Mollo wanted the Rebel snowspeeder pilots on Hoth to wear fleece-lined leather jackets--like the airmen of World War II, who had to dress in leather and lambswool to ward off the freezing temperatures of high altitudes.

    In the final film the Rebel flying jackets were instead made of orange fabric, almost exactly like the jumpsuits worn beneath them. (Leather flying garments went out of fashion right at the end of WWII, having been replaced by fabric flight suits with built-in heating systems. The jackets seen on screen are thus more in keeping with a high-tech galaxy, but less stylish and less visually redolent of the struggle against fascism.)

    Additionally, in January 1979, Ralph McQuarrie made some extremely intriguing drawings of Force visions that Darth Vader sees in his meditation chamber.

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    These drawings show two repeated images: a beautiful woman's lips, and the face of a hideous mutant. Most likely the woman in question is Vader's wife from his former life--i.e., Luke's mother. The mutant, on the other hand, is probably McQuarrie's depiction of the Emperor. (In the story conference notes from late 1977, Lucas suggested that the Emperor was so hideously mutated that he hid himself within a steel box, like the mutant Guild Navigators in their spice tanks from Dune.)

    It's fascinating that McQuarrie juxtaposes these two particular images--getting to the thematic heart of the prequels, as far back as 1979. (It's also interesting to note that this suggests Lucas had entrusted McQuarrie with the secret of Vader's identity.)
     
  7. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Speaking of Ralph McQuarrie, here's something that I've always wanted to share, and which I've never seen anywhere on the Internet.

    One of McQuarrie's most famous paintings for SW 1977 is the iconic image of Artoo and Threepio in the Utapau (later Tatooine) desert, from January 1975:

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    In fact, though, this is actually the second version of the painting. Initially, McQuarrie painted Threepio with a more human face, like that of the Robot Maria in Metropolis, as well as a chest panel of stylized muscles. Lucas didn't like the look, however, and at his request, McQuarrie reworked the painting, simplifying Threepio's face and torso.

    Fortunately, McQuarrie kept a photograph of the original version of the painting, which appears in the book The Art of Ralph McQuarrie. Here's a scan.

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    This earlier version of McQuarrie's Threepio clearly owes much more of a debt to Metropolis. While the human-like face recurs in other McQuarrie sketches of C-3PO, as far as I'm aware this was McQuarrie's sole experiment with the panel of stylized chest muscles. They are evidently meant to mark Threepio as outwardly male, in place of the stylized breasts seen on the female Robot Maria in Metropolis.
     
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  8. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    [​IMG]

    Looking again at this John Mollo drawing of Leia's costume for SW 1977, it appears that on the figure of her at right, he's sketched in a loincloth of sorts. It's even shaped like the one Tarzan wears.

    The aborted pencil drawing at the top of the page--featuring a low-cut dress with metal breastplates--may have been a proposal for an alternative, more family-friendly under-layer.

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    And returning to this other Mollo drawing, the sketch at lower right shows another version of Leia's dress, incorporating a transparent midriff panel of sheer pleated fabric.

    On the other hand, Ralph McQuarrie was far too much of a gentleman to propose putting Leia in such skimpy attire. The closest he ever came was giving her the right to bare arms, as in this sketch.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Wow. That's all I can say. Wow.

    Actually, I think it's possible the hideous mutant is Vader himself - around the time of ESB, the idea that Vader was a mutant due to falling into a nuclear reactor (rather than burned in a volcano) was tossed around. One particular detail considered was that one of his eyes was practically falling out - just like in those pictures.
    Come to think of it - is that definitely a woman's face? Could it be Vader seeing himself as he once was, then replaced by the monstrosity he's become?
     
  10. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    I've seen various official SW sources (including the old Art of ESB book from 1980, and, at one time, the SW.com website) describe the mutant in these drawings as being the Emperor, so I assume that's what McQuarrie must have intended.

    Here's a closer look at the second image, where the mutant (and presumed Emperor) appears grossly deformed.

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    In fact, the Art of ESB book also contains other studies by McQuarrie for this scene, which instead feature a less hideous visage, still quite humanoid and with both eyes intact (though very clearly yellow with Sith power).

    Also check out this McQuarrie production painting from ROTJ, which shows the Emperor zapping Luke with Force lightning. In the original version of the painting, the Emperor has a frightening inhuman visage with glowing red eyes. He might even be an alien, as he seems to have blue skin.

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    After the film was released, McQuarrie revised the painting for a tie-in art portfolio, and replaced the original Emperor figure with one based on Ian McDiarmid's makeup in the movie.

