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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
    Interestingly, when Lucas's third-draft script for SW 1977 refers to Imperial "officers," in many cases it actually seems to indicate the elite stormtroopers seen in Ralph McQuarrie's concept art (as opposed to the uniformed command staff, men like Motti or Piett). Thus, for instance, it is a high-ranking stormtrooper who informs Darth Vader of the failure to locate the Death Star plans.

    This point is less clear in the second draft, so it may be that Lucas took this idea from McQuarrie's concepts.

    McQuarrie did, however, draw sketches for Imperial officers wearing versions of the gray civilian tunics seen in the films.

    [​IMG]

    McQuarrie's version of the Imperial officer uniform features two silver-white stripes down the front of the gray tunic.

    Unfortunately, I've never seen a full-color version of the above drawing. The same color scheme recurs, though, in McQuarrie's painting of the Death Star elevator shafts.

    [​IMG]

    Three Imperial officers, dressed in gray, mill about in the background.

    Incidentally, this painting shows that Luke and Han have disguised themselves in the uniforms of stormtrooper officers.

    ---

    Ralph McQuarrie was evidently familiar with a wide range of pulp works from the early 20th century. His SW concept art frequently draws inspiration from Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon comics and Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom novels. As well as other stuff that proved much less enduring--McQuarrie referred to Luke and Leia's Death Star chasm swing as the "Lash LaRue scene," a reference to a 1940s star of Hollywood Westerns who is today pretty much forgotten.

    So it's quite possible that, in fact, McQuarrie's drawing of Leia and the Imperial torture robot incorporates another obscure pulp-fiction reference.

    Before Johnny Weissmuller became the definitive cinematic Tarzan, a number of other actors essayed the role in earlier movies. Here, for instance, is "Big Jim" Pierce, who got the part by virtue of being Edgar Rice Burroughs' son-in-law.

    [​IMG]

    (Pierce went on to play Prince Thun of the Lion Men in the 1936 Flash Gordon serial.)

    Nearly all of the film Tarzans before Weissmuller wore a version of the costume seen here: an animal-skin loincloth with a high strap over one shoulder. Until World War II, this one-shouldered loincloth competed with the strapless variety as the definitive Tarzan outfit in the public mind.

    The most relevant instance of this is seen with the classic 1933 film King Kong. Early concept art for Kong featured a Tarzan-type jungle woman who wore a loincloth with one shoulder strap. Eventually, once the script had been finalized, she morphed into Fay Wray's character. But the film's concept artists continued to use the same general idea for her costume. Thus was born the infamous scene where Kong tears at Ann Darrow's dress--which, in the original concepts, went farther than on screen, leaving Ann with one breast bared.

    McQuarrie's drawing of Leia in her cell uses the exact same idea: a low-cut dress, torn so as to leave one breast exposed. Evidently he suggested this as a variant on the "Tarzan-style clothing damage" idea, one which additionally referenced the making of King Kong. (Interest in the original Kong resurged in the 1970s--for instance, The Making of King Kong was published in 1975.)

    In fact, John Mollo also drew a sketch of a dress in much the same vein as what was proposed by McQuarrie. Remember this drawing?

    [​IMG]

    A pencil sketch at the top of the page shows a low-cut dress with metal breastplates affixed. Given the racy implications of Mollo's other drawings for Leia's costume, it's likely that he meant this dress to end up artfully torn, in exactly the same manner suggested in McQuarrie's sketch of Leia and the torture robot.

    As for what's under Tarzan's loincloth? Well, Johnny Weissmuller's costume featured a cloth panel between his legs, thus preserving his modesty. But Maureen O'Sullivan in Tarzan and His Mate evidently had the same problem that Carrie Fisher later complained of on ROTJ--except during O'Sullivan's swimming scenes, when she wore a special "stunt loincloth" to prevent anything naughty from being shown.

    If Lucas in late 1975 still intended to carry over the darker implications of Leia's capture and torture from the 1974 rough draft, it would have made more sense for Leia's undergarment to follow the lead of O'Sullivan's attire rather than Weissmuller's. (Otherwise it'd be implausible that she retained it at all.) But in any case, the question would have to be settled on screen--the third draft calls for Leia to be suspended upside-down in her cell when Luke and Han arrive to rescue her.

    Even on the final film, by which time the SW galaxy had been resolutely scrubbed of anything so adult as nudity, Lucas infamously instructed Carrie Fisher about proper "space underwear," which culminated in the judicious use of gaffer tape.

    (Meanwhile, Nilo Rodis-Jamero's concept designs for Slave Leia on ROTJ incorporated a Weissmuller-style modesty panel, a feature which, Fisher pointedly noted, was not present on the final outfit.)

    ---

    From characters who wear scanty attire, to ones who wear nothing at all: let's talk about Chewbacca.

    [​IMG]

    Here are some really early McQuarrie concepts for Chewbacca's face, predating his finalized paintings for the second draft. In the sketch at right the Chewbacca we know and love is all but unrecognizable.

    [​IMG]

    Another McQuarrie drawing of Chewbacca shows where he reached the bushbaby/lemur design seen in the second-draft production paintings.

    [​IMG]

    The second-draft Chewbacca in all his glory, with his bushbaby/lemur face.

