Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Star Wars blueprints laid bare

“A couple of brush strokes, a round thing, and a little bit of blue.” This doesn’t sound like the foundation on which one of cinema’s best-loved characters was built, but remember: from little acorns, great oaks grow. Or, in this case, from not-particularly-inspiring sentences, iconic robots grow.

The not-particularly-inspiring sentence in question belongs to Star Wars’ visual effects artist Lorne Peterson, who was describing the primitive Ralph McQuarrie sketch that went on to influence the design of a little droid named R2-D2.

By January 1976, that doodle had morphed into the impressive blueprint you can see in the gallery below, and work was soon underway to create the physical, dustbin-shaped exoskeleton that actor Kenny Baker would then inhabit to portray R2.

This sketch, and more than 250 like it, make up a rather excellent new book called Star Wars: The Blueprints, released on 15 August. Author JW Rinzler has trawled the Lucasfilm archives to dig up scores of previously unseen, ludicrously detailed concept art from the franchise’s early history. Flicking through, you’ll happen upon intricate drawings of rebel spacefighter corridors, as well as the original designs for Jabba’s throne room, the Millennium Falcon and the Death Star, of course.

More than anything, it also serves as an exciting reminder that some similarly outlandish interstellar sketches are probably being waved under JJ Abrams’ nose as you read this…

Star Wars: The Blueprints by JW Rinzler is published by Titan Books, priced £59.99

Related

StarWarsHERO1.jpg

Star Wars in 60 Seconds

Hero-hero.jpg

Awesome superhero silhouette art

R2.jpg

Star Wars Watches

Comments

More

This British city has been named fifth best in Europe by Lonely Planet

Clue: it's in the north

by Emily Reynolds
25 May 2017

Crowds sing 'Don't Look Back in Anger' at end of minute's silence

The Oasis classic got an airing in honour of the bombing victims

by Dave Fawbert
25 May 2017

Next week you can use a bottle of Lucozade to pay for the Tube

You can literally use anything to pay for the Tube now

by Emily Reynolds
25 May 2017

Muslim guy has great comeback after being told to take his hijab off

This troll messed with the wrong guy

by Dave Fawbert
25 May 2017

What science says about why day drinking feels different to at night

And it's not just to do with the sun

by Emily Reynolds
25 May 2017

A pigeon's been caught trying to smuggle drugs in a little backpack

He's fallen fowl of the law

by Dave Fawbert
25 May 2017

George R. R. Martin has compared Donald Trump to King Joffrey

It makes a lot of sense

by Matt Tate
25 May 2017

Trump met the Pope, but all we care about are the memes

*record scratch* POPE: "You're probably wondering how I ended up in this situation..."

by Emily Reynolds
25 May 2017

This man tracked almost everything he did for a whole year

by Gary Ogden
24 May 2017

Netflix data reveals the UK's unusual viewing habits by time of day

Anyone watching How I Met Your Mother at 6am needs professional help

by Emily Reynolds
24 May 2017