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  11. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Having just checked my copy of the Art of ESB, it does indeed describe the mutant in the above McQuarrie drawings as the Emperor. So I guess that's the most likely answer.

    It's also worth remembering that most of the discussion about Vader having only one eye seems to date from the ROTJ story conferences--it's at that point that concept art was first produced showing that idea.

    (In the same vein, the makeup on the back of Vader's head in ESB seems to have been thrown together at the last minute, at Irvin Kershner's request. In fact, during the making of ROTJ, Lucas told Kasdan and Marquand that he hadn't actually wanted to show Vader's head in that scene at all, but rather hoped to keep him entirely in silhouette.)

    Here's the full set of additional McQuarrie drawings from the same group:

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    Here we see that Vader is meditating when the Emperor's hologram appears before him.

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    More McQuarrie concepts for the silhouette of the Emperor.

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    This is the really interesting bit: in these sketches, McQuarrie details various possibilities for what the Emperor's face should look like.

    One of them--the grayscale sketch in the lower left-hand corner--is the same mutated face seen in the color drawing above. (As I mentioned earlier, this was probably inspired by Lucas's suggestion of an Emperor so hideously deformed that he resembles a Guild Navigator from Dune.) The other drawings, though, plainly feature a less inhuman, but still ancient, Emperor.

    Note especially the two color drawings of his eyes. In the first, they are solid yellow--completely full of the power of the dark side. In the second, his eyes are voids of pure black.

    And even in the drawing of the full-on mutant Emperor, his one good eye still has the yellow iris that marks Dark Side masters. I doubt that, at this point, anyone had yet thought to depict Father Skywalker/unmasked Vader with such eyes, mainly because the idea of a Dark Side user's eyes shifting temporarily to yellow and back again likely hadn't yet occurred to Lucas. (However, pre-ESB Vader, the wholly evil character who wasn't Luke's father, might easily have had such evil eyes.)
     
  12. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    This particular item of interest was first explored by StarWarsHelmets.com, but I thought it'd be fun to recap here.

    Ralph McQuarrie at one point produced a quite unusual drawing of the face-plate of Darth Vader's helmet, featuring a creepy bug-like mouth area.

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    Today, unfortunately, the drawing apparently survives only as a photocopy.

    It's well established, however, that this particular face design was copied by sculptor Brian Muir for the head of the droid CZ-3, used as a background extra on SW 1977.

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    Sculptor Arthur Healey's design for CZ-3's chest, on the other hand, didn't borrow from McQuarrie's Vader--but instead it drew on John Mollo's designs for Vader's chest plate.

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    Mollo's interpretation of Vader's chest plate in these sketches is highly cybernetic in nature, with exposed tubing, ventilation grilles, and control panels. It's likely therefore that these sketches date from the fourth draft, by which point Lucas had come to imagine Vader as a cybernetic being permanently encased in armor.

    (Mollo's other drawing of Vader in stylized knightly armor, meanwhile, likely corresponds to the third draft. At that point Lucas still imagined Ben Kenobi as the film's principal cyborg, and Vader's suit remained mainly an armored spacesuit, as Ralph McQuarrie had initially envisioned it.)

    Unlike the quilted leather shirt used for Vader's costume in the final film, here the central portion of the chest plate appears to be made of the molded fiberglass which was also used for Vader's helmet and shoulders.

    ---

    Additionally, while I was looking for the images of Mollo's Vader seen above, I also stumbled on this Ralph McQuarrie sketch of Leia in her prison cell, being interrogated by the torture robot.

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    As far as I'm aware, this is the only sketch by McQuarrie from SW 1977 where he depicts Princess Leia with dark hair. In virtually all of his drawings from the first film, Leia is a blonde, indicating her status as Luke's soul mate and missing female half. The absence of that symbolism here suggests that McQuarrie made this sketch particularly early in the genesis of the third draft.

    This drawing is also highly unusual for McQuarrie in another respect: it shows that Leia is having a wardrobe malfunction, exposing one breast where her bodice has slipped down. (I'd worry about posting it, but it is McQuarrie SW concept art, after all, and Lucasfilm even used it as a frontispiece in the Making of ESB book.)

    So, it seems, Lucas did initially consider returning to the idea of onscreen nudity implied in the 1974 rough draft, before rejecting it in order to make the film kid-friendly. After all, he didn't want this movie to do as badly as THX 1138 at the box office.