    [​IMG]

    At this point, Chewbacca still wore a flak jacket and ragged shorts. Heck, he's even got shoes here.

    [​IMG]

    Lucas's directions to McQuarrie for Chewbacca's final design were infamously "inspired" by John Schoenherr's illustrations for a George RR Martin short story in the July 1975 issue of Analog magazine.

    [​IMG]

    Apparently, even after revising Chewbacca's face, McQuarrie still considered retaining the flak jacket and shorts (though evidently not the boots) from the previous design.
     
  2. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Even after the casting of Carrie Fisher as Leia, it appears the makeup department on SW 1977 kept in mind Lucas's desire to have a blonde Princess.

    [​IMG]

    Here's Fisher in a makeup test, wearing a dark blonde wig that was quickly rejected. Shades of Lena Headey on Game of Thrones.
     
  3. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    John Mollo actually based the final design of the Imperial officer uniforms not on Nazi attire, but rather on the cavalry (to be precise, the Uhlan, or light cavalry) uniforms of the Imperial German Army of World War I.

    [​IMG]

    The field-gray (Feldgrau) color was introduced in 1910; before that, the German army wore uniforms of dark blue.

    While all of the German troops in WWI wore gray tunics, the double-breasted uniform seen here was unique to the Uhlan regiments. (Many of whose officers ended up in the fledgling Luftwaffe, given the uselessness of cavalry against trenches; one such was Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron.)

    Of course, Imperial uniforms do not have any buttons. That was due to a dictate imposed by George Lucas: because the SW galaxy is, technologically speaking, in the future, no buttons or other visible fasteners of any kind should be visible on characters' clothing. This is presumably one more idea GL took from Gene Roddenberry, who issued similar instructions regarding the clothing to be worn on Star Trek. (In many cases, much to the discomfort of the actors!)

    This rule was violated on at least one occasion: in the background of the medal ceremony at the end of SW 1977, some extras are wearing vintage green US Marine uniforms with button fronts. The tunics in question date from World War I.

    Quite likely one major reason for the use of WWI uniforms in SW, as opposed to those from the Second World War, was that most uniforms from the latter conflict featured open-collar jackets and neckties. Whereas in WWI, mandarin collars were still very common; the British Army was the only major force of the war to have already adopted ties. Mandarin collars are naturally timeless, and suited for "futuristic" fashion. But nothing screams 20th century like a four-in-hand necktie.

    Additionally, note the circular cockades on the officer's cap seen here. These inspired the circular metal discs on the hats of Imperial officers. In real life, these were national symbols: one cockade featured the three colors of the Imperial German flag, and the other bore the colors of the wearer's home province. (Imperial Germany was officially a federation of kingdoms, ruled over by an Emperor who was also King of Prussia. If this reminds you of Dune, that's no coincidence.)
     
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  4. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    [​IMG]

    Although it's a bit hard to tell at such a small resolution, this additional McQuarrie thumbnail for his painting of the "Lash LaRue" chasm swing shows Leia in exactly the outfit I described above: a low-necked sleeveless dress torn so as to expose one breast. McQuarrie even drew in the one remaining metallic breastplate, a detail seen in Mollo's sketch of the same dress design in intact form.

    [​IMG]

    Here are some early sketches by Ralph McQuarrie for Ben Kenobi's wardrobe. In the sketch at right, McQuarrie has indulged his penchant for giving his more swashbuckling characters bare arms, as already seen with Han Solo.

    McQuarrie may already have known that Lucas was pursuing Alec Guinness for the role; these sketches certainly don't bring to mind Toshiro Mifune. The Ben Kenobi seen here doesn't look too much like Guinness in costume, either--but look at Guinness in real life, without his toupee, and the resemblance becomes much closer.

    [​IMG]

    Judging by the sketches above, McQuarrie was not sure whether Guinness ought to grow a beard or remain clean-shaven.

    [​IMG]

    This McQuarrie sketch shows Ben Kenobi with a bald head, a beard, and blue robes. It's quite possible that this rich-hued outfit was intended for the celebration scene at the end of the film, as it incorporates the blue and white color scheme associated with Rebel uniforms in both McQuarrie and Mollo's concept drawings.

    [​IMG]

    A later McQuarrie drawing of Ben Kenobi (labeled in Lucas's hand) bears a considerably closer likeness to the bewigged Guinness as seen on film.

    In just about all of McQuarrie's drawings of old Ben, he's wearing a Japanese kimono--an idea that came from Lucas, as McQuarrie's notes attest. Since Lucas had already described the Jedi as wearing robes in the earliest SW drafts, it's hardly surprising that Kenobi's outfit as designed by McQuarrie ended up becoming the standard Jedi uniform. Likewise, John Mollo's proposal for Kenobi to wear an outfit like Luke's own, meant as Tatooine settler garb, came to nothing.
     
  5. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn

    Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 23, 1999
    You could very well be right about the Leia-costume-damage ideas (check out the SW Insider excerpts of the story conference between Lucas and Alan Dean Foster for Splinter of the Mind's Eye for more on mutilation and violence against Leia, btw), but I don't quite see it in the McQuarrie drawings. The one of her standing, where you suggested chained pasties, looks simply like a stylized way of depicting the cloth over her chest to me (similar to other sections of the same drawing, or the hem/pants of the blue Obi-Wan drawing above). The drawing of her with the giant interrogation droid is the same way - it's sketchy enough that what looks to you like her neckline falling down also could be interpreted as vague pencilwork as McQuarrie refined his rendering. And the drawings of the chasm swing are so small and sketchy too that I can't even make out any details that might be there.

