MediaScene #26 featured Ralph McQuarrie's concept art for Star Wars.

The cover of Jim Steranko’s “MediaScene” for July-August of 1977 was the first appearance in print of this now iconic Ralph McQuarrie concept art.

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away — a very long time ago — George Lucas was working on a script with an unworkably lengthy title: Adventures of the Starkiller as taken from the Journal of the Whills, Saga I: The Star Wars. It was in its second draft, and the now famous concept artist Ralph McQuarrie was retained by Lucas to do some illustrations and concept design for the script to help sell the idea to studio execs.

That version saw a Wookie with green skin, and pointy ears, a C3PO closely inspired by the android Maria from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, a “Jedi Bendu” character named Deak Starkiller who would later be split into the two characters Han Solo and Ben Kenobi, and Starkiller’s daugher, a girl named Luka.

What would Star Wars have looked like had the McQuarrie drawings been used as they were? The Digital Animation and Effects School (DAVE), located in the heart of Universal Studios Orlando, decided to find out. Their graduationg class of August and October of 2017 brought Ralph McQuarrie’s paintings to life in a concept trailer for what might have been… The Star Wars.

Watch and be amazed.

The Star Wars: Concept Trailer from The DAVE School on Vimeo.

The actual trailer is only about a minute long, with the introduction and history of the project and the well-earned credits and process demos taking up the rest of the screen time. The DAVE school is one of the major sources of credentialed CG industry talent in the United States, and from this amazing concept trailer, it’s easy to see why.


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