    The overall idea here appears to have been that Leia would be stripped to a loincloth during the robotic-torture session, remain bare-breasted during the prison breakout, and cover herself with Luke's desert cloak once the heroes reached the Falcon. In the 1974 rough draft, it was much the same--Leia Aquilae is half-naked when Annikin Starkiller rescues her from the Imperial space fortress--although of course in that script the rescue was the climax of the film, not the second act.

    The text of Lucas's third-draft script only furthers the disturbing nature of these scenes. When the camera cuts away from the robot torture scene, the script says that Leia can be heard screaming, a grisly detail absent from later versions.

    And later in the third draft, when Vader visits Leia in her cell to reveal to her the destruction of her home planet, the only light in the room is from the hallway outside--Leia's cell itself is left in total darkness. It's in this scene that, presumably, her nakedness would first be revealed. So she's sitting unclothed in a completely pitch-black cell.

    Quite the stuff of nightmare fuel--and that's to say nothing of the fact that Vader goes on to beat Leia up in a subsequent interrogation session. No wonder all of this was dropped, frankly. Lucas was hardly looking to make V for Vendetta.
     
  13. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Here's a Joe Johnston sketch of a Rebel soldier from pre-production on ESB in late 1977.

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    The soldier's tall hat shows that the SW production designers were already beginning to be influenced by the French artist Moebius, who frequently gave the characters in his SF comic strips similar high-crowned hats.
     
  14. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Here's Ralph McQuarrie's original concept for the "Peter Pan leotard," as Carrie Fisher described it, which ultimately went to the Tonnika Sisters in the Mos Eisley cantina instead of Leia.

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    In this other McQuarrie sketch, made famous in The Making of Star Wars, the close resemblance of Luke and Leia is plain to see: their hair colors are only slightly different.

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    At this point, I might as well reveal that McQuarrie, like John Mollo, was quite capable of being a dirty old man.

    Unlike in the above sketch for a leotard outfit, here the vertical stripe down the front of Leia's garment stops above her navel--in fact, this version of her shirt appears to have short sleeves and a bare midriff. She also seems to be wearing bikini briefs. Plus, her shirt is pleated; very likely it's the same transparent pleated fabric that shows up in so many of John Mollo's costume sketches for her character.

    Note too the spherical droid next to her, which is probably another McQuarrie sketch of the Imperial torture robot. So it's a pretty good guess that this is another design for a rather immodest set of underclothes, to be worn by Leia during the prison breakout scenes.

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    This is the McQuarrie sketch of Leia in a sleeveless robe which I posted earlier. In fact, it's not so innocent as I assumed before. As an under-layer, McQuarrie appears to have drawn in some sort of pasties linked by decorative chains, after the fashion of the jeweled ornaments worn by the otherwise naked inhabitants of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom.

    Oh, and remember this famous McQuarrie painting of Luke and Leia swinging across the Death Star chasm?

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    One of McQuarrie's thumbnail sketches for that painting shows Leia wearing only a loincloth, using one arm to cover her bare chest.

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    The loincloth also appears in another of his thumbnails for the same painting, where it's apparent that Leia is standing in front of Luke on the exposed gantry.

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    In almost all of McQuarrie's other sketches for this piece, the figures of Luke and Leia are small black silhouettes, so no clothing details are visible. However, a third thumbnail does show Leia with black hair, a very unusual feature in McQuarrie's work on SW 1977.

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    So it seems I must revise my initial assessment: both McQuarrie and Mollo planned on seeing Leia undressed. Almost certainly, though, they were both just reacting to input from Lucas, who must have toyed with recycling the idea of nudity from the '74 rough draft. That draft itself was much more influenced by THX 1138 in visual terms than the final film would be--its Stormtroopers wear black, and the hallways of the Imperial fortress are stark white.

    ---

    Moving on to characters who do wear shirts: here's some concept art by Nilo Rodis-Jamero for Han Solo's blue shirt in ROTJ, which was going to be in the film until Harrison Ford turned it down.

    [​IMG]

    Rodis-Jamero also designed an alternative green shirt with leather shoulder patches, concept art for which is in the Costumes book. Ford rejected that too, preferring to stay with the white shirts he had worn in the previous two films.
     
  15. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Getting back to the question of stormtrooper helmets: Ralph McQuarrie's painting of Luke in the Mos Eisley cantina, from early March 1975, actually offers an excellent look at the silver-crowned helmet of a rank-and-file stormtrooper.

