Star Wars’ cast of characters are some of the most iconic in all of film history – but as these storyboards prove, a few of your favorite denizens from a galaxy far, far away were originally conceived looking at least a little differently than the ones that wound up in the film.
This group of storyboard photos, released to promote the new book Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy, feature work by artists Alex Tavoularis, Joe Johnston and Ivan Beddoes. The images show iconic characters like Darth Vader, C-3PO, R2-D2 and Yoda as they were originally envisioned. What’s striking about the artwork is that all of the characters look relatively similar to their on-screen counterparts, but even the minor changes in the storyboards stick out.
Take Darth Vader, for instance. Vader’s helmet isn’t significantly different from the one that became instantly recognizable in the films. The lower rectangular mouthpiece and grill have been modified, and when you couple that with Vader’s eyes, the whole thing becomes jarring. Vader almost looks like a pig, as opposed to the more robotic appearance of the character in the film.
Other character changes are no less striking. We’re glad they ditched the elf ears on Chewie, and R2’s face and propeller is just way too cutesy for our liking. It’s also nice that Yoda – who looks very much like his film version – lost the pipe. I’m sure Lucas didn’t want to be remembered as the man responsible for causing an entire future generation of neck-beards to take up pipe smoking.
Check out some of the concept art below, then swing by Vulture for even more goodies from the original trilogy.
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