    Again, you might be right about wardrobe malfunctions for Leia. I just find it difficult to be as sure about it, based on those drawings.
     
  6. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    I see your point--with the drawings at the resolution I've posted, it's bloody difficult to make anything out.

    Nonetheless, it's at least pretty clear what's going on in the McQuarrie thumbnails of the chasm swing. The versions I've posted are from the Making of SW Kindle edition. But I also have the same book for iPad--where the image quality is rather better--as well as a book of Ralph McQuarrie drawings which reproduces the same images. I looked at all three versions simply to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. (Sadly, I'm not.)

    In most of the thumbnails, McQuarrie drew the figures as black silhouettes. However, he sketched Leia's costume in white--meaning that the black bits are where the costume isn't.

    Likewise, the torture droid drawing is much clearer in the higher-resolution versions I've seen elsewhere. And I've posted at least one John Mollo drawing where he simply drew one layer of Leia's wardrobe over the other, so McQuarrie doing the same seems plausible.

    I know this is quite an odd idea for family-friendly SW--that's why I've been trying to substantiate the case, because otherwise I wouldn't believe it myself. But something along these lines was definitely indicated in the 1974 rough draft, and it seems Lucas thought about returning to that idea. At this stage, he still leaned more toward THX 1138 than The Phantom Menace.

    BTW, a big thank you for pointing me to the SW Insider transcript of the Lucas/Foster story conferences. Some standout bits in there--Lucas considering simply killing Leia off?! And then the part about her getting injured in the fight against Vader--it's actually Foster who suggests that Luke ought to heal her with the Kiber Crystal, so presumably Lucas was on board with Leia remaining scarred. (That explains where the rough draft of Willow came from.)

    Of course, the SW third-draft script from 1975 says that Leia is beaten up... but unlike the wardrobe malfunction, I haven't yet seen any concept art that says this was actually going to happen.
     
  7. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn

    Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 23, 1999
    Oh, it's certainly plausible/possible for SW to have incorporated some of these 'more adult' themes and imagery (if I recall, one version of SW had Annikin, what, in a closet with a girl, and/or slapping her on the butt later in the scene?). I'm just not sure about what the McQuarrie or Mollo imagery shows. For example:

    [​IMG]

    This image that you posted has some sketchy lines across Leia's chest, which seem to be describing the texture of the cloth. The other (more finished) drawing you also posted could, to my eyes, simply be doing the same thing with a different texture of cloth. I find it difficult to tell.

    This image:

    [​IMG]

    ... does seem like it might depict Leia in Ripleyesque underwear. But the texture of her shirt may or may not connote anything about its translucence, etc; these drawings of Vader's helmet have similarly 'corrugated' shading:

    [​IMG]

    And this one is so impressionistic:

    [​IMG]

    The joint between the wall and floor is sketched right through Leia's leg/hip, and the soft outline of her torso shows through her forearm, etc. I personally can't put too much on this drawing in terms of trying to figure out what Leia is wearing; there is virtually no detail or shading, and the overall style is very vague.

    The chasm ones, I'll go back and look at, but the linework is so sketchy that I really can't tell.

    It certainly does seem to be something that was on Lucas's mind, as a theme. So you could be right with your speculations, again. I just can't personally be too sure because of the concept art that we've seen so far (though perhaps there is more? - you certainly have done more research on this sort of thing than anyone else I can think of).

    Ugh, it would be so great to get more of those sort of notes and story meetings to read through. I wonder how much of that stuff exists (for any of the films/books/projects) and hasn't yet been released.
     
  8. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    In retrospect, I agree I've probably missed the mark in some particular points of interpretation. For example, I was probably wrong in my description of the outfit seen in McQuarrie's drawing of Luke and Leia together--you're quite right about the shading techniques there. You're likely also right about the other McQuarrie drawing of Leia in a sleeveless gown.

    But I still think the overall idea is pretty much inarguable. In the clearest and most zoomed-in of McQuarrie's thumbnails for the chasm swing, we can actually see that Leia is holding a gun in her left arm, and covering up her bare chest with her right.

    And in the same sketch, Leia appears to be wearing a loincloth--which goes hand-in-hand with John Mollo's description of a "Tarzan-like" outfit (an extremely weird phrase, frankly, if it describes anything short of partial nudity). The other thumbnails are indeed much harder to interpret, but when decipherable they seem to share these details.

    Likewise, in the print version of The Making of ESB the drawing of Leia and the torture robot is the book's full-page frontispiece--so it's pretty clear that Leia is having a King Kong moment. There's even a nipple quite plainly defined in profile. (One wonders how that escaped the Lucasfilm editors.)

    This idea didn't come out of the blue--the 1974 rough draft implies that Leia Aquilae is running around bare-breasted during the third act. (Alongside the nudity, other visuals in the rough draft borrow heavily from THX 1138, such as stark white Imperial corridors and black-armored stormtroopers.) Given how sanitized SW has since become, it's highly unlikely Rinzler would call attention to this openly in the Making Of books.
     
