Ralph McQuarrie’s artwork drew me to Star Wars months before it was released. His conceptualization of Darth Vader was unlike anything Id seen, and I had a visceral response…mostly hate. Over the years, my sympathy for Vader changed, but for the 14 year old me, McQuarrie’s lithe Vader with the long snout-like breather was it.
BuzzFeed has collected many of the conceptual pieces for the original series, and they are remarkable, not only in their vision but in how closely Lucas followed them in production. Only Giger’s ALIEN painting come close to being so accurately realized in a scifi film.