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    Contrast this with his painting from later that same month, of the heroes' escape from the Alderaan prison complex, which prominently features a stormtrooper officer with a rather more skull-like helmet.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Here's Ralph McQuarrie's original pencil layout for the famous painting of Threepio and Artoo in the desert.

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    Threepio's original face and torso are clearly visible here; on the final painting, McQuarrie later redesigned them at Lucas's request.

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    Here's a McQuarrie layout for his painting of the female Luke (from between the second and third drafts) overlooking Mos Eisley. In the final painting, he chose to use a different viewpoint, so we see fem-Luke from far off, standing on a high bluff next to her landspeeder.

    This alternate angle gives us a good look at certain aspects of fem-Luke's costume: her tall boots, Flash Gordon-style headgear, and extraordinarily long laser rifle.

    Both of these sketches were exhibited in a gallery of McQuarrie's work at the SW Celebration V convention in 2010. I had the good fortune to attend that convention, and the McQuarrie exhibit was definitely the high point. I'm still proud that I signed the visitors' guestbook, which was afterwards given to McQuarrie as a token of appreciation.
     
  17. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    In these two early sketches for R2-D2, McQuarrie considered two different modes of locomotion for Artoo: movement on three legs, "like a man on crutches" in McQuarrie's words, or constant rolling movement atop a rotating ball bearing.

    [​IMG]

    McQuarrie quickly realized that the rolling ball-bearing approach was impractical, so the three-legged design for Artoo carried the day.

    Notably, McQuarrie appears to have initially intended that Artoo would walk on his three legs all the time, like the bipedal worker robots in Silent Running. However, his later, more detailed drawings of R2-D2 incorporated wheels in the droid's feet.

    [​IMG]

    As JW Rinzler notes in The Making of Star Wars, this sketch of designs for C-3PO's head indicates that--along with the Metropolis robot--one of McQuarrie's inspirations for Threepio's look was the robot Gort in the 1951 film The Day the Earth Stood Still. That's a little silhouette of Gort in the upper right corner.
     
  18. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    While looking in the recent Costumes book for additional information on the droids, I noticed a sketch by John Mollo for Leia's costume in the finale ceremony of SW 1977. By this point, I was hardly surprised to note that Mollo apparently intended a transparent top, with only a solid white cross in the shape of an X across Leia's chest to preserve some quantum of modesty.

    I never thought I'd be saying this, but suddenly Padme's outfits in AOTC look rather tame.

    The balance is redressed somewhat, however, in this early '75 Ralph McQuarrie sketch of a pirate character who ultimately became the second draft's bearded Han Solo.

    [​IMG]

    With his loincloth, bare chest, and nearly naked limbs, this proto-Han Solo could have stepped right out the pages of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom novels.

    Around the same time, McQuarrie also made a sketch of Han Solo's second-draft copilot, Montross Holdaack. This drawing too shows Montross with only a vest covering his bare torso.

    [​IMG]

    Lucas's script indicates that Montross is a cyborg; his head and right arm are his only remaining organic parts. One could hardly tell this from McQuarrie's drawing, however--which is consistent with the script, in which Montross's cybernetics are hidden under an outer layer of apparently normal flesh.

    Montross doesn't have a very important role in the second draft; by the third draft, Lucas had decided he was no longer necessary, and dropped the character altogether.
     
  19. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    In this piece of ROTJ concept art, Nilo Rodis-Jamero depicts Luke in pretty much the outfit he wears in the final film.

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    However, along with a black Jedi cloak, Rodis-Jamero proposed an alternative: a black poncho with woven details.

    [​IMG]

    This falls in line with Lucas's overall instructions for Luke's ROTJ costume, which were that it should essentially be a black version of his white outfit from SW 1977.

    One unused Rodis-Jamero concept for Luke's black shirt featured an open collar and leather shoulder pads.

    [​IMG]

    The style ultimately chosen was a simple black plastron shirt.

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    One final touch was then added: a white inner lining on the shirt, so the collar flap could be used to symbolize Luke's ultimate rejection of the dark side.

    [​IMG]

    In this latter drawing, Rodis-Jamero follows Lucas's original idea that Luke's new lightsaber would remain blue in color. For those of you who don't remember, I'll recap the whole reasons behind the change:

    During the story conferences, Lawrence Kasdan had initially proposed giving Luke a new color of lightsaber, as a means of quickly explaining to the audience that Luke had built a new weapon on his own. Lucas apparently rejected the idea, opting to stick with a blue blade (and thus a simple good/evil dichotomy of colors).