  9. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

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    Feb 27, 2007
    Also, small side note of trivia: the scene in the 1974 rough draft with Annikin and a girl in a closet comes straight from Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, where the peasant girl Shino leads her lover, the youngest samurai Katsushiro, into a deserted farmhouse to have sex on the night before the big final battle. The pair are from two different social classes, so (as the film's ending implies) it's likely they're ultimately doomed not to end up together.
     
  10. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    It's worth noting that all the early McQuarrie and Mollo concept art of Luke Starkiller, where he's wearing an outfit with a vest and an ear-flap hat, also gives him short blond hair in the style of Flash Gordon:

    [​IMG]

    This concurs with the description of Luke in the third draft, which mentions "short hair."

    However, when McQuarrie and Mollo settled on the all-white outfit seen in the final film, they changed Luke's hairstyle to a longer bowl cut. Rather like the ubiquitous Russian peasant hairstyle in Sergei Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky. This is reflected in the description of Luke in the revised fourth draft--by which point Mark Hamill had been cast--which mentions Luke's "shaggy hair."

    The January 1976 fourth draft took a detour, however, by describing Luke with "curly hair" (and also as 22 years old, versus just 20 in the third and revised-fourth drafts). This is presumably because, when Lucas wrote that particular text, he'd initially had in mind for the part of Luke Skywalker another actor--Will Seltzer, who was Jewish and slightly older than Hamill, with curly brown hair. Hamill came to a later casting session than Seltzer did, and ended up with the part. Lucas later cast Seltzer in More American Graffiti as a new character to replace Richard Dreyfuss, who declined to reprise his role from the first movie.

    Neither McQuarrie nor Mollo ever drew Luke to resemble Will Seltzer, though--he remains resolutely blond on paper. Which probably was an important factor in Hamill's casting.

    In the third draft and beyond, Leia's appearance is never described in the script, except for her age (16, up from 14 in the rough draft). Consequently the film's concept art shows her with several different looks: short hair and long, blonde hair and black. What none of the concept art shows is the famous cinnamon-bun hairstyle, which was quite obviously derived from the character of Queen Fria in Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon strip. (Fria makes it even more extreme, with an additional third bun in back.)

    [​IMG]

    Leia Aquilae's hairstyle in the rough draft, on the other hand, seems to have featured two long braids (of red hair) worn hanging down in front of her ears, like what the heroine Kriemhild sports in Fritz Lang's Die Nibelungen.

    [​IMG]

    Lucas even considered casting Leia as a Japanese-American, along with Toshiro Mifune as Ben Kenobi (echoing the characters of the princess and the general from The Hidden Fortress). In that case, Lucas also thought he should cast an African-American actor as Han Solo. He even had actor Glynn Turman in mind as a good candidate.

    The idea of Han being black seems to have come from Leigh Brackett's stories about Eric John Stark, a rogue and interplanetary wanderer who happens to be black. (It being the 1940s, that fact never made its way onto the covers of the pulps in which her stories were published.) Ultimately this impulse gave rise to the creation of Lando Calrissian.

    BTW, Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, you might want to check your inbox for a PM.
     
  11. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

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    Feb 27, 2007
    Having just watched the 1940 version of The Thief of Bagdad on TCM--screened in the wake of the featurette documentary starring GL, and also name-checked in the documentary itself--I noticed that the costumes in the movie appear to have had some significant influence on the wardrobe designs for SW 1977.

    The film's villain is the vizier Jaffar, played by Conrad Veidt (most famous as Major Strasser in Casablanca, and also as the title character in The Man Who Laughs). Here he is, in his typical all-black robes:

    [​IMG]

    In the film's in medias res opening, he's shown wearing a red turban.

    [​IMG]

    In fact, when he's first seen on screen, Veidt's character is wearing the turban's lower portion drawn up over his nose and mouth, giving him a striking air of mystery and menace.

    This may be precisely the effect Lucas had in mind when he first described Darth Vader to Ralph McQuarrie:
    In these descriptions, it seems Lucas wanted something very like the rear portion of Vader's helmet in the final film--i.e., something similar to a Japanese kabuto or a German Stahlhelm--but with an easily removable silk scarf over the face, which his helmet would leave open. It was McQuarrie who, reasoning that Vader's entrance in the second-draft script called for a spacesuit, designed the iconic full-face mask we know today.

    Additionally, the costume for the film's heroine, the daughter of the Sultan of Basra, is notable:

    [​IMG]

    In particular, the pants seen here--with that same unusual upward-pointed tall belt--recur on Princess Leia in a McQuarrie thumbnail of the chasm swing on the Death Star. (I'd show it to you, but it's unfortunately exclusive to the iPad version of The Making of SW, and I don't have a Mac to upload it with.)

    In the same McQuarrie drawing, Leia is evidently wearing a strapless bikini top. Given Leia's extreme state of undress in McQuarrie's other thumbnail sketches of this scene, it's quite possible that this bikini top is in fact a variant of the transparent bikini-like shirt proposed in a John Mollo costume sketch. (In the Thief of Bagdad costume seen above, the Princess's white pants are transparent, though nothing indecent is seen.)

