Video: Ralph McQuarrie’s original concept art for Star Wars still influences the designs and creatures we see in the films, in comics, and on TV today. His legacy in the shaping of the saga’s visual identity is unquestionable. But his work also paints a picture of a Star Wars we never got to see – one this fan film delightfully brings to life.
The loving project of Visual Effects students at the DAVE school in Florida, The Star Wars draws on some of McQuarrie’s most iconic pieces of early concept art and brings them to life with real actors and CG effects to imagine a galaxy far, far away where C-3PO was a little more Metropolis than he was robot butler, where Han Solo was a petrifying giant green space monster, and where the role that would become Luke Skywalker was actually a female hero.
It’s spectacularly well done – the moments where the action in each scene finally settles into the framing and place of McQuarrie’s original art are brilliant bits of realisation, flashing the original imagery of McQuarrie’s legendary work before your eyes in a new, yet familiar way. The attention to detail is a perfect tribute to a man who helped fundamentally make Star Wars what it is, and is still being made with his influence, 40 years later.