    However, as a result, the origin of Luke's new saber was very unclear. So in post-production pickups, Lucas decided to shoot a new introduction scene, showing Luke in a cave on Tatooine, where he completes his lightsaber and entrusts it to Artoo. Although similar introductory scenes of Luke on Tatooine had been present in Lucas's initial rough drafts of ROTJ, they had been dropped in Kasdan's revised scripts.

    The whole issue became moot when early rotoscoping revealed that Luke's blue lightsaber simply didn't show up against the brilliant blue Yuma sky during the sail barge battle. So Lucas finally bit the bullet and changed Luke's blade color to green--a choice which allowed him to leave the hastily-shot new opening scenes on the cutting room floor.
     
  20. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    In Ralph McQuarrie's "fantastic five" painting from April 1975, the bearded Han Solo of the second draft is wearing a tight-fitting costume covered in electronic "greeblies."

    [​IMG]

    Besides the obvious references to Flash Gordon (especially in the headgear), Han's outfit bears an overall resemblance to a caped superhero costume like that worn by Superman.

    McQuarrie also produced a detailed drawing of the outfit he designed for the female Luke (who existed between the second and third drafts).

    [​IMG]

    McQuarrie's notes on the page indicate that the base garment is a "silver mesh body stocking," overlaid with a brown leather vest.

    These extremely form-fitting costumes largely went by the wayside with the changes to the storyline that accompanied the third draft.

    Here are some McQuarrie designs for C-3PO's head, as he revised it (in line with Lucas's request to make 3PO more "robotic") for the final version of the "droids in the desert" painting from early 1975:

    [​IMG]

    The left sketch indicates that McQuarrie considered having Threepio's pinpoint eyes glow, rather like those in the final film. He ultimately opted not to use this idea, though.

    [​IMG]

    The two profile views here correspond to the full-on views of Threepio's head above (albeit in reverse order).

    However, by the time of the "fantastic five" painting in April 1975, McQuarrie had revised Threepio's face yet again--apparently in an attempt to restore some of the humanity of the Metropolis robot, while still keeping the robotic quality Lucas desired.

    [​IMG]

    In this design, Threepio has eyes that are human-shaped, but blank, like those of an unpainted Roman statue. His mouth now features a series of small vertical grilles, approximating the shape of a human set of lips.

    This is the design that appears in the color painting above.

    [​IMG]

    Early prototypes of R2-D2 were painted entirely silver, in accordance with the color scheme seen in McQuarrie's paintings.
     
  21. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Even by the time of the third draft, when McQuarrie shaved Han Solo's beard and gave him a less flamboyant outfit, he still considered the idea of putting Han in something fairly revealing.

    [​IMG]

    This sketch shows Han wearing a transparent shirt, over which is a pocketed vest.

    Han's transparent shirt appears to be modeled on the transparent cold-weather protective suits drawn by Alex Raymond in the Flash Gordon comic strip. Once again we see McQuarrie turning to vintage Flash Gordon for reference material.

    [​IMG]

    (Those hair buns look familiar...)

    [​IMG]

    The transparent shirt-and-vest combo recurs in this other McQuarrie sketch for Han's costume.

    [​IMG]

    A different McQuarrie sketch of Han Solo, originally done for the film's letterhead logo, gave him a dark sweater beneath his vest. (The completed logo in question ultimately put Luke in place of Han.)

    [​IMG]

    John Mollo's initial drawing of Han Solo's costume drew chiefly on this latter McQuarrie sketch of Han.

    Here Han is wearing a dark sweater and brown pocketed vest, blue trousers with yellow seam stripes, and brown boots.

    [​IMG]

    After getting feedback from Lucas, Mollo produced a revised drawing of Han's costume the very same day.

    This version features a simplification of the details on Han's vest and trousers. His boots have become black, and at Lucas's request, Han's trouser stripes are now red.

    Lastly, Han's shirt is now the white color it would ultimately be in all three films. In the later movies, though, Han's pants would feature the yellow seam stripes originally envisioned by Mollo for SW 1977.
     
  22. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Small update to the last post: I stumbled across this additional McQuarrie sketch of Han Solo from around the time of the third draft.

    [​IMG]

    Here too we see that McQuarrie shows Han wearing a dark sweater beneath his vest.

    In fact, the pose in this McQuarrie drawing is exactly the same as in his earlier drawing of Han Solo, which featured Han wearing a transparent shirt instead.

    [​IMG]

    It's likely that McQuarrie revised the design of Han's shirt at Lucas's request--it probably struck GL as a bit too outré.
     