    At one point the hero in The Thief of Bagdad, Prince Ahmad, is temporarily blinded and becomes a wandering beggar. During these scenes he wears a long white hooded cloak--with a white tassel at the point of the hood, a detail that appears in Mollo's sketches for the hooded robes worn by Luke Starkiller and Ben Kenobi.

    Although Ahmad starts out wearing fabulous clothing (naturally, being royalty), by the film's climax he's clad only in a tattered pair of pants that barely reach his knees. Of course he's dressed sumptuously again in the very end.

    Ahmad's friend and companion, the boy thief Abu, is something of a Han Solo figure. While Ahmad marries the Princess and settles down to rule Baghdad, Abu rebels against Ahmad's plan to send him to the region's best tutors for schooling. Instead, Abu heads off into the sunset on a flying carpet, seeking "fun and adventure," as he puts it. One suspects this was what GL originally had in mind for Han Solo in the end of the SW trilogy, back when Luke and Leia were still supposed to end up together romantically.
     
  12. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

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    Feb 27, 2007
    The 1940 Thief of Bagdad also features several scenes in the first act where Prince Ahmad is in disguise as an ordinary peasant. In this guise he wears a sleeveless vest and long trousers. (Unsurprisingly, Disney's Aladdin stole quite a lot from this movie.)

    [​IMG]

    (Ahmad's the one on the left.)

    This outfit may have influenced Ralph McQuarrie's designs for Han Solo's costume, namely in the drawings where Han wears a vest over a transparent shirt.
     
  13. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

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    Feb 27, 2007
    In the same McQuarrie thumbnail of the chasm swing I mentioned above (the one with Leia in a bikini top and long pants), she also appears to be wearing a vambrace of sorts on her left forearm. Conrad Veidt's Jaffar wears similar metal vambraces on both forearms in the 1940 Thief of Bagdad.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

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    Feb 27, 2007
    At the risk of engaging in some minor spoilers:

    In light of recent events, I feel obligated to point out once again that Ralph McQuarrie's original concept for R2-D2 involved our favorite astromech droid rolling around on an oversized ball bearing.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Seagoat

    Seagoat PT and Music Section Detective Potato star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 25, 2013
    It looks like the ball under Ball-Droid isn't actually attached to it though, so it's just sort of a.... decapitated tiny astromech on a ball, whereas that artwork clearly shows the ball as part of Artoo. Still, cannot help but wonder if influence was taken. I love when SW takes elements from the original concepts and resurrects them
     
  16. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

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    Feb 27, 2007
    I'm currently catching up on recent back issues of Star Wars Insider--the magazine has really gotten good again since the Disney takeover.

    Relevant to this thread: Insider issue 148 has an interview with Alex Tavoularis, storyboard artist on SW 1977. Included in the interview is a Tavoularis headshot sketch for "Luke @ Alderaan"--actually the female Luke from between the second and third drafts of 1975, at a point when "Alderaan" was the name of an Imperial prison planet (later merged with the Death Star). Tavoularis's handwritten caption confirms that the female Luke never had a name of her own.

    Worth noting is that, much like his later drawings of Princess Leia from the third draft, Tavoularis's fem-Luke has dark hair and light eyes. This stands in contrast to Ralph McQuarrie's drawings of the same character as a blonde.

    The idea of giving the film's hero dark hair and blue eyes appears to date back to the 1974 rough draft, where that's apparently the look Lucas had in mind for Annikin Starkiller.

    Annikin wore his hair in a samurai topknot like that sported by Toshiro Mifune in Kurosawa films. So presumably Annikin's hair was dark in color--however, his brother Deak was blond. And of course, as Lucas's notes for TPM show, he always had a preference for blue-eyed heroes: after all, when the General Skywalker/Ben Kenobi character briefly merged with Luke's father in the 1975 second draft, he acquired blue eyes which disappeared again in later drafts when the merger was undone.

    (Meanwhile, Clieg Whitsun, the 1974 rough-draft script's Han Solo figure, was blond like Flash Gordon.)

    Tavoularis's female Luke wears a breath mask of some sort. This detail also shows up in the four surviving storyboards from the same period of fem-Luke in April 1975 or so, which are included in the OT Storyboards book. It's likely that GL proposed this costume choice because Alderaan was a Bespin-type gaseous planet, presumably with a thin atmosphere.

    In the early drafts, GL seems to have had a thing for putting his heroes in masks: Annikin Starkiller wears a breath mask on the desolate fourth moon of Utapau in the opening of the rough draft, and Deak Starkiller wears one too aboard the crippled spaceship of the second draft's early scenes. The villains they fought too wore masks--a nameless Sith whom Annikin fights on Utapau, and, of course, Darth Vader.

    GL seems to have had in mind in particular the image of two masked warriors dueling with laser swords, like some fantastic outer-space version of armored samurai. I wonder therefore if fem-Luke would have ended up wielding a lightsaber--something not suggested in any of Ralph McQuarrie's key art, where she holds a blaster and it's Han Solo wielding the sword.
     
  17. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2009

    I don't suppose there's any commentary from Tavoularis about the 'female Luke' - it's become one of those misguided pieces of pop trivia that "Luke Skywalker was originally meant to be a girl!" - but apart from the handful of concept drawings, there's no evidence that the idea ever made its way into an actual storyline, not even a rough outline. It just seems to be something that the artists were enthusiastic enough to run with between drafts two and three, but GL himself never took seriously.

