A design for life

Early McQuarrie design

Ralph McQuarrie.

Doug Chiang.

These are just two of my favourite Star Wars people.

To paraphrase Maz Kanata, "Who are they?"

They are two of the biggest visual influences on Star Wars. Ralph McQuarrie was the original concept design artist who translated the ideas George had in his brain by way of paint to paper. Doug Chiang was the lead artist for the prequels are carried over into Rogue One and the Force Awakens.

And boy, between them and about probably 1000 other artists, many a conceptual drawing has been made before even a foot of film is shot or recorded in any Star Wars movie. Indeed, word has it that the U-Wing in Rogue One went through 781 different drawings and iterations before the final design proof was approved to get things into production. 781!

The brief of a concept designer is simple. Take the ideas the director and script have and turn them into something visual.

Something that can be built.

Something that can be sewn and worn.

Something that can be rendered to binary code and projected across the stars.

Something, something Star Wars.

Easy eh?

Here's many many pages of concept art that have been designed by Chiang, McQuarrie and a host of others that have been given the famous 'OK' by George Lucas.

Original Trilogy concept art

ANH was the movie that started it all. Sure it was standing on the shoulders of giants such as Kubrick and that guy the directed Forbidden Planet but no one had ever envisaged science fiction in space like George Lucas,

Prequel films concept designs

Sequel Trilogy movie conceptual artwork

Kind of like how Mortal Engines keeps rolling on, so do the Star Wars movies. Here's some concept designs from a movie that was 40 years in the makin
jyn rescue rogue one art

Rogue One 

Given Rogue One's director, Gareth Edwards was known for making is own special effects for his first movie, the expectations about the quality of the look of Rogue One and how it ties into the feel of A New Hope were huge. Edwards delivered visually like no other Star Wars movie had and a large part of that was the effort that went into the design. Maybe it was the methanol in the beer...