force awakens lightsaber maybe inspired by ralph mcquarrie

Fiery Lightsabers

I’m including this one, but its more of a stretch if you ask me.  Some fans believe the new villain’s lightsaber is partially influenced by the early Ralph McQuarrie concept art. No, McQuarrie did not create a laser cross-sword like the one wielded by a Sith(?) baddie in The Force Awakens, but his early saber designs had a much more fiery appearance than the glowing pole-shaped lightsabers seen in the final 1977 film.

If you look at the lightsaber seen in The Force Awakens trailer, you’ll notice the blade is more erratic, having a fire or electricity like quality to it, than what we’ve seen in past films. You’ll even see embers coming off or the lightsaber. Above and to the left you can see one of the early Ralph McQuarrie concept images showing a Stormtrooper with a lightsaber — yes, this was a very different period of early development. The early sabers in McQuarrie’s designs had a more powerful look to them, like a blast, almost like you see in a torch lighter.

Empire logo

The Empire Strikes Back Logo

Okay so this one isn’t an unused Ralph McQuarrie concept but just an unused Star Wars concept.

Many Star Wars fans have expressed disappointment in The Force Awakens logo. Not only does it ditch the Episode number subtitle (which was a logo convention added with the prequel trilogy) but it squeezes the film’s subtitle like thin sandwich meat between the words of the Star Wars brand logo. It looks very different, and maybe thats why some fans don’t like it.

When planning for the release of Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, George Lucas hired a couple marketing firms to come up with some logo concepts. The concept on the above right was one of the finalists and might have ended up as The Empire Strikes Back logo if it weren’t for concept artist Ralph McQuarrie who was also working on some designs of the sequel logo.

ZZ112B62C3Empire Strikes Back poster

The image on the above left is the final logo that Ralph McQuarrie created and George Lucas approved for the release of the film. It was later surrounded in a enclosure, but the concept remained virtually the same.

ralph mcquarrie star wars concept art

The End… For Now

I’m sure as more trailers are released, fans will notice more of Ralph McQuarrie’s influence on Star Wars: The Force Awakens and we may end up someday updating this post with more. But until then, if you noticed anything we missed, leave it in the comments below!

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