For hardcore Star Wars fans, half the thrill of seeing The Force Awakens was in the throwback style that felt so much like the original trilogy. That art direction was directly influenced not only by the first three movies, but also by the rich background of conceptual art behind those movies — art created chiefly by the legendary Ralph McQuarrie.
As we get to see more and more concept art behind The Force Awakens, it’s exciting to see which ideas made it into the final movie and which were left by the wayside. Concept art fans will be thrilled to see this new collection of images released by the Industrial Light & Magic Art Department, showing conceptual ideas for many of the settings and characters in The Force Awakens.
The art was recently posted to ILM’s web site, and it gives us a look at how characters like Kylo Ren, Rey, and BB-8 were developed, and also variations on locations like Starkiller Base.
The art was posted with a message from Co-production designer Rick Carter, who writes: “Each artist began to explore his individual response, and collectively, we began to answer, with our words and art. Out of our brainstorming sessions emerged visual imagery of where we might want to go and what it would look like when we got there. We were not merely illustrating scenes that already existed: we were initiating storytelling concepts through the visual images themselves.”