    (I've even got the action figure, dubbed ambiguously enough as 'Starkiller Hero' - which at least isn't as misleading as the other McQuarrie Collection figure called 'Luke Skywalker' which is actually based on a drawing of Deak Starkiller)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  18. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

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    Feb 27, 2007
    Actually, as best I can tell, the idea of making Luke into a girl does seem to be something Lucas himself took seriously, if only briefly.

    When he wrote the second draft, as his notes reveal, he initially intended to have Leia be a major character, as she is in the rough draft. "Leia: tomboy, bright, tough, really soft and afraid; loves Luke but not admitting it." She and Luke Starkiller were to share seven "crucial scenes," and like in the rough draft, she'd be crowned queen at the end. But he didn't manage to work any of that in, and as a result the second draft has no notable female characters.

    Lucas knew this was a problem, since he didn't want his movie to be a sausage fest. Initially he thought about fixing it by making the second draft's Luke Starkiller into a girl--a simple solution that would require minimal rewriting (always a priority with George!). But then of course the obvious thing occurred to him, and he simply replaced Luke's brother Deak with Leia instead.

    To quote the man himself, from The Making of SW:
    I'm sure you're right, though, in that Lucas vastly preferred to write Leia in the role she has from the third draft onward, while keeping a male protagonist. There's a reason the film's hero is named "Luke S.," after all. Female Luke was just a stopgap solution to the problems inherent in a particular draft of the script for SW 1977.
     
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  19. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Interestingly, both Ralph McQuarrie and Alex Tavoularis based their designs for the third draft's Princess Leia Organa on what they'd come up with for the female Luke between the second and third drafts. So McQuarrie's Leia is blonde with a bowl cut, and Tavoularis's Leia has dark hair and, usually, blue eyes. Lucas does seem to have wanted Luke and Leia to look nearly identical, to indicate their status as romantic pairs and soul mates--one soul divided between two bodies.

    So when Lucas says nowadays that he came up with the idea of Luke and Leia being siblings back in 1975, there is indeed "a certain point of view" from which that is true. The connection wasn't yet biological, though, but rather spiritual. They were still meant to get together in the end.
     
  20. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Looking at the origins of Willow has made me realize that GL was apparently a big fan of New Wave SF author Michael Moorcock. I hadn't remarked this influence before, mainly because I myself haven't read any of his books--something I clearly must now remedy.

    Moorcock began publishing prolifically in the late 1960s, churning out several series of fantasy novels over the course of the next 15 years or so. In other words, his works were perfectly timed to be an influence on the genesis of SW.

    A few things I've been able to learn already stand out as possibly relevant.

    For instance, Moorcock wrote a trilogy called Kane of Old Mars, basically a pastiche of Edgar Rice Burroughs' venerable John Carter series. Naturally, the story revolves around an Earthling hero who is transported to Mars and falls in love with a Princess there.

    As on Burroughs' Barsoom, the Martians are quite human in appearance, and they consider clothing to be unnecessary. However, Moorcock's Martians come in all human skin tones, and his Princess has golden hair--whereas Burroughs' Martians were (mostly) "Red Martians," whose unclad status indicated their likeness to the Native Americans of Earth. (Burroughs did actually have other races of Barsoomians, but his White Martians were uniformly evil.)

    Another Moorcock fantasy series is The History of the Runestaff, a story of a far-future Earth dominated by the despotic and aggressive Dark Empire of Granbretan. The protagonist, Lord Dorian Hawkmoon, fights against the colonialist expansion of this evil Empire. Hawkmoon is in fact a German exile, driven out of his homeland after its conquest by the armies of Granbretan--rather like the fugitive Princess Leia Aquilae in the 1974 rough draft of SW.

    Most relevant here is that Granbretan is ruled by the King-Emperor Huon, an ancient figure who is kept alive perpetually by living inside a metallic black sphere, filled with life-sustaining fluid, within his palace in Londra. This sphere is in the middle of Huon's great hall, and is actually referred to as the "Throne Globe."

    As I said earlier in the thread, GL considered stealing this idea, pretty much outright, during his brainstorming sessions for ESB with Leigh Brackett: he suggested a scene where "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."

    A curious trait of the world of the Runestaff is that all the citizens of Granbretan wear ornate masks as a standard feature of their clothing; in fact, they feel naked without them. This may go some way to explaining GL's fixation with masks in the early drafts of SW 1977.
     
  21. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    I've been thinking lately about the influence of Norse mythology on the world of SW (which was present right from the get-go--after all, Anakin's lightsaber, which Luke inherits, is basically a fantasy version of the broken sword inherited by Siegfried).

    In the 1975 third draft of the first SW film, while Darth Vader isn't yet explicitly a cyborg, Ben Kenobi is. In fact, he's got a prosthetic right arm which outwardly appears normal and flesh-covered: an exact anticipation of Luke Skywalker's prosthesis from ESB. And, as Ben Kenobi is a Merlin figure of sorts, he presumably represented the ultimate wisdom which Luke would eventually attain himself.