  23. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    In the past I've commented that the hair colors of the principal characters in Lucas's 1974 rough draft are meant to pay homage to the heroes of other stories that he admired.

    Secondary hero Clieg Whitsun's name and blond hair are meant to evoke Flash Gordon. Princess Leia Aquilae's red hair recalls Flash's love interest and adversary, Princess Aura. And of course, Annikin Starkiller's evident black hair and blue eyes suggest Robert E. Howard's literary Conan the Barbarian. But Annikin's samurai topknot also invokes Toshiro Mifune; and the relationship he has with the red-haired Leia even mirrors the respective hair colors of Paul Atreides and Chani in Dune (a major influence on Lucas's rough draft).

    Something similar occurs in the third draft. Luke Starkiller's blond hair once again recalls Flash Gordon, now as a model for the principal hero since the influence of Dune upon the script has lessened. Han Solo's brown hair is based on Buck Rogers. Meanwhile, Leia Organa is usually depicted as a blonde, suggesting both Buck Rogers' fair-haired girlfriend Wilma Deering, and the blonde Dale Arden from the first Flash Gordon serial of 1936.

    In other concept art from the third-draft period, Leia has black hair, which fits into this pattern as well. Dale Arden in Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon comic strip had black hair; and Lucas also considered having Leia physically resemble the Japanese Princess Yuki from Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress, just as he hoped to get Toshiro Mifune to play Ben Kenobi.

    Lucas told John Mollo that he wanted to base Leia's white dress on the wardrobe of famous platinum blonde Jean Harlow. But of course the idea of putting Leia in just a loincloth during the Death Star escape was meant to suggest Tarzan, who in Edgar Rice Burroughs' books had black hair and grey eyes. (Funnily enough, Burroughs' literary Jane Porter had blonde hair and blue eyes. Given Leia's overall competence, does that make Luke the damsel in distress?)

    Additionally, if Lucas had gone through with his initial idea to give Leia a bruise makeup modeled on the look of Prince Corin in The Horse and His Boy, Leia might even have wound up with a replacement silver tooth at the end of the film. Rather like the silver tooth sported by Tuco Ramirez in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, who of course is partnered with Clint Eastwood's poncho-wearing "Blondie."

    In fact, Luke's Flash Gordon-inspired blond hair first shows up in concept art for the second draft; when Luke briefly became a girl, the hair color carried over. Han Solo's own hair color at this time (blond, with a red beard) reflects his status as the female Luke's soul mate: alike, and yet different. Han's beard, however, was undoubtedly inspired by Lucas's filmmaking mentor Francis Ford Coppola, just as Luke's own name alludes to Lucas himself.

    It's also worth remembering that in the second-draft script, the bearded mentor figure of General Skywalker/Ben Kenobi was merged with Luke Starkiller's father, who doesn't show up until the third act of the film. So various other characters, including Han, had to take over the role of mentor, with questionable success. Thus, Han received a beard, only to promptly lose it once Ben Kenobi came back into the story in the next draft.
     
  24. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    A notable occurrence of someone losing a tooth as a result of an interrogation occurs in one of Lucas's favorite SF novels: Frank Herbert's Dune.

    Before the reluctant traitor Dr. Yueh hands Duke Leto Atreides over to his mortal enemy Baron Harkonnen, he removes one of the Duke's teeth and replaces it with a filling that actually hides a vial of poison gas. Duke Leto is to use this poison tooth to give himself a merciful quick death, while also assassinating the Baron and his entourage. In the end, although Leto succeeds in killing the Baron's Mentat, Piter de Vries, Baron Harkonnen himself escapes being slain by Yueh's poison.

    Like the literary Tarzan, Duke Leto in Dune has black hair and grey eyes--a pretty standard description of numerous pulp heroes from early 20th century works.

    ---

    It occurred to me that there's likely another major influence on Leia's white gown from SW 1977: namely, Peter O'Toole's white desert robes in David Lean's 1962 epic film Lawrence of Arabia.

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    With his long white robes, shining blond hair, and white keffiyeh hood, O'Toole as TE Lawrence is a dead ringer for the blonde Princess Leia of Ralph McQuarrie's concept art.

    [​IMG]

    The connection probably runs deeper than surface visuals.

    ---

    In Lean's film, Lawrence is captured in Daraa while in disguise as an Arab. The Turkish Bey in charge of Daraa, seeing through his disguise, identifies Lawrence as a European. When stripped of his robes (in a scene that strongly suggests sexual harassment), Lawrence lashes out and attacks the Bey, and is flogged on the back as punishment. What Lean's film implies, but never directly states, goes even further: the Bey rapes Lawrence off-screen. This subtext in the film is based upon what actually happened to Lawrence in real life.

