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Friday, 9 March 2012

CLASSIC ART: PRISON WORLD!

Early TIE fighters approach the Imperial Prison facility on Alderaan in this great art by Ralph McQuarrie for the original storyline for THE STAR WARS in 1975.

I have always loved these Ralph McQuarrie images because they wonderfully show us a part of the original STAR WARS movie that was almost realised but sadly never to be: the first concept/scripted prison location for Princess Leia on the gaseous and cloudy Imperial planet of Alderaan, which was later scrapped from the original screenplay by George Lucas when budget negotiations got difficult with 20th CENTURY FOX in 1975. It was a move that also disappointed Production Designer John Barry, one of the few then major and enthusiastic British supporters of the film's production, right from the start.

Ultimately, Alderaan became the name of Leia's destroyed home planet, whilst her prison was transferred to the more story and set beneficial, but no less effective, Death Star battle station. Never one to turn down or a good idea or piece of conceptual art, George Lucas would make sure that the Cloud City would ultimately make a successful film appearance on the planet Bespin, a few years later, in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

The original Colin Cantwell conceived Millennium Falcon captured by the Imperials on Alderaan.

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