    So it's quite possible that GL was already considering having Luke lose an arm in a future installment--in a cycle of history repeating itself. If so, the probable origin of this motif lies with the Norse god of war, Tyr, who in mythology sacrificed his right hand to bind the deadly wolf Fenrir.

    According to legend, the Norse gods knew that Fenrir would ultimately bring about Ragnarok. So the gods came up with a strategem to contain this wolf. They asked Fenrir if he would agree to let them bind him with ropes, and release him afterward. Fenrir agreed, but only on the condition that one of the gods must put his hand in the wolf's mouth. Tyr volunteered. But of course, once Fenrir was bound, the gods refused to release him. Tyr paid for their deceit with his right hand, bitten off by the wolf.

    (Although one of Lucas's favorite authors, JRR Tolkien, included his own take on this legend in the tale of Beren and Luthien in The Silmarillion, that book wasn't published until 1977--so it couldn't have been an influence on the first SW film.)

    Thus Luke was meant to end up resembling Tyr, the one-handed Norse god of war, by implication possibly as early as the 1975 third draft. But at that time, Luke and Leia were still visually identical, with blond hair and blue eyes. (They may even have been incestuous half-siblings, like Siegfried's parents in Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle--but that's a topic for the In-Depth thread.)

    So would the golden-haired Leia of 1975 have ended up with her own injuries derived from Norse mythology? Quite possibly, yes.

    I mentioned earlier that GL considered having Leia appear bloody and bruised after her torture on Alderaan in the third draft. The injuries in question likely derive from CS Lewis' Narnia novel The Horse and His Boy.

    In that book, Prince Corin, the hero's golden-haired identical twin brother, is first introduced with a nasty black eye and a missing tooth after a street scuffle. (As with Luke and Leia, the book's protagonist, Shasta, only finds out much later that the two are siblings.) Meanwhile, the heroine Aravis has her back badly clawed by a lion: really Aslan in disguise, dealing out just retribution for a whipping suffered by Aravis' servant girl when her mistress ran away from home. The black eye, missing tooth, and scarred back are all likely to have shown up on the "bloody and mutilated" third-draft Leia of 1975.

    But how do we connect this to Norse mythology? Simple: while Luke would resemble Tyr, the action-oriented god of war, Leia would probably resemble Odin, the one-eyed Norse god of wisdom.

    As such, Leia's injured eye from her torture on Alderaan might actually need replacing--meaning that in the finale, she'd be seen with one prosthetic eye. Because Leia was at this time conceived as blond and blue-eyed, her new eye would likely have to be a color other than blue. Most probably, GL would've taken inspiration once again from Frank Herbert. In Dune Messiah, the resurrected clone of Duncan Idaho is given metallic silver eyes, pupil-less and faceted like an insect's, by the Tleilaxu who recreated him.

    So Leia might have ended up with one entirely silver eye, without pupil or white (as well as, probably, a new silver tooth). Silver is, after all, equivalent to white--the color of goodness (and symbolic divinity) in the SW universe.

    In fact, the use of silver eyes as an indicator of godhood had already appeared in one of GL's favorite TV shows: Star Trek.

    In the series' second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before," two Enterprise crewmen--Kirk's old friend, Gary Mitchell, and psychologist Elizabeth Dehner--are blasted with mysterious radiation at the edge of the galaxy, which gives the pair godlike powers. The rush of absolute power goes to Mitchell's head, and he turns murderously evil. Dehner, too, is briefly tempted by this power, but she ultimately sacrifices herself so that Kirk can kill Mitchell.

    To indicate the godlike abilities acquired by Mitchell and Dehner, the two actors wore silver scleral contact lenses, covering the entire eyeball:

    [​IMG]

    This certainly seems like the sort of visual motif GL would've appreciated. (Note too Dehner's hair color--blonde, like Luke Starkiller and the Leia of 1975).

    Obviously, this idea would make Luke and Leia not only visually twins (with their shared golden hair), but also symbolically gods: Luke, the man of action with his prosthetic right hand, and Leia, the wise leader of the Rebellion, with one eye. As I noted above, this mirrors exactly the respective injuries of their Norse counterparts, Tyr and Odin.

    I can't say for certain whether all this was indeed in GL's mind back in 1975--but, given the numerous connections to Norse myth in the SW saga, I think it's quite possible that it was. Not for nothing was Chuiee Two Thorpe's old starship named the Balmung (after Siegfried's sword in the medieval Nibelungenlied) as far back as the 1973 Journal of the Whills outline.
     
  22. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    I just remembered that, in the first novel of EE "Doc" Smith's Lensman series, Triplanetary, there's a prologue (added by Smith when he retconned a pre-existing story into the Lensman saga) which sets up the galactic cold war between the Arisians and Eddorians over the future of intelligent life.

    In one of the introductory vignettes, one of the characters is Kinnexa of Norheim, a distant ancestor of eventual series protagonist Kimball Kinnison. Kinnexa lives at the time of ancient Atlantis--a society so technologically advanced that its soldiers wield ray-guns and fly jet-cars. The final destruction of Atlantis comes about in a nuclear apocalypse.