    As the film continues, Lawrence is finally released from the Turkish garrison, and is rescued by his faithful companion Ali. Lawrence, however, is left traumatized, and he attempts to return to his old life with the British Army. He is forced to borrow a uniform in order to return to work--and promptly bleeds into it, from the half-healed whip-wounds on his back, when he becomes angry during an interview with his commander.

    Leia, of course, is captured by Imperial forces--and, as initially envisioned, was to be stripped to a loincloth during her interrogation. Lucas's third draft specifies that Leia is "bloody and mutilated" when Luke and Han rescue her. It's quite possible that she was originally going to have whip scars on her back, like Lawrence--and even perhaps end up bleeding into the white desert cloak she would borrow from Luke.

    ---

    One disturbing scene in the third draft shows Vader and two Imperial officers emerging from Leia's cell, where the Princess is glimpsed lying unconscious on a table. Precisely what has just happened is never specified. It may be, however, that Lucas intended here to suggest sexual assault, much as with Leia Aquilae's capture by trappers in the 1974 rough draft.

    (Lucas may have intended to replace the two Imperial officers in the scene in question with two Sith Lords: later in the same draft, one Sith Lord says to another, "They're calling for us again on the prison level." The "call" is because of the alarm generated when Luke and Han break into the prison. This line indicates that the two Sith Lords have recently been there--probably to interrogate Leia.)

    It's worth pointing out that the Darth Vader of the third draft is not yet the maimed, permanently armor-bound cyborg he would subsequently become. Although Lucas initially mentions his breath mask upon his introduction, Vader is clearly not trapped in it: when he first meets Leia aboard her captured ship, Vader uses the Force to summon a glass of water, and then drinks from it.

    In fact, it appears from John Mollo's third-draft costume sketches that all the other Sith Lords were to have similar armor. This was apparently used, like Doctor Doom's armor in Marvel's Fantastic Four comics, to hide their deformed faces, which Lucas already envisioned with withered pale skin and yellow eyes straight out of The Exorcist. It is instead Ben Kenobi, who is shown to have a prosthetic right arm, who is the third draft's principal cyborg.

    Only in the fourth draft does Vader, now the sole Sith Lord in the movie, become a grievously injured cyborg trapped in life-support armor. This is shown by his treatment of the same water glass, seen in his confrontation with the admirals on the Death Star: rather than drink from the cup, he casually crushes it with a thought, to display his mastery of the Force.

    All of which is to say, it's quite possible Lucas meant to imply that the third-draft Vader sexually abused Leia during her captivity, much as the Turkish Bey is implied to assault TE Lawrence in Lean's movie.

    During the writing of the third draft, Lucas was clearly thinking ahead to Vader's one-on-one confrontation with Luke in the sequel he already envisioned. At this time, the revelation that Vader had killed Luke's father was being saved for the climax of a subsequent SW film. It may be that Lucas thought Vader might go even further--taunting Luke not only with having killed his father, but also with the violation of his girlfriend, something that Leia would never have admitted to him. (Essentially, what the Kurgan does to Christophe Lambert in Highlander.)

    These taunts, of course, would be part of Vader's plan to get Luke to embrace the Dark Side and attack him with all his rage. In fact, Luke's use of his anger to fight Vader was a major element in their duel as presented in the Leigh Brackett script of ESB. But by the time Lawrence Kasdan came on board to replace the deceased Brackett, Lucas had decided to have Luke remain heroically calm during his first duel with Vader--and to save Luke's moment of Dark Side-fueled rage for the rematch in the third film.

    In the event, pretty much all of the disturbing undertones present in Leia's captivity in SW 1977 were dropped with the fourth draft, while Vader at the same time became permanently encumbered by his life-sustaining armor. Meanwhile, Vader's role in the death of Luke's father was introduced into the script of the first film with the revised fourth draft, by which time Lucas was beginning to doubt that he would ever get to make the sequels he wanted.

    ---

    Moving on to ROTJ: here are some early Ralph McQuarrie designs for the Emperor's Royal Guard.

    Unlike the designs by Nilo Rodis-Jamero, which used red robes, McQuarrie dressed his Royal Guard in black, with helmets evocative of Vader's own.

    [​IMG]

    This early Royal Guard design has a red dot that indicates Lucas's stamp of approval.

