Say what you like about the quality of the movies themselves, but you can’t deny that Lucasfilm and Disney have some of the most talented concept artists in the business. This stretches all the way back to the legendary Ralph McQuarrie, whose vision is still guiding Star Wars more than 40 years after he sketched out the characters, ships and environments of what would become A New Hope. Now, we’ve got a new trove of art depicting variations of key scenes in both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.
The most obviously eye-catching are the various plans for the climactic meeting of Han Solo and Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens, as they show different scenery than the thin catwalk we got, together with two prototypical armor designs for Ren (and a strange yellow-tinted version that looks a bit lame). One of them, originating from when the character was to be known as ‘The Jedi Killer,’ bulks him up to extraordinarily intimidating height and build.
The other, meanwhile, comes from the period where they were considering simply having Ren wear Darth Vader’s armor (or an exact recreation of it). After all, how better to freak people out than make them think Vader has risen from the dead?
The rest of the images give us a ton of variations on Benicio del Toro’s DJ, apparently experimenting with how scuzzy/classy the character should look, a pre-vizzed storyboard of DJ, Finn and Rose caught by First Order troopers and, tantalizingly, a look at what could have been a non-lightsaber physical throw down between Rey and Luke on Ahch-To. I assume these all originated from the recently released The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi which, judging by this, looks like a must-buy for anyone that wants some insight into how these amazing films are made.