    The beautiful blonde Kinnexa, a spy in Norheim's secret service, lost a tooth in the course of an earlier adventure. The gold wire-work of her replacement dental bridge is visible enough to be used as a distinguishing mark by a friendly spy to verify her identity. (Though Kinnexa, like the Leia of 1975, is blonde, her descendant Kimball Kinnison has brown hair and grey eyes.)

    ---

    Actually, if GL did consider giving the physically identical Luke and Leia of 1975 a matching set of injuries from Norse mythology, he probably wouldn't have given Leia a silver prosthetic eye. Instead, the eye would likely have been gold in color--the same color as Luke's nakedly mechanical prosthetic arm in Lawrence Kasdan's third-draft script of ESB. Gold, like silver, is a color which indicates symbolic divinity.

    (If Leia had to replace a tooth, then, her new one would probably still be silver--like the chrome teeth of one-eyed protagonist Winslow Leach in Brian De Palma's 1974 film Phantom of the Paradise.)

    Additionally, by giving the blonde, blue-eyed Leia one golden robotic eye, GL would have made another allusion to Metropolis:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In Fritz Lang's 1927 film, the virginal heroine Maria has the blonde hair and blue eyes traditionally associated with innocence and purity. Her counterpart, the robotic False Maria, has the unblinking eyes of an emotionless, metallic face. Once in Maria's shape, though, the Robot uses her seductive beauty to create chaos: in one memorable scene, she dances bare-breasted in a nightclub, inciting the upper-class citizens of Metropolis into a frenzy.

    The pair respectively embody the Freudian Madonna-Whore dichotomy, a motif Lucas had wanted to use for his heroine as far back as the 1974 rough draft. (In the rough draft, Leia Aquilae evidently starts out in the white nun's habit later worn by Carrie Fisher, but by the end it's so tattered as to effectively be a loincloth--recalling the dance attire of the False Maria in Lang's film.)

    Here again, Leia's possible appearance in the film's ending, with mismatched eyes of blue and gold, would embody the two sides of Freudian femininity in a manner filtered through the prism of Metropolis.

    Although the Maria robot appears silver on black-and-white film, it was actually painted a metallic bronze on set. This detail is something GL deliberately appropriated for C-3PO, who is described as "bronze" in hue from the 1975 second draft onward. In the third draft of ESB, moreover, Luke's golden robotic arm is explicitly said to resemble Threepio's metal skin--making it likely that any prosthesis given to Leia would be of the same hue.

    PS: All this Metropolis symbolism makes me wonder if GL ever considered, back in 1975, having Luke's hair turn suddenly white once he had successfully overcome the lure of the Dark Side, in the eventual finale of the SW trilogy. (As The Making of SW reveals, GL didn't really start planning for more than three movies--and maybe one prequel--until after the smash hit success of the first film in 1977.)

    In Metropolis, the dark hair of the once cold-hearted Master of Metropolis, Joh Fredersen, instantaneously turns stark white in the finale, as he watches in terror while his noble son Freder battles the evil scientist Rotwang atop a cathedral roof. Fredersen's new white hair, born out of his love for his son, serves as a symbol of his moral redemption, and therefore the restoration of justice to the citizens of Metropolis once Rotwang's evil is defeated.

    If so, Luke and Leia might ultimately have come to resemble Celeborn and Galadriel, the wise King and Queen of the Elves of Lothlorien in The Lord of the Rings. While Galadriel has golden hair, her husband Celeborn's hair is silver. Lothlorien is, of course, one of Tolkien's own variations on the Arthurian legend of the Isle of Avalon, the enchanted isle of Faerie where death has no hold.
     
  23. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    The idea of Leia losing a tooth during her torture on Alderaan, in the 1975 third draft, quite possibly would've been intended to mirror a minor facial injury to be suffered by Luke during a later film.

    No doubt this would have taken the form of a dueling scar of some sort. This would give the more mature Luke of the subsequent films a certain ruggedly handsome aspect, like that conferred on Harrison Ford by his iconic chin scar. (Ian Fleming's literary James Bond also has a very masculine vertical scar on his right cheek.)

    In fact, GL's early story notes for ESB from 1977 show that he considered using Mark Hamill's car accident as the catalyst for introducing this idea: "Luke crash in beginning--scar on face." In the final film, Luke's facial scars from his Wampa encounter are largely temporary, and are very easily healed by bacta (applied to a gauze half-mask, as featured in a deleted scene).

    The idea of the rugged dueling scar was ultimately used for Anakin in ROTS, who also received the golden droid-like prosthetic arm originally meant for Luke. Spinoff material from the prequel era states that Anakin got his facial scar in a lightsaber duel with Asajj Ventress.
     
  24. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    I was watching a video on YouTube and noticed something striking in a clip from the SW prequels.

    In AOTC, when Padme travels to Naboo with Anakin, she wears a semicircular metallic headdress.

    [​IMG]

    This is the point in the film at which she first begins to fall in love with Anakin, a sentiment which ultimately seals her doom.

    Padme's costume here is a harbinger of her eventual fate -- because her headdress is actually yet another allusion to the outfit of the False Maria/Whore of Babylon in Metropolis, in the scene where she dances lasciviously in the nightclub of Yoshiwara.

    [​IMG]

    It seems this image was never really all that far from GL's mind, even in the family-friendly version of SW as it stands now.
     
  25. thejeditraitor

    thejeditraitor Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 19, 2003