    [​IMG]

    Two different McQuarrie designs for Royal Guard costumes with open-faced helmets, one in black and one in gray-and-white.

    [​IMG]

    Another McQuarrie Royal Guard design, this one using a bodysuit in place of black robes.

    Ultimately, Lucas instead approved the direction taken by Nilo Rodis-Jamero, who wanted the Royal Guard to wear striking red outfits. By that point, McQuarrie had withdrawn from the film. As The Making of ROTJ notes, McQuarrie was beginning to feel out of place among the younger generation of ILM concept artists, and he knew that he was leaving the film's design in quite capable hands.

    [​IMG]

    More McQuarrie Royal Guard concepts. At least, that's what JW Rinzler claims in The Making of ROTJ.

    Promotional material for Star Wars Rebels disagrees: it instead states that these are actually early McQuarrie sketches for Darth Vader, done for SW 1977. I don't know for certain who's right--but this sure looks like the sketchy style of McQuarrie's work for SW 1977. And there's the matter of that helmet in the bottom left corner, which is quite clearly Vader's own.
     
  25. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Here's one more Ralph McQuarrie concept for the Emperor's Royal Guard in ROTJ.

    [​IMG]

    I had to manually correct the colors on this one, because my scanner didn't like the black tones and wanted to make them bright blue.

    As for the Emperor's own costume: during the ESB story conferences, Lucas told Leigh Brackett, "The Emperor is even more powerful than Vader. He's the classic devil character, a dark, hooded figure--you can't even see who he is."

    Lucas emphasized the fact that, in appearance and personality, the Emperor should be a dark mirror of Obi-Wan Kenobi: "How about if we don't see his face? He's just a hooded figure, reminiscent of Ben. In the end, the Emperor does exactly what Ben did; he can also transform himself. As Ben becomes the personification of the good side of the Force, the Emperor is the bad."

    But immediately after that, Lucas also briefly considered reverting to ideas from the first film: "Another way to treat the Emperor would be as a bureaucrat, Nixon-ian in his outlook, a Wizard of Oz type."

    At another point, Lucas said to Brackett, "Vader walks down the hall--these long, narrow, steel corridors, very gray--and he goes into a gray room. It's all steel and there at the end of the room on a throne is a gray, macabre, cold steel box and it's the Emperor." This concept implies that the Emperor is so hideously mutated by his Dark Side powers that he hides his inhuman form within a steel tank, like the monstrous Guild Navigators in their tanks of spice in the Dune novels.

    That idea would ultimately not take root: while the Emperor was indeed to be hideously warped by the Dark Side, he would remain humanoid on film. (Nevertheless, Phil Tippett in ROTJ did intend the Emperor's split cranium to suggest that he was evolving beyond human form. Tippett noted that the Emperor was "ancient, not old," and was "a Methuselah figure kept alive and intact by some unknown magic.")

    Leigh Brackett's rough-draft script for ESB describes the Emperor as "draped and hooded in cloth-of-gold." This emphasizes the power and luxury of the Emperor, and would have been eminently suitable for the preening Nixonian bureaucrat envisioned at the time of SW 1977. It brings to mind the golden robes worn by Paul Atreides as Emperor in Dune Messiah.

    Lawrence Kasdan's scripts, on the other hand, directly followed Lucas's idea about making the Emperor a dark mirror of Ben Kenobi. In Kasdan's words, "The Emperor's face cannot be seen, for it is shrouded in dark robes with a monk's hood, reminiscent of the cloak worn by old Ben Kenobi." Clad in black robes with a "monk's hood," the Emperor's nature as a perverted Force user is readily apparent here.

    The recent Costumes book notes that, for the original Emperor hologram in ESB, a dark blue robe was used. However, apparently a white robe was also considered--an anticipation of an idea that would appear repeatedly in the concept art for TPM.

    In ROTJ, Ian McDiarmid's Emperor wears a black robe, in line with the image set forth by Lucas and Kasdan in the previous film. However, Nilo Rodis-Jamero, in keeping with the Catholic symbolism that pervades his drawings of the Emperor's court, proposed dressing the Emperor in royal purple robes.

    [​IMG]

    Along with his black costume, Ian McDiarmid in ROTJ wore yellow contact lenses, to indicate his Dark Side power. For the ESB hologram, the eyes of a chimpanzee were superimposed over the old-age makeup worn by Elaine Baker.

    [​IMG]

    As alternatives to chimp eyes, ILM considered using the blue eyes with slitted pupils of a Siamese cat, or the eyes of ILM assistant accountant Laura Crockett.